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An angel is sent to Earth on a mission.
But falling in love is not part of the plan.

Three angels – Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human – are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness. They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.

Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them. Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.

The angel’s mission is urgent, and dark forces are threatening. Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

485 pages, Hardcover

First published January 8, 2010

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About the author

Alexandra Adornetto

19 books3,965 followers
Alexandra Emily Adornetto was born on the 18th of April 1992 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is the only child of an English Teacher and a Drama Teacher and attended, in her own words, "many" schools including MacRobertson Girls' High School, Ruyton Girls' School and Eltham College. She has loved stories for as long as she can remember. In 2006, she won the State Legacy Public Speaking competition. She began writing a Children's novel when she was only 13, inspired by J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. At 14, she sold it to HarperCollins Publishers, that also bought the two next novels of The Strangest Adventures series. The Halo series is her first YA fantasy romance and marks her international debut. She relocated to Oxford, Mississippi, where she divided her time between the USA and Australia, while she studied and wrote. Now she lives in Hollywood, where she hopes to combine novel writing and acting as Alexandra Grace. Her passions include old-school country music, theology, singing and performing.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,511 reviews
Profile Image for Kiki.
197 reviews8,525 followers
September 17, 2021
Okay so since Fallen was so much fun, I’ve also done a nostalgia read for this one and will be posting a Red-Hot, 1000 Degree Take within the next couple of days. I had intended to drop the review and run, but then I started reading the second book, Hades, and I physically COULD NOT resist posting status updates. So let’s see how far I get with this.

Note: we d r a g g e d this book to hell and back 10 years ago but as a community we only scratched the surface. If any of you are hankering for a nostalgia read, I highly recommend this. It’s WILD shit, and I realised I had forgotten all of it, from the weird antisemitism to the 100% white town in the American South (???) to a teenage girl committing suicide by cutthroat like she’s Cardinal fucking Woolsey. I’m shooketh.
Profile Image for K.
11 reviews
May 28, 2012

WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN??? This has to be one of the WORST books ever written. Everything in this book annoyed me. It was terrible in every way: badly thought-out plot, hypocritically religious, with really (and I mean really) shallow characters. Did I mention it is was a hypocritical book? Can I emphasis on hypocritical? I'm not even a Catholic! But this book, it just... ARGGHHH!!!It is so frustrating, I cannot describe it in words.

To be honest, it was the Catholic's version of Twilight. I felt like the author copy and pasted Twilight, than changed everyone's name.
Cheesy love, stupid damsel in distress, unrealistic boyfriend, and an awkward projection of God(?) and purgatory/heaven/hell(?)

Its gets on my nerves that the author started writing this book with a strange and rigidly religious sense and at the same time be so - SO narrow minded about everything. Her religious views(observed through her book) are based off artificial foundations. Hey, hate to break it to you Adornetto, but life is not based on how good looking you are!

The characters are all shallow....so, so shallow. It makes me sad. I didn't even bother to learn the name of any of the characters. My first impression of the book after the 2nd chapter? I can't believe this was published!! GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! JUST WRITING THIS REVIEW IS GETTING ME WORKED UP!!!!!!!!!!!

If I ever get the chance, I'm going to shove Alexandra Adornetto into a hole and cement it shut so that she will never again, make garbage. Sigh... I'm not even a religious person.

OH! I'm also pretty sure an angel would be sent to an improvished town and help the poor. All the main character does is: go to a private prep school and walk down the beach to eyeball hot guys. I mean, I don't find anything wrong at staring at hot guys - HECK, I do it all the time. But the main character is a freaking ANGEL. AN ANGEL. Doesn't she have angel duties to attend to? Like I dunno: help humanity? Save a hobo? Feed starving children??? Instead of going to a private school for the wealthy and date really rich kids. Why are you attending a rich private school where people can feed themselves?? . In the book, why are an Angel's only capable ability is charity work and community service? I mean really. I am 100% positive angels are NOT that lame ...

As a simple observation, I also noticed that this book was aimed towards "white people". Maybe because I am not a white person (Asian and proud), I feel obligated to point out that everyone in the story was WHITE. All the angels, the boyfriend, any relevant character was white. (Maybe the author thinks that god is white...) isn't religion open for every race? I felt like the book had a double meaning for white supremacy.
I see white people

It was a dry, hard-to-read, un-refreshing, love story mixed in with hypocritical religious views.

The only redeeming quality of this book was the front of it. But like the old saying, never trust a book by it's cover. Halo might of had a pretty cover, but DAYUM. Everything inside is vile, putrid Twilight-wannabe.

In conclusion:
I HATED every single thing in this book with a passion that burns like a thousand suns. After I read it, I wanted to wash out my eyes with lemon juice and toilet water. I don't recommend it. Save your time, and read something else. DO NOT READ.

Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.3k followers
December 5, 2013
Reading this book was like watching Sinbad or Atlantis or any other one of those rubbish Disney movies that wanted to be like their original Princess classics but also new and fresh and imaginative.

It's lame. It wants to be classic and awesome but also new and different (and I use the word "different" with all the superiorly quasi-amusement of someone trying to praise a child and has nothing more positive to say. "Yes, Jenny, I see that you've put glue in your hair. That's so...different...")

The problem is that it utterly fails at new and different. Supernatural creature + human = Twue loff!

Except when the supernatural creature is the chick and she still manages to be lamer than Bella Swan, I call dibs on throwing popcorn (or bomb-infused popcorn depending on my mood.)

To be honest, I could go on about the many mistakes I saw within the first few chapters before I tossed the book out and decided I HAVE A LIFE, DAMNIT! (Wait, so Gabriel, who is not THE archangel Gabriel is a few centuries old - yet later you tell us he was there for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah? Dude, that's not a few centuries old, that's several thousand years old.

I could talk about the writing or the I'M A CHARACTER!! style of characterization. But really, what's the point? It was written by a teenager who's only just barely drinking her first shots of passion-pop. That's like taking potshots at a toddler because he doesn't draw inside the lines. She'll hopefully grow and learn and get better.

Besides, I'm not even the target audience. This book is CLEARLY geared toward the kind of teenage girls who WANT to be helpless and taken care of and protected and cherished. Well, I'm not a girl, I'm a woman and I'm not interested in reading about pretty little princesses who would trip over their own billowing hemline if the charming hero wasn't around to rescue them (dashingly, may I add.)

So I'm not going to tear into it and lose my temper and imagine that with each punchy sentence and angry jab, I'm stabbing the author in the face. No. I'm going to do what I do when any other child proudly shows me their work with a big corny grin. I won't lie but I won't be mean either. The cover art is lovely, Adornetto, and I really like how you managed to get all the print onto the page!

So there you are. No supermean review. Seriously. She's a teenage girl. Sure the book pretty much sucks beyond all reckoning but I like to think I'm adult enough to give her a pat on the head, tell her to go play with the other kids while I talk to the adults.

But that doesn't mean I want to spend money on this shit...

Profile Image for Cait.
76 reviews1,688 followers
December 4, 2013
Honestly, I think when I read this book, my brain cells died a little bit.

First of all, Bethany is a total idiot and is so clueless that I don't know how she even remembered to breathe when she woke up every morning.

Bethany: *wakes up in the morning and starts turning blue and thinks, ohhhh what am I supposed to do? It's really important...... *

Me: yes! Die, Bethany, die!

Bethany: *body begins to spasm as it's deprived of air it's on the tip of my tongue.... *

Me: No you don't! It's all a dream; you don't need anything!

Bethany: * Oh, yeah, I remember! Breathe...or whatever! body takes a huge racking breath*

Me: Awwww dammit.

That's not even an over-exaggeration people; this is one idiot narrator. She doesn't even know what freaking toothpaste is for, or how to even brush her teeth! And her boyfriend has to remind her to drink water because she can't possibly remember that herself. Then, to add insult to injury, every other page she gets those "cramps" in her chest whenever she's far away from her hubby. You know what those pains really are Bethany? I'm not really sorry to inform you, but those pains in your chest are more than likely mini heart attacks that will lead to one major one that ends your pathetic life. So you should probably go to the hospital tomorrow, as long as you remember to breathe next morning and don't die that way first.

Please just die.

And what the hell (pun half intended) is up with the name Bethany? Even her lust love interest Xavier has a more angelic name than she does! I honestly don't think it's that hard to come up with a more angelic name than that, anything than that. It took me about two seconds to go online, type angelic names, and find these names of some actual female angels (although some debate whether female angels exist, but just for argument's sake, lets assume that there is):

1. Anahita

2. Anauel

3. Ananchel

4. Barbelo

5. Bath Kol

6. Gazardiel

Wasn't that easy, folks!

Now, I understand that if you enrolled into a normal, 21st century school with a name like Bath Kol, Barbelo, or Anahita, that you would be given many stares and probably wouldn't be best if you're trying to stay "under the radar" *gag* and change it to a more common name like Bethany. Sadly, Bethany never says she has a different name, and that's what she was given by God, so obviously Adornetto didn't have the foresight to think that up. I guess the poor guy upstairs has just been around too long to care about what he names his angels, who just aren't that important anyways, right?


While we're talking about upstairs, may I just say that Adornetto failed in describing it and the angels who I guess floated around up there. From what I've read in the Bible, whenever people meet angels and see their true forms they are completely, totally, and utterly terrified and the angels have to calm them down. The way Adornetto describes them, as big floating balls of light or essence or whatever isn't exactly terrifying. If an angel came down from heaven whose name was Bert and said "do not be afraid" as a big ball of light, I'd probably snigger and then one of my younger cousins would think it's a huge firefly and trap it in a jar. Then I'd have to tell the poor fella to let Bert go, because he has more important angelic things to do, like watch himself glow.

Hey, guys! Bert's back to play!

Coming back to how she described Heaven, I guess you could say more like the lack of description. Yay, a lot of puffy clouds, so it must be Heaven!

