Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

I think this may be a first. This book has a cliffhanger ending, and I didn’t hate it. The ending, that is. The book? Well, it left plenty to be desired.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

A Beautiful Dark is yet another YA with a beautiful cover. I’d say that was responsible for drawing me in (because I’m oh-so succeptible to the draw), but it actually wasn’t this time. One of my groups over at Goodreads, Never too old for YA Books, has books(s) of the month, and this month’s theme is Angels and Demons. This was the chosen Angel book for April.

In a nutshell, the story is about recently-turned-17 orphan Skye, who starts back to school for the new semester to find two new guys vying for her attention. Said new guys, Asher and Devin, are polar opposites. Skye seems to be drawn most to Asher, who is rebellious, flirtacious and kind of an ass. BUT, she also feels a pull toward Devin, who is quieter and seems to have a sense of inner peace. Through these new relationships, she finds out things about herself and her family that she didn’t know, that will change her life, blah blah.

The book plods along with various scenes at school, home and parties, but the locations were rather inconsequential. Likewise, the cast of friends who surround Skye are painted in such a way that they seem like they should be important, but they’re really not. She could have been a social loner at a boarding school, and the story would have been the same.

The boys aren’t much more interesting. While they have a little more depth of development than the other secondary characters, they felt very cookie-cutter to me. The Bad Boy. The Intense, Quiet One. They were caricatures of what they could have been. Likewise, the information they brought with them felt like the same old fields I’ve walked a million times before. (Also I didn’t really need the constant reminders of how much they disliked one another, have different philosophies, didn’t get along, etc. Really. I get it.)

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind predictable. I don’t mind re-exploring the same old tropes. But COME ON. At least give it to me in a new and fun way. At least give me characters I can love, even when they do stupid things, and characters I can hate, even when I know they’re pushing the main character to the places he/she needs to go.

The big revelations about the boys (who are *gasp* angels! sort of) and Skye aren’t all that earth-shattering. The random antagonist who slips in halfway through the book was eye-rolling-ly silly.

I could go on.

I’m sorry, but this book was boring. I didn’t hate it, but there was nothing interesting about it. I had to force myself to read past chapter two. Skye, despite being supposedly this smart girl, is incredibly wishy-washy and dense. Actually, wishy-washy is a great description for them all, “love interests” included. (And while we’re on that topic, can I please get love stories with some real chemistry, rather than this bland insta-love crap?)

You know what the only oddly redeeming quality about this book was? The cliffhanger ending.

I know. Revoke my reading license, STAT, before it causes permanent damage.

But seriously. When I found out from the group that this thing had a cliffhanger, I didn’t want to finish it. Well, okay, even more than I already didn’t want to finish it. I soldiered on, bracing myself for it . . . and it wasn’t so bad. Some questions get answered before it ends, so I wasn’t left feeling like the author didn’t attempt to wrap things up. It kind of worked for me in ways that the rest of the book didn’t.

And, okay, it could have a little to do with what happens at the end. *evil grin* *innocent smile*

Read it, and you’ll see what I mean. I dare you.

RATING: 2 out of 5 stars

(This may be the only book in the history of the world that got rated UP because of a cliffhanger, hehe.)

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