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A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
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A Beautiful Dark (edition 2011)

by Jocelyn Davies

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2143654,496 (3.45)1
Member:TheReaderBee
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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Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Colorado

The night that Skye turns seventeen she meets two very different and enigmatic strangers. Their appearance in her life also manages to send it into a tail spin. Asher is dark and wild and Devin is his complete opposite being fair and aloof. The only thing Skye knows about them is that their presence seems to coincide with several strange events that are happening. She doesn’t know what they want from her or why they seem to follow her everywhere.

Skye ends up discovering a secret in the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter night. A secret that threatens to shatter the world she has always known. She is falling for Asher and yet can’t seem to stay away from Devin which is tearing her apart. What she soon finds out is that her choice will end up reaching farther than the three of them could begin to imagine.

This is the start of a series that starts out fast and pulls the reader into the story without letting go even after the last page is reached. The characters are well written and intriguing. The story slowly unfolds in such a way that it makes it very hard to put the book down until the reader finds out what is exactly going on. While it ends on a cliffhanger it proves to work with the story line and will have readers eagerly wanting to read the next book in the series. The story also takes some great twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of their seats. This is one book worth checking out. It is also a book that while it seems to be lengthy once the readers starts they will find that they quickly reach the end long before they are ready too. ( )
  lrhubble | Nov 12, 2014 |
In this novel, Skye is a quiet, well-behaved teen who does not seem very enthusiastic about the world around her, except for the stark beauty of snowy Colorado. She has two close friends, Cassie and Dan, but I didn’t feel that Skye truly felt connected to them beyond the convenience of interacting with those around her. Individually, the characters work, and each have their own depth depending on their importance to the story. Besides conversation and some references to the past, we really do not get a sense of who some of the characters like Dan or Ian are beyond vague descriptions and interactions with Skye. Asher and Devin, on the other hand, are described with more attention to detail as Skye learns more about the two. Her adopted aunt’s character delivers more depth, but I think that is because Skye has no other family to turn to, and Aunt Jo has been her caring and supporting rock and Skye’s only connection to her parent’s past. I think these characterizations are Jocelyn Davies’ way to indicate the lack of connection Skye feels with those around her until the two new strangers enter her life.

Asher and Devin explode into Skye’s life, almost literally. She is drawn to both guys, but for different reasons. Asher is fun, sexy, and a wee bit dangerous, while Devin exudes tranquility and follows all the rules. While this seemed cliched at first, their characterization made complete sense as the book progressed. Both were sent to look after Skye and make note of her progress as she grows older. In fact, the book starts with Skye’s seventeenth birthday party where she first meets Asher and sees him fighting with Devin. Asher and Devin are at odds throughout the whole book, both warning Skye to not trust the other one, as if Skye wasn’t confused enough about them. This tug and pull between the three of them is what kept the story going, though the story was a bit inconsistent at times.

There are some gaps in the timeline and information that could have been stronger. For example, Skye instantly gives up skiing, something she loves to do, after an accident, but never mentions it again or say that she misses it which I find odd for someone who was a passionate champion skier. There is also the fact that Asher has been around for a lot longer than Devin, but that is never explained. Switching from Skye obsessing over Asher and Devin to her hosting a party without either of them seemed incongruous to the story. Also, if Cassie was Skye’s best friend, wouldn’t Skye at least talk to her some about the two guys, even if she doesn’t reveal their secrets? The one time she tries was ill timed and seems to alienate her from Cassie even more, though Cassie doesn’t realize it. I just feel Skye and Cassie’s relationship is too vague, and could have been portrayed better.

The ending of the book came too fast, and left too many questions for me to sit comfortably until the next book comes out. The events at the very end were a bit confusing to read. There is just too much information that Skye and the reader don’t know, which leads to betrayal and high emotions. I hope that the next installment will answer those lingering questions and let us know what Skye’s future is.

Notable Scene:

My mind was tugged in a thousand different directions, as we walked through the darkening parking lot as the sky shifted from twilight to night. I barely noticed all the remaining cars that belonged to the students involved in after-school practices and meetings.

I wasn’t like anyone else I’d ever known before these guys showed up in my life. How would I fit in with Cassie, Dan, and Ian? Holding this secret–a secret so big that it felt like it would consume me.

I must have shivered, because Devin took his jacket off and hung it across my shoulders lightly, almost as if he was afraid to touch me. I hoped he didn’t realize that it wasn’t just the cold I was shivering from.

“Thanks.”

He was quiet, leaving me to my own thoughts. And there were lots of them. Every now and then I would begin a sentence and leave it unfinished, trailing off into the bitter night air.

Finally Devin turned to me, his face illuminated as we passed under a streetlight. “That happened very quickly, much more suddenly than I would have liked.” Then we were back in the dark, his face hidden again. I saw him relax and realized he preferred if I couldn’t see him. “If you have any questions, you can ask me.” We were almost at my car; I could see it a couple of rows away.

“What are you?” It was the question I’d asked before they’d managed to avoid answering.

“I’m a Guardian. A messenger.” ( )
  NathaliePolanco | May 24, 2014 |
VOYA Rating: 3Q3P

Recommended

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 |
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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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