Her description of it reminds me of my little sister. We have a town near us that ends in "haven" but my sister-being only five-thought it said "heaven" so whenever we got close to the sign of it on the highway, she'd go, "are we in heaven yet?" Now we'd all say "awwww" because it was freaking adorable, but we know it's wrong. That's how it is with Adornetto; it's kind of cute that she tried (not even nearly as adorable as my sister), but she just missed the mark. By a mile.

See, even the puppy agrees with me! It's just a no, Adornetto. You can't argue with the cute.

While we're still on the topic of Adornetto's heaven I'd honestly be pretty scared if Bethany was my guide to Heaven since that's what she describes her job as. She'd probably pick up my little ball of light and let it slip through her fingers and I'd fall back through clouds. That's probably why she got sent down to Earth to find all of the little balls of light that she dropped, the klutz.

Yeah, I kind of hate this chick.

Since we're on the whole mission subject, there's one big thing that I don't understand: why on Heaven and hell and Earth above would God send one of the highest Archangels, Gabriel, to a sleepy little costal town when, according to them, this is only a slightly important place and there are much bigger battles being fought around the world? Throughout history there is one main constant during war: you send your best men to the most important spots of battle because the big battles like Normandy, Gettysburg, Stalingrad, and so on are the fights that can be the "turning point" of the war. You just do not send someone with the strength like Gabriel supposedly has to somewhere like that. And he didn't even do anything! He just "learned to be a human" How does learning to be a human have anything to do with saving the world from darkness, exactly! I mean if that's all it took I could just learn to slither around like a snake, be high and mighty like a cat, totally ignorant to the what's going on around like a dog, and become the President of the United States. Oh, wait.........

But anyways......that's not good battle strategy and shows what little sense that Adornetto has.

I take that back; she has no sense at all.

Another proof of her having no sense is the whole stinking ending. I mean, wow, how.....zomg amazing! Their lurve is so high for each other that it burns so bright through Bethany that it saves the day! She couldn't have done it without him, who is supposedly a normal human, and she obviously couldn't escape the bonds herself, because only twu lurve conquers all!

......excuse me while I go throw up all of that garbage.

Okay, Bethany is all weak for a little while because of her new human body (because balls of light are so strong, too), but you can only use that excuse for so long and by the time she's kidnapped, I think she should have at least been able to break out of them herself. Sadly, that's not what happened because, according to Adornetto, that would make Bethany seem too strong and girls aren't able to do anything, not even think, without a big, capable guy like Xavier by her side! That's too much feminism for her! Not even Gabriel could have done it, who is higher up in the ladder in Heaven than Jake Thorn is in Hell, only Xavier could, our loser hewo! It just annoyed me so badly I think I screamed when it was over out of sheer frustration.

This quote from the synopsis really bothered me, especially one specific part. "They must work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments."

Can you guess it?

If you guessed "luminous glow" you're right! I understand that they might have to slightly strain themselves to hide the rest, heck, if I was an angel I'd probably have a mini-romance with my gorgeous wings, but their luminescence? Unless they have no self control I don't think it's that hard to hide light. They'd be (and they were) pretty awful undercover agents if they can't snuff out a simple light. It's not like in Unearthly (which is everything Halo isn't) where she can't tell when she's going to suddenly burst into light, these guys in Halo just have a soft, cutsey little light that shouldn't require that much strain; they're heavenly beings, they should probably have enough control if they were picked for this!

And don't even get my started on the "avoiding all human attachments" part. If you can't tell from the rest of my review; that's the biggest piece of bullshit I've ever heard.

Ugh. Curse stupid plots that don't make any sense.

Xavier and Bethany's "love" was what really got me. You meet the guy one time on the beach and you talk to him a couple times in/out of school and that automatically qualifies him as someone who is "trustworthy" enough to show him your true identity and is your "one twu love". Since Adornetto once again didn't study up on angelic lore, I'll fill you guys in:

If you're an angel, God is your one and only love and if you even get slight feelings for anyone else, well, God is a jealous dude and will banish your sorry ass from Heaven for the rest of your existence. So, in all actuality, the very second that Bethany even felt the teeny tiniest feelings of like or love for Xavier, God would have stripped her of her wings and banished her. Then Bethany would have had to spend the rest of eternity pouting and not realizing why she did what she did was so, like, wrong! I guess not even the big man upstairs wanted to curse Earth with that and just let her do whatever the hell she wanted, even reveal her true identity to Xavier! If God gave her a name like Bethany, he's probably too busy with the rest of the Berts and Jim-Bobs getting trapped in jars around the Earth to notice such a huge infraction.

.......I think I'm going to be sick again.

I have a question. Why were all of the angels in this story only white? It kind of reminds me of how many churches and television shows picture Jesus: as a white man. If I remember correctly from the Bible, he was born in Bethlehem, Jerusalem and whether or not you believe he was Christ, just a prophet, a crazy person, or someone that never even existed, if he had been born in that region of the world, he definitely wasn't white. He would have had much darker skin and pretty much what you see when you look at your average middle-eastern man today. The only reason he went all Michael Jackson when you see pictures and such of him now is the church and the racist sentiments of people during that time. They couldn't possibly imagine the person they viewed to be their savior as, in their opinion, some dirty, savage, middle-eastern man, so in order to make him more popular with the rest of Europe and spread the religion they turned him white.

So, if God's own son wasn't white, what's to say the angels up in heaven aren't from multiple races? I think it's just very closed-off of Adornetto to only make the angels that we have seen thus far white. Would it kill her to make even some part of her book good? Not all people in this world who are right and just are white people. And that can be proven by just walking down the street of wherever you live, so for her not to include people of other races as angels just makes her seem very naive about how the world actually works.

I'll finish the rest of this review later when it's not almost one in the morning. But, yeah, I hated this book with a passion.
Profile Image for Kogiopsis.
772 reviews1,498 followers
August 20, 2011
Halo is a truly epic tale. Set in a dystopian world which has been ravaged by war, it follows two people: Bethany, an angel sent to riot-torn Los Angeles to save as many of the remaining citizens as she can and Xavier, a damaged boy she struggles to befriend and heal of his emotional wounds. As she works, another war is brewing - this one highly localized and poised to set the city ablaze yet again, ruining all of her efforts.

Oh, no, wait, that's not it. Let me try again... oh, I've got it!

Halo is a truly epic tale. It's the story of Bethany, an angel sent to the most distressed areas of the world to destroy demons, and her sidekick Xavier, a young would-be priest who follows in her wake spreading the word of the Lord and doing good wherever he can. Together, they defeat evil time and time again.

No, wait, that's not it either. Hmm... but I bet this one is! Third time's the charm and all that.

Halo is the less-than-inspiring story of a trio of angels who are, for some bizarre reason, sent to a posh little town called Venus Cove. There they live the lives of the rich and self-righteous, doing little real good except some volunteering. The plot follows one of them, Bethany, on her meandering and melodramatic way into a romance with a human boy named Xavier. Eventually some real conflict shows up, several hundred pages too late to make the book any good, but that's okay; as the author makes clear several times when she gets up on her soapbox, this book wasn't written to have any sort of artistic merit! It's really just here to preach at you and take your money.

Yeah, that's the right one.

I thought, after I finished Hush, Hush, that I would never hate a book as much as I hated that. Well, my friends, I was wrong. Within the space of a few chapters, I hated Halo more than I have ever hated a story. Period. No exceptions.

This book is a disaster from start to finish, quite literally - from the poor grasp on perspective demonstrated on the very first page to the clumsy, imbecilic, tacked-on 'cliffhanger' on the very last.

To be honest, though, I feel sorry for Alexandra Adornetto. Clearly, the girl's got some problems. Her depiction of girls as obsessed with sex, boys, and material goods is horrifyingly shallow, which suggests to me that she's never really had any close female friends. The 'romance' that she writes has disturbing parent/child undertones, what with the way Xavier is always nagging Bethany about her safety and what she eats and this and that and the other thing. At one point he literally picks up her fork and flies food into her mouth like an indulgent parent. That's creepy. And I'm not really going to touch on the strange view she has of her own religion, or the way she twists it to condemn large swathes of modern society. Or the entitlement complex she demonstrates again and again throughout this book, seeming completely oblivious to poverty, disease, and real strife.

Also, if she ever grows up and becomes a decent writer, which I suppose is still possible at this point, this book will hang around her neck like a rock. You know those things you wrote when you were a few years younger and less mature, the ones that are cringe-worthy when you look back on them now? This will be hers, except it got published and now everyone can see it. How awful.

To be fair, this wreck is not just her fault. Her parents, who are supposedly English teachers, have failed her here: as she shows again and again she has no command over perspective, zero sense of proper pacing, complete ineptitude when it comes to characterization, and a sloppy style of writing. They've also neglected to teach her the cardinal rule of writing anything: do your goddamn research first.

No editor with real respect for their work and for fiction should have let this book be published in this state. Cheap hacks looking to make a buck off of Edward Cullen fangirls, yes. But a real editor should have at the very least forced this through many intense revisions until something which vaguely resembled a proper novel was extruded. Reading this book makes me wonder what editors are getting paid for these days.

But enough about the people behind the book. Let's talk about the book itself: specifically, its failings, of which there are many.

1. Portrayal of love
"It seemed from my reading of literature that being in love meant becoming the beloved's entire world. The rest of the universe paled into insignificance compared to the lovers. When they were separated, each fell into a melancholy state, and only when they were reunited did their hearts start beating again. Only when they were together could they really see the colors of the world. When they were apart, that color leached away, leaving everything a hazy gray."

I'm sorry - are you describing love or a drug addiction?
This is not love. This is obsession. And frankly, it's a scary thing to read about. What's scarier is that here it's being shown as an ideal - indeed, this exact phenomenon is highlighted in a relationship which is supposed to be so pure and awesome that it's sanctioned by Heaven. When Xavier doesn't talk to Bethany for a few days, she goes into a withdrawal depression so deep that she loses a drastic amount of weight and ends up looking haggard. In just a few days. OVER ONE GUY. Is she really so incomplete as a person that she can't be healthy without him? One must then ask what the message here is - that a woman not in a relationship is not a whole human being? Note that Xavier, of course, is barely affected by their split, because of course only females handle this so badly. I hereby direct you to Man Down: Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt That Women Are Better Cops, Drivers, Gamblers, Spies, World Leaders, Beer Tasters, Hedge Fund Managers, and Just About Everything Else in which there is an entire chapter describing studies which show that women actually deal with breakups better than men. Of course, one of the reasons is that women tend to have better support systems, which Bethany does not. But I'll probably bring up Bethie and her terrible communication skills later.

