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A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark (edition 2011)

by Jocelyn Davies

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177None66,994 (3.4)1
Title:A Beautiful Dark
Authors:Jocelyn Davies
Info:HarperTeen (2011), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, To read

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A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies




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VOYA Rating: 3Q3P


Skye is being treated to a surprise birthday party thrown by her friends. She didn’t really want a party, but her friends wanted to celebrate with her. Skye had lost both her parents when she was little and was raised by her “aunt” (her mother’s best friend who adopted Skye). Skye has been noticing small changes that are happening to her. On the night of her 17th birthday, 2 super hot cousins, Asher and Devin, show up in her small town. She is immediately attracted to both of them in different ways. Even stranger things begin happening now. The story starts to reveal that Skye is part angel and she needs to choose whether or not she is going to join the Order or the Rebellion. Skye decides that she is going to try to live her life normally, but the appearance of her powers and of Asher and Devin put a stop to any sense of normalcy. Skye begins to realize that one by one, the people she has loved in her life have been taken away from her. She gets swept up into the world of angels, who are forcing her to choose sides. Each side believes the other is wrong and without them humanity would spiral into chaos. Skye feels betrayed by everyone and the truce is broken.

With the way this book ended, there will probably be a sequel. This book is a paranormal romance. It was a light, entertaining read. The angels in this story, part of the Order and the Rebellion, are actually aliens who keep humanity from descending into chaos. Each side has it’s own philosophies and have been battling for centuries. Skye’s parents were from the Order AND the Rebellion which had never happened before. Neither side liked that Skye was born from love. They were waiting for Skye to turn 17 and see what powers emerged and that would dictate which side she would belong to. I think more will be revealed in the second book because it’s hard to tell what the purpose of the rebellion is. Why are the angels meddling in humanity?

I think this book is a good fit for teens into paranormal romance. The characters are following the angel trend. It has a unique spin in that the angels are aliens and not religious figures. For those readers looking for action and romance, this book would be a fun choice. I think it is a good additional purchase for a school or public library. Nothing really objectionable, so it’s good for middle and high school. I emailed the book trailer created by the publisher to all of our students. I am also going to make a book display with all the angel books that I have in the library. ( )
  kmjanek | Aug 29, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this one, but there wasn't anything that completely made it original. I mean, I connected with Skye, and I liked the tension with the triangle being Devin and Asher. I personally liked Asher a lot more because he is dark, handsome, and the banter and on the other hand the tender moments they have. Devin just never really seemed to get his chance to really shine, and though they have moments they seem to come too late after Skye and Asher connected.
But Skye is conflicted so there is still the triangle, but my personal choice has been made, and it would take a lot to change my mind in the next one.
I enjoyed Skye coming into her own and learning and mostly being really frustrated by her powers and learning about her history. Her parents died when she was little so of course there were things that she didn't know about them, but the two new boys, that are vying for her heart and her destiny shake everything in her life up and make her open her eyes to who her parents were and what that means for her.
I will def be continuing with this series.

Bottom Line: With steamy romance(s) and a main character I felt for so I devoured even though the premise isnt the most original. ( )
  brandileigh2003 | Aug 18, 2013 |
What drew me to A Beautiful Dark is probably pretty obvious: there's a girl wearing a dress on the cover. That said, the more I look at it, the less I'm sure I actually even like the cover. The dress isn't all that flattering, and I hate the way it goes up at the shoulders. Clearly, the pointy shoulders were to suggest wings, which they do, but they also look like crazy evil-witch-queen shoulder pads.

From the very beginning, this book reminded me heavily of Personal Demons, although this book was definitely better. Both are about a girl being pursued, because of her super secret powers she doesn't know she has, by two hot guys, one light, one dark. In both books, the guys appear from out of town and infiltrate her high school. Both heroines are torn and want both guys. However, this one works a bit better, because at least it's not told from the POV of the heroine and one of the guys, which made the love triangle more stupid than most.

The main problem I had with this book was that the characters were all flat, failing to resemble real people at all. First of all, there's Skye. At first, I thought I might like her, because she was focused on good grades, totally not looks-focused, and not boy crazy. Of course, this level-headed girl goes out of the window as soon as the hot boys show up. For all that she's supposed to be incredibly intelligent, she fails to make any but the simplest deductions about the situations in which she finds herself. Although possessed of a lot of power, she doesn't try very hard to learn how to use it, and spends most of her time crying about how she just wants to be normal. Wouldn't a girl who loves to study want to figure out how to make use of her talents, rather than moping to lessons? Despite all that power, she has no control over at all, and thus does nothing useful with it ever.

In addition to Skye, there are three boys panting after her. First, there's Ian, the requisite best friend in unrequited love. He ought to be sympathetic, but he has no personality. He merely alternates between trying to buy Skye's affection with tons of free beverages from the coffee house where he works and being a dick to her because she doesn't like him.

Asher, the dark angel boy, is the one she feels an immediate lust for, even though she quickly decides that he's a playboy. The heroine has correctly identified that this guy is a bad place to put her heart, yet she spends most of the book wanting him. I will never like a male lead who winks as much as Asher does. Oh yeah, and did I mention the part where he totally was watching her secretly for most of her life? I thought Edward watching Bella sleep after they met was creepy, but Skye didn't even know him and he was watching.

Devin seems the best of the lot, assuming you have a thing for boring rule-followers. Not to mention the ordained to be with someone else part of the equation. His main qualification as boyfriend material is that he has a calming effect on Skye. This could be romantic, I suppose, but it's not here.