2. Ridiculously privileged protagonists
"In his physical form, Gabriel might as well have been a classical sculpture come to life. His body was perfectly proportioned and each muscle looked as if it had been sculpted out of the purest marble."
Marble muscles... gee, that's so original.
"In her physical form, Ivy looked like a Renaissance Madonna with her swanlike neck and pale oval face. Like Gabriel, she had piercing rain gray eyes."

The angels are flawless. No, really, it's said straight out several times - they have no flaws. They're gorgeous, talented, have access to all the knowledge of humankind and more, have magical wings which somehow manage to fold up and sit flat on their backs (despite the fact that wings proportionally sized to carry their body weight should probably stretch from over their shoulders to their lower calves even when furled), are infinitely full of energy (except when they aren't because the plot demands), heal easily (again, except when the plot demands), and for their mission on Earth they've been given a huge, beautiful, expensive house in a privileged small town, where one of them teaches at a private Christian school and another one attends it.
Fucking GAG ME.
There is zero effort made to render them as sympathetic characters, probably because that's not what they exist for. They're fantasy avatars, in a way. Bethany is not there to be empathized with, in the way you empathize with another person or a well-rounded character. She's there so that readers can live through her. Gabriel and Ivy have no real purpose in the story at all, except to act as authority figures (sometimes, if the plot demands; or to be lax if that's what's required) and to have some minor, rote parts in the 'climax'. And we'll talk about Xavier later.

3. The pathetic nature of the angels' 'heavenly mission'
"Molly lowered her voice. 'There's been robberies and freak accidents all over the place - there was a flu epidemic last year and six kids died from it.'
'That's devastating,' I said weakly, feeling a hollowness in the pit of my stomach. I was starting to get a sense of the extent of damage done by the Agents of Darkness, and it wasn't looking good."

Stephenie Fucking Meyer can render a better town in distress than Adornetto can, though that's not saying much. For all the lip service paid to the trying times Venus Cove is suffering through and the horrible things which have happened there, very little that's horrible above and beyond the ordinary actually happens. Newsflash: accidents happen. So do sicknesses. And it sucks, yeah, and it's horrible and tragic, of course, but it's not something that requires an angelic intervention! Multiple times, Adornetto mentions other regions of the world with greater troubles than Venus Cove, but she always brushes it off by saying that other angels are there - as if that meant it was okay for Bethany to be living the high life, slacking on her community service, and putting Xavier higher on her list of priorities than Heaven itself! No. Just no.

4. The obsession with and then glorification of prom
"'Are you for real?' Molly's eyes widened. 'It's a rite of passage, the one event you'll remember your whole life, apart from maybe your wedding. It's the whole shebang - limos, outfits, hot partners, dancing. It's our one night to act like princesses.'"

"However, with only two weeks left until the senior prom, all social service projects were temporarily abandoned. The mood of the girls at school was bordering on obsessive."

"She was imagining the start of the prom, when couples would make their entrance together and have their photos professionally taken. Turning up alone would be tantamount to social suicide."

"Some groups had arrived in limos and chauffeur-driven cars, while others had opted for the double-decker party bus, which now pulled in carrying its jubilant passengers."

"Tables were set up around the room, covered in white linen and set with fine china... At the back of the room, the band was tuning their instruments. Waiters bustled around us, carrying trays of nonalcoholic punch."

I'm willing to make allowances for the fact that not everyone's prom was like mine, but still - this is too much. I'm also willing to make allowances for the fact that Alexandra Adornetto is not American and therefore cannot be expected to have experienced an American prom. However, I supremely doubt that anyone's been to a prom like this. (If your evening did consist of live music, waiters, china table settings, limos, and the threat of social suicide if you arrived partnerless, please inform me. Until someone does, I'm going to stick to my guns.)
Neither have I know any dance to be so all-important that it was the focus of such intense obsession. Again, Adornetto imagines girls to be terribly shallow, which I as a girl find deeply insulting.
I've read just about enough of these types of things. Everyone thinks prom is the event of the year, not to be missed at all cost, where everything important happens, and that's just not true. Maybe someday I'll write a novel where the heroine goes to the dance not with her true love, but with a group of friends, and they rock out and have a great time anyway. It doesn't take a significant other to make a dance enjoyable, after all.

5. The soapboxing
"We thought of technology as a sort of corrupting influence, promoting antisocial behavior and detracting from family values. Our home was a place where we spent time with one another, not whiling away time shopping on the Internet or watching mindless television programs."

"'Well, I was interested in design for a while but that was, let's say, discouraged.'
'Why's that?'
'Isn't considered a serious career, is it? The idea of having invested all this money into my education only to have it end in unemployment doesn't thrill my parents.'
'What about what you want?'
'Sometimes parents know best.'
He seemed to accept the decisions made by his parents with good grace, happy to be guided by their expectations."

Listen up, Adornetto. That first quote alone makes me hate you, and also marks you as a hypocrite. I'm willing to bet you didn't type this pathetic excuse for a book on a typewriter, let alone handwriting it. No doubt you use e-mail. I'd be shocked if you never watched TV. And yet you still have this close-minded archaic offensive attitude towards something that yes, can be a great distraction, but more importantly can be one of the greatest tools at the modern person's disposal.
Though if you have an aversion to the internet, that would explain why you didn't do any research. BACK, BACK, FOUL DEMONS OF GOOGLE! TARNISH NOT HER UNSULLIED ENTITLEMENT! RAVAGE HER NOT WITH YOUR FEARFUL FACTS!

As for the second one, well, I'm just going to leave that there.

6. The sick, sick relationship between Bethany and Xavier

"I had been quiet for so long, absorbed in my fantasy of being stranded on a secluded island somewhere in the Carribean or held captive on a pirate ship, waiting for Xavier to come and rescue me, that it seemed they had temporarily forgotten I was there."

"...Molly was a realist and held the view that friendships had to take a backseat when relationships started - especially if the relationship was as intense as mine and Xavier's."

"I knew that if (the assignment) slipped my mind, Xavier would complete it for me and hand it in without my knowledge.
He became fiercely protective whenever anybody he didn't approve of came within a two-foot radius of me."

"'I'm serious. I hope you realize you can't lecture me about safety ever again,' I said.
'Babe, injuries are inevitable. It's all part of the game. You can play nurse afterward if you like.'"

"'I'm an idiot, I know,' Xavier cut in. 'Letting you go to the prom with Jake. I guess I had too much faith in you.'"

Bethany is a fucking celestial being. She acts like a two year-old. Her dependence on Xavier is so near-total that it is deeply disturbing - the above rescue fantasies and assignment-finishing are only the tip of the iceberg. And putting the relationship above friends? Letting Xavier chase off people "he didn't approve of"? Does that not sound a little bit like the symptoms of emotional abuse? Oh, it's not portrayed that way, but that's what it would look like to another character who was paying attention: Xavier controlling who Bethany gets to know, telling her to avoid some people without explanations, taking precedence over everyone else she knows. His double standards are annoying, too - he's allowed to be protective of Bethany, but she has no say about anything that happens to him and isn't justified in being worried when he's actually injured. (Also, he calls her 'babe'. I swear, if any man refers to me in that way he'll get a swift knee to the family jewels - it's unspeakably insulting.)
Oh, and there's the fact that apparently he 'let' her go to the prom with Jake. Like she didn't have the freedom to make that choice for herself. And then he has the gall to not let her explain the circumstances, treating her like she has nothing worthwhile to say to him even though she's the only one who knows what happened. Bethany, of course, instead of getting angry at her asshat boyfriend, goes home and gets all mopy. (See above.)
This whole situation is just... wrong.

Three more quotes, just because:

"I had to admit that it was fairly stylish as far as uniforms went. The dress was a flattering pale blue with a pleated front and a white Peter Pan collar. With it we were required to wear knee-high cotton socks, brown buckle-up shoes, and a navy blazer with the school crest emblazoned in gold on the breast pocket. Ivy had bought me pale blue and white ribbons, which she now weaved deftly into my braids."

"I'd listened in on the prayers of teenage girls and most of them centered on being accepted by the 'popular' crowd and finding a boyfriend who played on the rugby team."

"'Meaning that the human and the divine were never meant to merge. If it happened, I believe the angel would lose his or her divinity. There could be no redemption after such a transgression.'
'And the human?'
'The human would never be able to return to normal existence.'
'Why?' I asked.
'Because the experience would surpass all human experiences,' Ivy explained."
(Angel sex, guys. It'll blow your mind and then ruin your life. Just one more thing they're perfect at.)

I could never in good conscience recommend this book to anyone, but if you're looking for snark bait, this is a doozy. Also, if you're an aspiring writer who wants to learn how not to do it, this could be useful. But ye gods, if you're genuinely searching for a good read, stay as far away as possible.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,636 reviews34k followers
September 8, 2016
Given some practice in character and plot development, experience with real relationships, and some life perspective, it's possible this 18-year-old author might produce an interesting book at some point. As it stands, however, it's unreasonable to expect the average teenager to tackle such weighty subjects as love and evil and faith and redemption with any convincing measure of depth or insight.
Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,042 followers
April 30, 2012
My GOD, how could anyone possibly finish this piece of crap? x_x I gave up after several chapters because it was just so bad. Not even the funny kind of bad. Just plain bad. It took a while for my brain cells to heal fully.

I'll continue this book once giant unicorns poop out chocolate-flavored rainbows from the sky while wearing tutus and singing "Born This Way".

Profile Image for Krystle.
913 reviews335 followers
November 14, 2010
This book has me raging like you wouldn't believe.

First of all, the pacing of this book was extremely, *extreeeeeeeeemely* slow. I bet watching the faucet run would be more exciting than this. And why is this? The insane massive amounts of info-dumping in the beginning. Like, seriously, you get the WHOLE deals about EVERYTHING you needed to know in the angel history and on and on and onnnnn. Then there's PAGES and PAGES where there consists of actually NOTHING happening and it's mainly just "let's give our obnoxious couple more love-love" times. The plot was practically non-existent.

Second, the main girl is an insipid, useless, and pathetic caricature of a teen-aged female. Not only does she go gaga in love for Xavier as soon as meets him, but once they hook up, she becomes clingy and overly obsessed. Even an hour apart and she's all wailing about how much she needs him, or talks about how much she thinks about him, or every moment away from him is agony. I am being straight up with this, man, it ain't no joke. Don't make me vomit.

And the plot? WHERE WAS IT? It had a brief flash of it in the beginning and then... NOTHING for like 300 pages. It's only in the last 100 pages or so that something actually happens, and all your action that was missing so badly in the beginning and middle pops up. You could've cut out more than 1/2 of this book and still have a better story than what you have now.

I'm not a religious person and don't know much about the bible, angels, and what not but... their portrayal feels so limp-dicked. (Yeah, I love saying that). I mean, Bethany doesn't do anything but mope around about how much she wants to see Xavier or goes out and sees him. For some angel who helps shepherd souls to the other side or heals them she did a whole lot of NOTHING of that in the story. And then, Gabriel? I don't know what he's actually supposed to really be but when I found out he's the, you know, *archangel* I thought he'd be some bad ass dude. No. All he does is teach class, cook, sing, and basically sit around and act pretty. Another thing that got me going really good and I couldn't help but scoff, laugh, and every ridiculing adjective in the book, was that they *glowed* in the dark. I kid you not. Glowed. Complete with halos. Strangle me now.

Xavier was different from other ya male leads by the fact that he's *nice* and well... sweet. But that didn't help make up for his flat and boring character portrayal. He was such a whipped puppy throughout this whole book.

And after reading this article she wrote, I couldn't help but have a more nasty flavor in my mouth.


What a ridiculous, sexist, shallow, and HYPOCRITICAL piece of trash this article is. Ugh.

Bethany's other girl friends are nice and supportive of her but could the blonde bimbo stereotype be pushed any further? I highly doubt people think the Middle East is somewhere in AFRICA, people. Come on! And everyone else in the school is broken up into some over done cliched "group" type I couldn't help but roll my eyes.

And I forgot what other good things there was about this book and I just finished reading it too. Bleh. Oh, right, the beautiful cover that's wasted on this book. What a shame. Don't even get me started on the writing that had MANY cringe inducing descriptions that just overflowed to the max, and the saccharine mess of dialogue. Just no, no, no.

Man, I'm still raging.

Profile Image for Varian Rose.
110 reviews11 followers
October 28, 2011
Please God, tell me your angels aren't like this!

You know how a song plays through your head when you read a book, and the lyrics remind you of the story? Well, the song was "Angel Of Light" by Dark Lay Still, and one line in particular stuck with me.

"Haunting beauty masks your ill intent."

The cover of this book is beautiful. What's inside is ugly.

The message I got from this book was: be a good Christian, go to church every Sunday, and if you’re different in any way, you can’t express it; you're evil if you do so. You must suppress the interests God gave you for His own reasons, or you're going to Hell.

I got this from the villain. The students that he befriended were Goths. Literally the only group of people in this book that dare to express themselves for who they are, and they get treated like they're sided with the devil. If the characters weren't goths when he met them, he turned them into goths--all of them were highly creative students, artists, musicians, etc.

Another message I got was you can only be a Christian if you fit our standards.

These angels would hate me. On most days I wear black. Almost all the music I listen to is heavy metal. Acording to Halo I'm going to Hell.

The "heroine" had not personality whatsoever. She was supposed to be doing good, but instead she put the "cramp in her chest" about Xavier before everything else.

Xavier was so perfect that he was sickening. I was tierd of hearing about his nutmeg hair and truquoise eyes...sure he's good looking, but what else draws you to him?

Why were the angels even in this town? I think God's servants can do much more than teach hymns, knit sweaters, "bring people back to nature," and walk the neighbor's dog. Everyone was Christian, went to church every Sunday, and was super-polite.

Interesting side note: Xavier said that he didn't believe in God. He said he believed in "a higher power, a spiritual energy." He basically said no when asked if he believed in God.

The climax was horrible. By the time these character even realize that there's a demon in town, they do nothing. They "wait for higher authority." I wanted to send some of the characters from J. R. Ward's Fallen Angel series into Halo so they could go kick demon butt.

I had issues with the climax. Not the "power of love" thing, but that it was romantic love, not godly love, that defeated the demon. For being a book that promotes Christianity, the author never talked about the love of Christ. Bethany, an angel, put a "cramp in my chest" before God. Once she "fell in love" with Xavier, she forgot about God.

I would not give this book to a young teen. Messages like the ones in this book will make them A. Terrified of expressing themselves B. Think that it's okay for a guy to take over your every thought C. Frightened of the physical side of a relationship. Did anyone else notice that Jake tied Emily to her bed so she couldn't escape the fire...and that Xavier admitted that they'd had "a physical relationship?" I don't think that's coincidence.

If you really want to know why this book made me so angry, please feel free to go through my 102 status updates.

I could go on, but I don't want to. I was deeply offended by the message I picked up, and will not be reading any more of this author. Yes, this book is clean (sex before marriage is portrayed in a very negative light, an if-you-do-this-you'll-go-to-Hell sort of light) and there's very little violence. Teens will love it "because it has a HOT GUY in it!!!" but because of what's beneath the surface, I would skip this one.

Check out Covet, which is the first in a series. The angels aren't characters in the love story, but they bring the couple together. Another good book that features angels is Angel Time.
392 reviews334 followers
August 30, 2010
Disappointment was hiding behind that pretty cover. I couldn't finish Halo. I usually love stories about angels and the cover is beautiful (I'm a bit of a cover slut) but I found this book boring, so in the end I gave up. I felt like I had to force myself to read on. There has been so many angel books out recently that I was looking for that something special and unfortunately this wasn't it for me. I don't know if I gave it a fair chance reading only 100 pages so maybe one day I'll come back and try again when I have ran out of good books to read.
Profile Image for Ceilidh.
233 reviews577 followers
December 7, 2010
Oh goody, it’s angels again. My track record with angels in YA is dark to say the least. We’ve had one book thrown against a wall and another book so awful I couldn’t help but wonder if it was part of some Richard Dawkins style orchestrated plot to prove how awful religion is (not that any of these terrible books are in any way connected to religion beyond bastardising some of the most interesting elements of Christian mythology, but I digress.) I never swore to not review another angel orientated YA book again but I’ve remained weary and suspicious of others that have come my way and after reading the synopsis of this book as well two articles by the author herself explaining her abstinence (this liberal feminist has a deep opposition to abstinence only education and the deep underlying messages it sends to girls about their sexuality, more of which you’ll undoubtedly hear later since it’s something I love to rant about.) and why Edward Cullen is the perfect man (do you even want me to go there?) The author Ms Adornetto published her first book when she was 13. Now aged 17, the same age as my sister (who has much better taste in books, her favourites being ‘The Virgin Suicides’ and ‘Prozac Nation’), she has moved into the paranormal YA field with ‘Halo’ and wow, it’s...

Yeah, it’s awful. (As a brief warning, I sort of went off on a tangent of feminist ranting later on in the review but it is related to the book. If this bothers you somehow then please stop reading my blog.)

From the very first paragraph, Adornetto is trying so hard to be poetic with her prose but it just comes across as incredibly awkward and clumsily written. Everything as narrated by Bethany reminds me of when you write a story and just look up a thesaurus for every fifth word or so; it reads like someone trying to write way beyond their maturity. I think it’s unfair to comment on the author’s age in relation to their work but it’s so noticeable throughout the book. The very beginning of the story, with the three angels adjusting to human life, is a big tell-don’t-show info-dump that drags the story to a halt before it even begins, and this complete lack of pacing continues throughout the 400+ pages. We don’t need to know every single detail of the angel-to-human transition straight away; weave it into the story and let the plot continue. Well, what passes for a plot here.

I’m beginning to think that YA writers have become allergic to plots. The recent bunch of popular ones, anyway. Out of the original Sparkle Project 10, I counted 4 out of 10 as actually having a plot. That’s really not a good statistic. The constant meandering between moping and love and moping and feminist rage inducing love was so incredibly dull. Nothing happens for a huge chunk of this book and when stuff does happen it’s nothing to write home about. The book also suffers from the ever increasing trademark of this genre, as well as all Twilight fanfiction, in that Adornetto spends far too long describing thing that just do not matter. The clothes that Ivy wears are not relevant to the plot. The layout of their house does not further the story. None of these things matter in the slightest and even I, with my kink for lush descriptive scenes (although as I said previously, all the descriptive scenes were trying way too hard), was bored senseless.

Of course it wasn’t just the plotting and info-dump overloads that made this book terrible. Let’s not forget the characters. It’s all too common an occurrence to have the plain, boring girl fall in love with the powerful, enigmatic male creature of power in this genre so I was at least hoping for an interesting take on the gender roles being switched. Boy that was optimistic of me. Bethany makes Bella Swan look like Emmeline Pankhurst. For someone who is supposed to be a messenger of God, one of amazing power and strength, she comes across as a whiny, selfish little girl who is incapable of the most basic actions. She, the angel, is the one that needs saving by the human boy! It doesn’t help that the angels just made the stupidest of decisions (where do you station yourself if you want to fight evil? Of course, a high school!) But Bethany really takes the cake. I try not to let my personal opinion of the author’s life or views get in the way of my reviews but having read ‘Halo’ following that pro-abstinence article Adornetto wrote, I couldn’t help but read this book like some sort of silver ring pamphlet. Its desperation to be emotionally manipulative was infuriating. The characterisation was weak across the board, especially with Bethany and cardboard cut-out love interest Xavier.