Skye's friends, Dan and Cassie, could have stolen the show. Several series that I love/hate have awful main characters but keep me coming back for the sidekicks (prime example: Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments books). Unfortunately, Davies didn't care about them all that much, and they don't do much of anything interesting either.

The plot, too, is lacking. Honestly, despite the fact that it's almost 400 pages long, not a whole lot happens to move the plot arc along. It feels as though this could have been the opening to a novel (assuming you cut out the unnecessary stuff), rather than a complete novel itself.

Fans of Twilight will flock (punned!) to this series, but if you're in it for plot, a strong heroine or originality, I would recommend looking elsewhere. That said, I might end up reading the sequel, because it has a pretty cover. Hopefully not though. ( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |

"They were so different. Light and dark. Peace and chaos."

Skye has only vague memories of her parents, who died in a car accident when she was young. Now she's being raised by her late mother's best friend in a small Colorado town. Around her seventeenth birthday, strange things begin to happen. Her eyes, usually grey, begin to flash silver.

Things really heat up when two quarreling cousins appear at her surprise party, then enroll at the local high school. Devin and Asher seem like polar opposites: Devin is fair and calm, while Asher is dark and intense.

Skye is drawn to both of them.

Read the full review on www.jenryland.blogspot.com
  JenRyland | Mar 30, 2013 |
When I’m fully engaged in what I’m reading and it’s all cute and exciting, I have this thing where I can’t stop smiling and I’m in a good mood and a little bit random. Yes, I’m weird, I know. One brother looks at me like I’m crazy, the other tells me to be quiet (not so politely) and my dad just says, ‘She’s off again’ in a tone that says he doesn’t expect anything less by this point. But the point is, I’ve been in kind of a haze lately, like my brain was full of cotton wool and though I was enjoying some of the stuff I was reading, I wasn’t really connecting with it. A Beautiful Dark got through that fog.

Skye’s seventeenth birthday triggers a chain of events she didn’t see coming, and it all starts with the birthday party – one she never wanted in the first place. Just seconds after two mysterious strangers get into a fight, what’s first assumed to be an earthquake forces the party to a head. Thinking that to be the end, she’s shocked to find that those same strangers, Asher and Devin, are now going to her school. Not only that, more weird stuff is happening. She soon realises there’s more to Asher and Devin than it appears, that they belong to two different sides, and their story is going to bring her life crashing down around her, and with it, a question: which side will she choose?

I know what you’re thinking. Angels, Nephilim, you’ve heard it all before. Think again. This book doesn’t even use the word Nephilim. I guess, now that I think about it, I can see some parallels between the angel story here and elsewhere, but the way it’s set out makes it seem completely different – in some ways, is different. I love the idea of there being two opposite sides, neither one quite what you’d expect despite their obvious labels of light and dark, good and evil, Order and Rebellion. The conditions that come with being a part of one of these factions aren’t exactly ones you’d accept lightly and Davies does a great job of showing that, however great or ideal something seems on the surface, there is always more to it.

Skye was definitely likeable. She’s remarkably mature: persevering, very academically focused and her experiences mark her more than they would someone else. What I found moving was that it was all for her parents, who died when she was six. Mostly she was tough and tried to get on with things as best she could, but occasionally that vulnerability would show. Despite such a tragedy, it didn’t make her resentful of legal guardian Aunt Jo. It was sweet to see how much they loved each other. Skye’s best friend, Cassie, was a little annoying at first, but that soon went away and she proved to be a good friend. Ian and Dan weren’t hugely present for me, though I did appreciate Dan’s concern for Skye. There was a bit of confusion in her when it came to Asher and Devin, which I can see putting some readers off, but I think there was a heavy incline toward Asher.

This brings me nicely to the two angels, or as Devin corrects Skye, Malakh, meaning messenger. Devin, blonde-haired, blue-eyed and white-winged as he is, belongs to the Order, the faction responsible for peace. Being on the side of the light, you’d think he’d be friendly and understanding, right? That’s what I’d expect, anyway. But actually, he’s more on the pushy and less on the understanding. In a way I feel bad for being critical of him, given that he has no choice – literally. In the Order, you either set the rules, or you follow them, and Devin falls into the latter category. Despite that, I couldn’t help but feel a little frustrated at how closed off he could be. There were times when another side to him emerged, but no sooner did that happen than he was back to his old self. But then again, the last time we see him in the book...you see how there are two completely different angles to look at him and how confusing it can get.

Asher, our traditional tall, dark and handsome, is a Rebel. He was cheeky, flirtatious, always joking around but also serious at times – in short, completely lovable. When you think of a group being ‘light’ or ‘good’, you immediately assume or are told that the other is the exact opposite. In this case, I don’t think that applies. Neither side is good and neither side is bad, something the author explores well here. Davies keeps you on your toes. There’s one obvious point where the reader isn’t sure whether to trust Devin or not, but when it came to Asher, no sooner do you completely put your faith in him than something happens to make you realise, perhaps you were wrong.

Overall, this book completely surpassed my expectations. I’ve seen quite a few negative ratings for this and a friend of mine warned me expressly, so I was a little cautious, but thankfully it worked out fine for me. With an engaging plotline, some great characters and a killer ending (no pun intended ;D), this is definitely one to get your hands on.

This review is also posted on my blog>/a>. ( )
  AaIshah | Dec 21, 2012 |
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For my grandparents Sandra and Mark Messler, who have been saving a place for my first novel on their coffee table since I was old enough to spell
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It happened at night.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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When Skye, who lives with her aunt in Boulder, Colorado, turns seventeen and is suddenly pursued by two boys who are polar opposites, secrets of her true identity--and destiny--begin to emerge.

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