But here’s the kicker. The bit that made me do the crinkled face in exasperated feminist rage:

“For this evening at least, feminist philosophy had been abandoned, and the girls, like fairy-tale princesses, allowed themselves to be led up the flight of stairs and into the foyer.”


So... you really want me to go there, don’t you, Ms Adornetto. Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

You heard it from the messenger of God yourselves, ladies. Feminist philosophy doesn’t allow you to wear dresses and have a good time. How dare all those old women whose names I have forgotten try and fight for countless generations of girls and women after them to be treated like normal human beings and be allowed to do such frivolous things as vote! It’s so much more fun to give up all your free will and independence, put on some sparkly skirts and be led around like an obedient little princess while your handsome prince does everything for you. Now put that silver ring back on and get into the kitchen, your prince wants his pot-roast on the table by 7!

Okay, I have to talk about this. The title of Adornetto’s piece for The Age, minus shitty editing, is Guard your virginity; once lost it’s gone forever.” Newsflash – you are worth more than your hymen! Sex does not make you a bad person, wanting sex does not make you a bad person. Virginity is not a gift. I understand how sensitive the topic of sex can be and of course it comes with a degree of emotional attachment, but this bullshit idea that girls need to safe-guard it as if their lives depend on it isn’t just stupid, it’s dangerous. The attitudes that come with girls who want sex is shameful, as witnessed by the healthy dose of slut-shaming Adornetto does in her article. Guess what? Sometimes girls want to have sex! And that’s not a bad thing! Tying virginity to ‘dignity and self respect’ suggests that those who choose to have sex are somehow dirty and unworthy, especially when you wrap it up in a YA book so full of bastardised Christian imagery. This is what leads to bullshit organisations teaching abstinence only education as the only form of sex education (and let’s face it, the world needs less of that, and in connection, less Bristol Palin) and perpetuates bullshit stereotypes about women and sex that have been around since time begot. (For anyone who wants to read more on the subject of the purity movement and how it harms young women, pick up ‘The Purity Myth’ by Jessica Valenti.)

I know I went off on a huge tangent there but this idea that sex de-moralises women goes hand in hand with the Twilight-style love story, where teen marriage is the solution and feminism is a dirty F word. Even if ‘Halo’ didn’t have all that crap in it I would still be giving it a low rating. As such, this wasn’t worth my time and I’m sorry I even bothered picking it up. I think I’m done with angel YA books for now and my only hope is that Ms Adornetto at least tries to understand what feminism truly is at some point in her life.

Profile Image for Lilla.
454 reviews78 followers
November 9, 2014
(Originally posted on Read All Over Reviews)

I was so excited when I landed a spot on Good Golly Miss Holly’s ARC Tour for Halo. I’m all about some angels and the premise for this book sounded promising. And then I actually read it.

I seriously worry about the future of women (and feminism) when there’s things like this and Twilight guiding our youth … and adults. I know that may be harsh, but I’m losing my patience. Halo was practically Twilight, but with wings.

First, you’d think that a book bordering on 500 pages would actually have a massive amount of plot development, but it’s sparse at best. We have to sit through pages and pages of empty scenes to even be given a small ounce of story line. And can I just say, being a teenage girl is not all about makeup, shopping and zomg!prom! What a way to paint them as empty eedjits, eh? Oh, and by the way it’s the 21st Century, girls can ask guys to the prom too. Clichés don't stop there though, no. They range from "poetry is for girls" and "I'm a boy, I know engines" and back. *sighs*

I believe if we cut this book down to just the main storyline, it would only be 30-40 pages long. It took just over 250 pages just to introduce the damn villain. And if that was a climax, it certainly wasn’t an enjoyable one. Remind me to feign a headache next time.

And don’t get me started on character development … what character development? The deepest person in this book is Xavier because he happens to have some so-called baggage, yet we only get damp up to our ankles. Our protagonist, Bethany, is even worse than Bella Swan in terms of completely devoting her every waking moment and thought to a boy she just met. What makes it ten times worse is that Bethany is an angel, a servant of “Our Father” (as God is referred to in this book), sent on a mission to help guide humanity back to the goodness of the world, and faith … and yet she’s distracted by a teenage boy. A teenage boy overrides a mission from God. I mean, come on. Only after what appears to be a week, maybe two, they are already reciting "I love yous"...

Angels are stoic beings, and yes, I can see them as eventually developing intimate feelings for humanity (we have the nephilim, after all, so mythologically speaking that would be the case). But eventually as in after eons on Earth, not the very first day they arrive. On top of that, Bethany actually looks to Xavier to protect her. Wait, did I miss the memo where immortal angels began needing protection from mortals? Must be in my “wtf” inbox, I‘ll check later. So are we saying here that even if you are an angel, immortal and powerful, that you still need a guy to watch after you? Is that it, because that’s what I’m getting from it. Angels are warriors, not whiny daffodils.

And instead of focusing on the mission at hand, Bethany spends her time thinking about Xavier or pondering up disgusting scenarios where he comes to her like a knight to a distressed damsel in some lofty castle bower. Bleh. Oh, and let us not forget the times when he isn’t filling her mind like a knight-in-shining-armor she is sick with worry that “omgz, does he not like me anymore?!!? Whatever will I do?!? I can't breath!” Nauseating. Angel. Psh. More like a Ninny. Oh, and we are even treated to a catatonic phase from Bethany after she and Xavier have a fight. Remind you of anything? *coughs*New Moon*coughs* Because, you know, it’s totally normally to shut down when you have a quarrel with a guy...

This was such a disappointment and was, I thought, overly bogged down with too many religious bits. I get that angels are bound to touch on religion, but you can do it in such a way that it doesn’t feel like we reading a Sunday sermon.

Again, I hate to be this callous but I’m just fed up with books that paint a bad example for our impressionable young ladies. Isn’t it bad enough that we have glamour mags and reality television … and Twilight? If I were a teenage girl, I’d be insanely annoyed that for some reason the media, and some YA authors, seem to think you all need saving by a knight on a white horse and that you are unable to do anything for yourselves.
Profile Image for Merary.
232 reviews199 followers
July 5, 2012
I . . . I'm speechless.
I don't have words to describe how terrible this book was.
Wait, I know.
Halo made me have an ongoing war between my neurons, each of them battling each to the front of the "fry zone", so every time I read a terrible passage (and believe me, there were plenty of those!), thousands of my neurons got murdered in a undignified way to that "fry zone". Now my neurons are kicking my mind for receiving a very undeserving punishment.
That feeling of hollowness on my forehead? Halo did that.
I'd never been so disgusted by a book in my life.
Every single thing happening in this book was utterly ABSURD, NONSENSICAL, CHEESY, STUPID, IDIOTIC . . . See? I can't even think of worse things to say!

Let's start with the obvious: The writing was atrocious. This book abuses the use info-dumping, purple prose, over-description, and one-dimensional, flat characters up to eleven. Adornetto gave unnecessary details of a room, a person, even of a fucking celery. Really? I didn't want to know to be reminded how a celery looks like! Anyone with common sense knows about celery!! Unless that celery is going to be a secret weapon to destroy every single demon from Hell, then I don't need to know about it. The sentences weren't well constructed either. Sentences like "eyes the color of thunder", "I looked into his eyes, like two blue pools", and the whole headband description makes me wonder if the editor was taking a nap during work and accidentally mixed the sentences. Or maybe Adornetto is indeed that bad of a writer.

The main character, Bethany Church, is an irritating Mary Sue. Sure, she's an angel from above, it was obvious that her appearance was going to be . . . heavenly. But, if the reader has to be reminded how perfect she is, how good of a person she is, how wonderful she is, how great her body is . . . Well, you get my point. Bethany is described with a very positive light from pretty much everybody in this story, despite the fact that Bethany is an useless, idiotic, whiny bitch.
And don't get me started on that name: Beth. Blonde, bland, boring Beth. Yeah. I just did a Seven Deadly Sins by Robin Wasserman reference. Beth Manning was a goody-two-shoes, and also very irritating. But the difference is, Beth Manning had faults that made her a good character. Good thing Bethany didn't look like a giant Barbie, because then I would had been very pissed off by the stereotype of blonde=good.
Is my review making sense? Yeah, I don't know what I'm saying either . . .

Moving on . . .

The personification of angels in Halo was extremely poor and shallow. Adornetto made her angels sound like perfect, goody-two-shoes, supermodels. We have Gabriel (you know exactly what Gabriel I'm talking about), who is pretty much like the alpha of the three angels sent to Earth. He has a very hard personality and also a very . . . hard body. Seriously. He was described as having a body like marble. Hmmm . . . where have I heard that one before? Then, there's Ivy, a very stereotypical angel woman from the 50's. The only thing she does all day is cook, buy the groceries, clean the house, sew, and pretty much any typical "feminine" stuff. Heck, even her voice and body were described as "feminine". And finally . . . *sigh* We have Bethany fucking Church: The most human of the three. I wish there was new word to describe Bethany because "dumb and bland" just doesn't cut it anymore. Let's see . . . Oh yeah! Ditzderp. Pathetic, I know.
Anyway, she was a pathetic excuse of an heroine: She freaks over nothing, she's the perfect definition of "too dumb to live", she's bland, and pretty much does nothing to save the world despite being an angel. Everything was set to make Bethany look good: The dog, the car accident, her shallow friends, her suppose perfect boyfriend are pretty much some good examples. The audience was suppose to think that Bethany was a generous, heroic, perfect character to root for. All I thought was that she was a Mary Sue.

Despite the fact that Alexandra Adornetto is a Christian, she completely destroyed the basic ideas of her own religion. Some of the facts written in this book were incorrect (If you're going to do a little remix of a common mythology, stick with the basis, unless you want to look ignorant) and she only got based on superficial ideas of Christianity. The whole purity and religious concepts were given in a extremely negative light. The message is simple, of course: If you do any of this, you're going to burn in Hell. How can she live with herself? I have no idea.
And besides, most of the things that Bethany did in this book were very "non-angel" (lying, thinking about fornicating her boyfriend). It makes me wonder why she is not a fallen angel yet. Maybe she could had been if Xavier was a girl. *grins*

Also, we have Molly and company. The only things they talk about is: boys, clothes, makeup, sex, boys, prom, sex, and boys. The only purpose they have in this story is to make us feel bad for Bethany for being stuck with such shallow girls. It's obvious that Adornetto never had any female friends in her life because no girl is that freaking stupid or shallow. Okay, yes, there's girls who do talk about that stuff all time, but this was done in an exaggeration. Molly and company actually do think that Southwest Asia is in Africa.

I'm really not kidding. Then there's also the infamous, "Only losers hang out at libraries". And, of course, the whole "most girls think about being popular or about dating the rugby team". UGH. Excuse me, I'll be gone for a while.

Now that I got that off my system, let's continue. . .

The love interest: Xavier Woods. He's one of the most cheesiest male character I've ever read. He is perfect. Literally. According to Bethany, he has no flaws except for an emotional baggage. His features are inexplicably of a nut, and we are reminded of that in pretty much every single page. And he's also an over-protective asshole. Xavier always tells her what to do, who to hang out with, what to eat, what to drink, and he will beat up every guy who will look at his lady "the wrong way". And there's a possibility that he have watched Bethany sleep. Barf. The exchange of words between him and Bethany were very flowery, cliche and desperate. Not to mention, their relationship is the poster image for codependency. They both can't live without the other and the only thing they love above anything else is them.
Gag me.

The villain: Jake Thorn.

He was the most pathetic villain ever. He was harmless compared to other villains I know. It was obvious he was a demon and I was pissed that Bethany and the others were clueless about it. And you know what takes the cake? He's British. Oh my God! British people are eviiiill!! RUN! RUN! No. At the end, he was defeated. How, you might ask. Well, here goes . . . He was defeated . . . by THE POWER OF LOVE!!

I know, right?! What the fuck was that?!! That was a total rip-off! Yes, The Power Of Love was done with Sailor Moon and Harry Potter, but it was well done! The Power Of Love of Love in Halo was more of an excuse to make Bethany the hero. Again. And besides, Adornetto interpreted romantic love as more powerful than the Love of Christ. And she claims she's a Christian?

I could have forgiven all that, if it wasn't because this book . . .
Xavier always talked about doing certain stuff because he was a guy ("I'm a guy, I can eat anything!" I'm a guy, I'm suppose to like machines", "I'm a guy, I'm suppose to protect you"). And the obvious stereotypes: Ivy always cooks, dogs only obey to men, "Men don't wear makeup, only guys in boy bands", "Poetry is for girls", and there's the fact that guys are supposed to be the ones to ask the person out and do everything, girls are superficial and guys always think about sex, guys only attend as some escort at parties . . . and so on.

And after all this complaining about this book, I'm going to talk to you about the plot. Wait. WHAT PLOT? Exactly. It was nothing more than angels doing nothing, Bethany and Xavier being all cheesy and lovable with each other, a prom, a two-day break up, a minor angel and demon fight, a pathetic demon defeated by love, and a happily ever after . . . for now. THE. FUCKING. END.

Profile Image for Jasprit.
527 reviews771 followers
December 5, 2011
When I first saw the cover to Halo I was immediately drawn to it, what a beautiful cover! My instant thoughts were beautiful cover, beautiful story too right? This wasn’t entirely true. I had several issues with this book, hopefully my review won’t come across as a rant but explain the reasons behind me giving Halo only 1 star.

For what its worth Halo did start off pretty well, it told the story of three angels sent on a mission to “perform good deeds, acts of charity and kindness, to lead by example” basically to prevent the world being brought to destruction from the agents of darkness. It was interesting watching how the three angels; Bethany, Gabriel and Ivy would adapt to earth and cope with their human forms, especially for Bethany, as it was her first time on earth. Interesting enough but then in typical fashion Halo took the path a lot of angel books seem to follow; angel (Beth) falls in love with a human (Xavier) and this in Beth’s world is hugely frowned upon. By the time Gabriel and Ivy discovered Bethany’s secret not much had been happening in the story, the pace was really slow. So I thought FINALLY it’s about to kick off, something big will happen which will keep me from falling asleep or being bored to death! But sadly no “higher powers” had given permission for the relationship to go ahead Seriously?? So the story continued at its painfully slow pace, Xavier and Bethany's relationship began to get even more frustrating; with Bethany continually acting like a clueless damsel in distress;

“she had the face of an angel
What could Jake mean by that
Could he have possibly guessed my secret?”

And this is the funniest quote yet when Xavier has just been playing rugby;

"I looked in anguish at a long scratch
Across his forearm
How did this happen?”

Are you kidding me? And Xavier continually protecting Bethany as if his life depended on it.

And then came Jake Thorn; angels are supposed to be intelligent right? (I especially thought Gabriel was) but no one batted an eye about Jake taking Beth to the prom? I thought his name would be obvious enough (if you haven’t read Halo yet, Beth’s surname is Church, and so Jake’s surname should have given some sort of indication) What really got to me was how Beth agreed to go to prom with Jake, she had extremely been looking forward to going to prom with her boyfriend Xavier who she deeply loved, but because of his unfortunate accident he couldn’t go, so she goes with Jake; a guy who she’s not really sure about and who her boyfriend dislikes? seriously??

Another issue that bugged me was that Bethany was strictly told by her older siblings not to draw attention to herself, as they didn’t want anyone to discover their big secret! But none of them were subtle at all, they were described at times as having an otherworldliness about them, Beth speaks French so fluently in just her first lesson, Gabriel has an unusual way of speaking and the way he manhandles men twice his size so easily. You would think that someone would be clued up enough to realise that there was something different about them?

Overall I found Halo to be an overly clichéd book with an extremely slow and drawn out story, consequently a book I didn’t really enjoy. Despite my 1 star review, I’m sure that there are other readers out there who will enjoy and appreciate this book more than me.
Profile Image for Sandy.
291 reviews187 followers
December 16, 2010
Reading Halo was like drinking straight from the syrup bottle. This book has got to be the most self-indulgent, overworked drivel I've read in a long time. I'm no literary snob, but this book was unbelievably sacchrine and cliche (and this is coming from someone who liked Twilight).

Please, give Alexandra Adornetto a word limit for the next book. There is no reason for this book to be almost 500 pages long. Where was the editor? I think we have a new purple prose queen. This book drips with page after page of overwrought descriptions of places and people of no importance. Luckily, I figured this out about 20 pages in and started reading faster. Trust me--you're not missing anything important if you speed read this. A fourth of the way in, I wanted to scream, "We GET it already! Xavier is perfect! You are so in love! He has almond-shaped turquoise eyes and nutmeg hair! Enough!"

Finishing this book was tortuous...the Beyonce quote on the opening page should have been the first clue.

Cliche, cliche, cliche. From the characters to the plot to even the names, this book is one big cliche. Xavier is painfully perfect, as Adornetto reminds us every few pages. "But wait!" Adornetto might say. "I gave Xavier a flaw! He didn't believe Bethany about the dance!" Nope, doesn't count. She'd already written his character to be too perfect at that point so that didn't even seem believable. Besides, it was resolved five pages later, after Bethany wanted to DIIIIIIIE because her boyfriend wasn't talking to her. And in case Jake's snake tattoo and black wardrobe didn't clue you in, Jake Thorn's going to be bad. Can you get any more cliche?

Please, editor, reign in this self-indulgent writing and make Adornetto actually develop a plot besides Bethany and Xavier's obsessive love (and limit it to 300 pages). The premise is good--I like the whole "good angel trying to help the world and falls in love with a human"--but the execution here...felt like an execution.
Profile Image for Renna Mira (AKA Enna Isilee).
466 reviews121 followers
October 25, 2011
Review first posted (8-26-10) on http://www.squeakybooks.com/2010/08/h...

Review: The little evil voice inside of me was really hoping this book would be badly written. Why? Because the author is younger than me. Yup. I was jealous. I'm gonna have to come to terms with the fact that I'm growing up. (ew.)

And it was well written, very well written. This wasn't well written "for a seventeen year old" this was just well written. So why only 2 stars? Three reasons:

It's the same story we've read a million times. You know: two people fall in love. Only one of them isn't a person, they're a paranormal creature. They have to find someway to overcome this boundary and still end up being together despite all the odds (and the fact that they aren't the same SPECIES). I'm just tired of this! If you liked Twilight, and Hush, Hush, and The Dark Divine, and Firelight, and Shiver(etc. etc.), and are looking for another story like that, you've found one! Some books are managing to pull it off this well-worn story line, and other's aren't, it's up for you to decide

Halo spent the first 300+ pages trying to do this. It then spent the next 50-100 pages talking about whether or not the characters could have sex, which brings me to my next issue:

The religion. These angels are Catholic. Even though Adornetto tries to keep the religious aspects vague, they are still Catholic. I am not Catholic, and while religion in books doesn't usually bother me, it REALLY bothers me when beings SENT FROM HEAVEN are getting drunk and contemplating pre-marital sex. It's much less troubling when it's just a mortal facing these decisions. After all, mortals don't know everything.

I've got nothing against Catholics. My roommate from last year attended Catholic high school and we were best friends. But if you're going to create a religion-specific main character, and brand your book as just general "fantasy," you've got to be careful. That's one of the reasons I rarely review books that are based on my religion. I know that everyone doesn't get it, and I don't want to force it on them.

Slow. By the time we got past the issue I addressed in #1 & #2 we FINALLY reached the conflict in the book. However, by this point I was bored. Plain and simple. If this book had been 100-150 pages shorter then I think it would have been great. Or even if the conflict had started earlier it would have been AWESOME! Then I would have had something pulling me along besides the romance.

Oh, and just to let you know, the conflict in this story is extremely satanic. As in, the villain comes from the devil. This wasn't just evil, it was demonic.

Should you give this one a try? Certainly! I was so excited when I got an ARC, and I'm still really excited that I have a copy to add to my library. Someone is going to pick this book up (maybe they'll be Catholic, maybe they won't) and they're going to LOVE it. It will blow all other paranormal romances out of the water. But that person wasn't me.
Profile Image for Patty.
1,601 reviews89 followers
December 4, 2013
Alexandra Adornetto

Halo is a book about angels. Specifically the angel Gabriel and his sisters…Ivy and Bethany. They have come to a small seaside town to begin to try to save it from some very dark forces that are threatening to take over all that is righteous and good within the town. A house has been readied for them…clothes are there and the three angels just sort of appear…wings tucked in and as normal as anyone can be. They do have to learn a few things and they do have to hide a few things. They don’t have navels…who knew? They have creases in their backs where their wings must stay tucked and they don’t understand why they get lightheaded at noon…they actually have to learn how to eat!!! Plus they have amazing hair and gorgeous glowing skin and they don’t leave footprints in the sand even in human form.

Gabriel is the head of the household…get it? The Angel Gabriel…he is flawless and perfect in every way and he becomes the new music teacher at the high school. Of course the number of girls who sign up for music grows tremendously due to his beauty. Ivy stays at home but involves herself in tons of volunteer work. Bethany becomes a student at the high school and tries to assimilate into the student body. People in the town have no clue that they are angels other than Father Mel…the local pastor…and the three angels go about their lives quietly changing the town.

Good things happen…people start to care more about the poor and the elderly and the sick…and then Bethany becomes more involved with a classmate, Xavier, than a heavenly body should and this is where stuff starts happening. A new mysterious student comes to town and very bad things happen when he is around and there is prom…and a huge major confrontation…and that is all that I can share…seriously…or you will know more than you should before you read the book.

I found this book to be fascinating. The entire premise of angels…and major ones at that coming to live and work in this lovely seaside town was intriguing. The idea that angels are agents of a higher power was fascinating. Gabriel acted with the blessing of a Covenant and could be powerful yet merciful at the same time.

I know I probably say this too much but the death of my parents makes books like this really appealing to me…angels guiding souls and levels of heaven and happiness in a hereafter world…are what I want and need to believe right now. Apparently there are mixed reviews about this book but I honestly loved it. It was a slow and delicious reading experience for me. It reminded me of spiritual things that I sometimes forget. And I learned that I don’t want my own personal guardian angel to be spread too thin…so I am going to try to be a less demanding person for him…or her.
Profile Image for Savina M..
57 reviews
January 12, 2014
*Warning: review contains profanity and spoilers.*
This book deserves no stars.
When I read the first thirty percent, I thought I could make it. I thought I could get through this without permanent brain damage.
Oh no, I was wrong.

Bethany Church
Now, let's start off with our favorite protagonist, Bethany!
Do you know how long I laughed when I when I first learned Bethany's last name?
Five minutes. That's how funny I found it.
I was like," An angel whose last name is Church? That's fucking hilarious!"
But the problem with Bethany doesn't end at her last name. She's useless. She's love-sick. She's selfish. And most of all, she's fucking annoying.

Case 1:
"When I cut my foot on the sharp edge of a shell, Xavier insisted on carrying me. I was grateful that in the darkness he couldn't see the cut heal of its own accord. Even though the pain in my foot had subsided, I continued to cling to him, enjoying his attention."
Fuck, do you know how fucking heavy you are? I don't fucking care if you're thin, carrying you for that long has got to hurt. And it's a fucking cut. Even if it didn't heal on its own, you can fucking walk on your own.

Case 2:
"I wanted to run and hide my face in Gabriel's shirt, beg forgiveness, and feel his arms close around me."
Dude, you fucking went against an angel law! You revealed yourself to Xavier, and you expect Gabriel to just let you off the hook? Even you know you're wrong! But of course Gabriel forgave her. Because she's just so fucking lovable.

Case 3:
"'What's going to happen now? We'll be recalled to the kingdom, won't we? I'll never see him again.'"
Oh no, never mind the mission. Never mind the Dark Agents. All we need to care about is darling Bethie and her ever-raging hormones for Xavier!

Case 4:
"I knew that if [the assignment] slipped my mind, Xavier would complete it for me and hand it in without my knowledge."
Bethie, darling, you're an angel. You told us several pages ago that you only needed three minutes to finish your homework. But noooooo, Xavier has to prove his love for Bethany by doing her fucking homework for her.

Case 5:
"He took hold of my shoulder.
'Don't touch me!'
'Ooh, feistier than she looks,' Kirk laughed and tightened his grip.
'Take your hands off her.' I breathed a sigh of relief as Xavier stepped in front of me, tall and reassuring. I drew instinctively closer to him, relishing the safety of his presence."

God, just punch that piece of shit and run for your useless life! Don't fucking wait for walnut head to show up!

See Bethany? Even Bella fucking Swan knows how to defend herself!

Case 6:
"'Listen, this kid might be right up your alley. According to grapevine, he's been expelled from three schools already, and he's been sent here to sort himself out. I guess because it's far away from anything that might get him into trouble. Interested in [helping him] now?'
'Maybe—just a little,' I said."

Beth, honey, you've been sent here on a mission to help people. You've been sitting around whining for the last twenty percent about how useeeleesss you are and how saaaad because you've been a bad angel. And how someone needs help, and you just fucking sit on your angel ass? Shit, if this is how angels are, I'd never want to have a guardian angel. I'd get in a car crash and she'd be too busy lusting and whining.

Case 7:
"I could claim no credit for these improvements; I'd been far too preoccupied with fitting in and getting to know Xavier to have given much thought to anything else."
Oh, so you finally realize you're useless, huh? And what do you do? You continue sitting on your useless ass.

Case 8:
"'Did I mention I've finally decided a nickname for you?'
'I didn't know you were looking.'
'Well, I've given the matter some serious thought.'
'Cookie,' I announced proudly. Xavier scrunched up his face. 'No way.'
'You don't like it? How about Bumblebee?'

This quote needs no elaboration.

Case 9:
"The next few days [after Xavier saw Bethany kissing Jake] passed by in a blur. I didn't go to school, and Ivy and Gabriel didn't try to make me."
You are a fucking angel on a mission. So fucking act like one. You do not skip school, or stop your mission because you're too heart-broken. If you miss him so much, just fucking get up and go see him! But oh no, Ivy and Gabriel has to go fetch Xavier for her.

Case 10:
"Even though Xavier was only human, it seemed he could protect me from anything. It wouldn't have worried me if a fire-breathing dragon had torn off the roof, because I knew Xavier was there."

Xavier Woods
I don't hate Xavier as much as Bethany. But it's hard for me to take someone with "walnut" colored hair seriously. But apart from his walnutness, he's still a douche. Proof:

Case 1:
"He became fiercely protective whenever anybody he didn't approve came within a two-foot radius of me.
'Uh, uh.' He shook his head at me when a boy named Ton Snooks asked if I wanted to 'hang' with him and his friends one afternoon.
'What's wrong with him?' I asked crossly. 'He seems nice enough.'
'He's not your type of person.'
'You ask a lot of questions, don't you?'

Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize girls weren't allowed to hang with male friends. I didn't realize girls can't choose their own friends. I didn't realize girls couldn't fucking ask questions. (Even though Bethany is pretty annoying with her questions)

Case 2:
"Xavier hinted and waited for me to register, rolling his eyes when I didn't. 'You're a dope.'"
Oh, wow, being called a dope is just so fucking romantic!

Case 3:
"'Here, eat this,' he commanded and pushed a health bar across the table. "Your blood sugar is probably low—so don't argue.'"
Apparently girls aren't allowed to choose for themselves what to eat, either. Good to know.

Case 4:
"'But why did you choose me?' I asked. I knew the answer, I knew he loved me, but I needed him to say it.
'Because you bring me closer to God and myself,' Xavier said."

Yes, because having a threesome with God and your girlfriend is so sexy you list it as the main reason on why you love her.

The other characters
Gabriel and Ivy
They're practically the same person. Ivy is a completely useless character—she could have been written out and nothing would have changed. All Gabriel does is strum his guitar and cook. All Ivy does is mill around and smile. Also: "Ivy looked so domestic in her apron that both [Xavier and I] had to smile."
Fuck that quote.

Bethany's cardboard cutout friends
Her friends are all proooommmm, guuuuuuuuys, teeeaaccheers. I assure you that no girl is like that. I cannot imagine how Adornetto, being "only sixteen when she started the series", could have written such two-dimensional friends like these. Didn't she have any friends? Are all her friends like that? If so, it's no wonder.

Jake Thorn
I'm alright with Jake, actually. I'm a sucker for poetry. Though he's the world's worst villain—I saw through all his motives right from the start. But then again—Beth and the gang are pretty stupid.

The anti-feminism
This book is an insult to feminists everywhere. Everything Bethany does, she has to get permission from Xavier. All her cardboard cutout friends are even more anti-feminist. If I could pull each of them out of the book, I'd strangle them slowly and painfully until they understand they don't need a guy to live. And don't give me that shit about how Bethany can defend herself from me because she has 'true love' powers. I have true love powers too—for chocolate.

Case 1:
"I knew she must be resentful of [Xavier's] monopoly of my time and attention, but Molly was a realist and held the view that friendships had to take a backseat when relationships started—especially if the relationship was as intense as mine and Xavier's.

I don't even want to elaborate on this.

Case 2:
"For this evening at least, feminist philosophy has been abandoned, and the girls, like fairy-tale princesses, allowed themselves to be led up the flight of stairs and into the foyer."

I can't believe this book even had the nerve to mention the word 'feminist'. Adornetto's whole book butchered feminist philosophy.
Excuse me while I go fetch Adornetto and teach her what feminist philosophy means.

The ending
Oh god, the ending.

That has got to be the most anti-climatic ending I've ever read.
The problem begins at when Bethany and Xavier goes off to the graveyard alone. They watch Jake shove some dark magic down a guy's throat, and what do they do? NOTHING. They crouch there. They watch. Bethany info-dumps Xavier on what demons are. Then our lovely Molly comes in, and only then does Bethany decide to do something.
Then she gets carted away, with no explanation on why Xavier didn't immediately go after her.
Then Jake sets the house on fire or something, and everyone shows up, Gabriel and Jake stare at each other. And stare at each other some more. Then suddenly...TRUE LOVE!!! ZOMG, Bethany's power is true love! She doesn't even have to fight Jake Thorn! Apparently her fucking power is so strong it opens a chasm and Jake falls in!
That's fucking ridiculous.

The errors
Throughout the book, I couldn't help but notice many grammatical mistakes. Where the hell was Adornetto's editor? But no worries, I'll state them out here.

1."Apart from color everything had its own different texture and shape."
Fuck that non-existent comma that should have been between 'color' and 'everything'.

2."'If that's true then what can we possibly do for them?'"
Fuck that other non-existent comma that should have been between 'true' and 'then'.

3."I reached the silky, white sand of the beach, which squeaked under my feet."
Fuck that. Sand doesn't squeak.

4."Yes but what if they thought I'm weird."
Fuck that full-stop that should have been a question mark.

5."I had hoped he would ask and I wanted to say yes but part of me feared feeling different from them."
Fuck that run on sentence.

6."Wasn't he the one who went psycho and moved into a cave."
Fuck that other full-stop that again, should have been a question mark.

7."Molly had told me no end of stories about her ex-boyfriend Kyle, whom her parents had thoroughly disapproved of, even going as far as refusing him entry into the house."
Fuck that 'him' that should have been a 'his'.

8."My whole family besides Mom are useless in the kitchen."
My whole family is, not are.

9.Our Father
'Our' should not be capitalized. What are you capitalizing it for, anyways? Are you trying to call yourself holy?

10."Jake's lip curled back, revealing his small, sharp teeth. 'You should know that you're playing with fire,' he smirked.
'And I'm not afraid of getting burned,' Xavier spit."

You know, that's a nice sentence. Sounds really hot. You know what can make it sound more profound? Realizing that the past tense of spit is spat.

To conclude, I am ashamed. Ashamed that I actually finished this book. Ashamed that I belong to the same age group as most of those who love Halo.
Excuse me, but I think I'm going to get therapy for brain damage now.
Profile Image for Lisa.
110 reviews382 followers
October 19, 2011
This novel was quite honestly the worst YA PNR (paranormal romance) I've ever read, setting the bar even lower than Hush, Hush, the previous holder of the title. One might wonder how this book could possibly be worse than a novel where the love interest continually sexually harasses the heroine, almost rapes her, and attempts to kill her on several occasions. I, too, asked this question, and this review is my answer.

Halo follows Bethany, a young angel sent to earth with her older siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, to fight the Agents of Darkness in Venus Cove, a small costal town in Georgia. Almost as soon as they arrive, Bethany meets and instantly falls in love with Xavier Woods, who she continually chooses over God and her mission. As a consequence of her disobedience, God banishes Bethany from Heaven, and places her in everlasting chains of darkness to await judgment day with the other fallen angels. (Or, that's what should have happened.) Inexplicably, Bethany and Xavier are allowed to continue their unholy relationship with little resistance from Heavenly forces. A comically obvious villain arrives halfway through the story, but decides to "play nice" with the angels until the last fifth of the novel. In the end, the villain is defeated by Bethany and Xavier's love, and everyone lives happily ever after—until the sequel.

Halo has absolutely no redeeming qualities. The characters are poorly constructed, the romance is unoriginal, unbelievable, and unhealthy, the plot is nonexistent (yet somehow still manages to have gaping holes), the writing is atrocious, and the messages, both implicit and explicit, are harmful.

Starting with the characters, we have Bethany, who is the classic author self-insert. The wish fulfillment aspect of the character is simultaneously hilarious and irritating. Just look at a Mary Sue Litmus Test and tell me Bethany doesn't fit the formula. Beauty. Check. Good looking popular sports star boyfriend. Check. Affinity towards animals. Check. Intelligence (as shown by good grades). Check. Prom queen. Check. Healing magic. Check. And the list goes on. Despite being told how wonderful Bethany is, what we are shown is a person who is self-absorbed, shallow, and very judgmental. On top of these ugly personality traits, she is also one of the weakest and least intelligent heroines in YA literature. To give you an idea, Bella, Nora, and even Luce compare favorably to her in terms of strength and intelligence.

Her love interest, Xavier, doesn't fair any better. He is an arrogant, controlling, chauvinistic pig. His general attitude about women is that they are stupid, weak, and silly, and he constantly pats himself of the back for being able to protect them from both themselves and the world. In his relationship with Bethany, he is extremely controlling and disrespectful. He tells her who to be friends with and even physically prevents other people from approaching her, he often talks for her, and at one point he force feeds her in the most demeaning way possible:

He picked up the bar and waved it through the air making a whistling noise with his mouth. "It'll be a lot more embarrassing if we have to start playing airplanes."
"What's airplanes?"
"A game mothers play to get stubborn children to eat."
I laughed, and he seized the opportunity of flying the health bar straight into my mouth.

Bethany and Xavier's relationship is also codependent. According to Bethany, they can't be apart for more than an hour. When they briefly break up, Bethany practically goes into a coma a la Bella Swan after Edward leaves her, only she's even less functional. Bethany stops going to school, doesn't leave the house, doesn't eat much, and sleeps all the time. Even Bella made it to school.

Like so many other YA romances, there is no real build-up. Bethany and Xavier instantly fall in love without having one meaningful conversation. Within weeks, they can't live without each other, and are willing to die for one another, but nothing in the story has justified this sort of devotion. This makes their relationship come across as very shallow, especially considering that Bethany spends an exorbitant amount of time gushing about Xavier's looks and his smell, oddly enough.

As for the secondary characters, none of them are particularly compelling. Gabriel and Ivy prove to be only slightly more intelligent than Bethany. For example, they fail to research Venus Cove or modern technology before actually going to earth. Molly shows promise but her obsession with prom and overall shallowness keeps her from being a truly likable character.

Then we have the villain, Jake Thorn, who is randomly referred to by both his first and last name throughout the book for some inexplicable reason. Although not explicitly stated until the end, it's clear from Jake's first appearance that he is the novel's antagonist. His last name is Thorn, he has a serpent tattoo, he likes reptiles, and he dresses in black. But for some reason none of the angels recognizes him for what he is: a demon. By keeping the characters in the dark, but making his true nature obvious to the reader, Adornetto insults the reader's intelligence, and makes her characters look like complete morons.

In addition to the terrible characterization, the novel has no plot. It is just a series of scenes that didn't flow cohesively together. One scene does not build on another, and many have no impact on the overall story. For example, there is one scene where Bethany and Xavier go to a carnival, and have their fortunes read. This scene added nothing to the story. It did not develop Bethany or Xavier as characters, it did not develop their relationship, and it had did not move the plot forward. Neither the carnival nor the psychic are ever mentioned again.

As impossible as it sounds, a novel with no plot can still have major plot holes. The most serious one in this novel has to do with Adornetto's disregard for Biblical teachings, which is indefensible considering that her angels are pretty clearly Catholic. They hold Catholic-specific beliefs (e.g. Limbo), attend Catholic church on Sundays, and have a friendly relationship with a Catholic priest, who is the only human to recognize them as angels. As such, they should be consistent with Catholic beliefs about angels such as the belief that angels who sin are cast out of Heaven.

One of the most egregious sins is putting the love of another above God. Bethany time and again does exactly this by neglecting God's mission to spend time with Xavier, and threatening to fight Heaven to be with him. This means that the entire story should not have happened, which is a major flaw. If Bethany's relationship with Xavier weren't bad enough, she is also guilty of many other sins including vanity, lust, and pride, three of the Seven Deadly Sins.

Adornetto's lack of research is not limited to theology. She also failed to research American culture and customs despite setting her story in the United States. For example, Xavier is the "school captain" not the "student body president," and he's on the rugby team rather than the football team, both of which were changed in the sequel.

Another irritating plot hole is the lack of an explanation for why these angels are sent to Venus Cove. Instead of sending two of his highest-ranking angels to a place with real problems, such as war, famine, and genocide, God sends them to an upscale small town in the United States where the misfortunes appear to be limited to some suspicious fires, a handful of deaths from the flu, and some freak accidents. No explanation is given for why they are there as opposed to the more deserving parts of the world.

In terms of writing style, Halo doesn't fair any better. The book is ridden with both grammatical and punctuation errors. The editor should be fired, and Adornetto should be asked to take a few more English courses before submitting another manuscript. Even more irritating are the descriptive errors. Colors are constantly described as objects. For example, Xavier has "nutmeg hair" or "walnut hair" instead of nutmeg-colored hair or walnut-brown hair. Technically, nutmeg hair would be hair made of nutmeg, which I'm guessing is not what Adornetto meant to say.

Other times, she uses descriptions that don't make sense like "rain gray" eyes. Rain is not actually gray. Rain clouds can be gray (although they can be a host of other colors), but not the rain itself. In one humorous example that includes both of the aforementioned descriptive errors, Jake is described as having "cat-green" eyes. Cats are not green. He could, however, have cat-like green eyes.

All of the above make this a very painful read, but I was most perturbed by the disturbing messages present throughout the novel, especially those regarding women. Women are portrayed as weak, shallow, and trivial. They are obsessed with makeup, prom, and finding boyfriends. Bethany even states that the prayers of teenage girls are mostly about being popular and wanting a sports-star boyfriend.

Women are also regularly dismissed by men. Xavier is condescending towards all females in his life, including his mother, sisters, Bethany, and his ex-girlfriend. Xavier's father and Gabriel are also dismissive of women at times. If that weren't bad enough, the women also constantly defer to men, validating the idea that the men should be in charge. Nine times out of ten, Bethany defers to Xavier, and Ivy and Bethany both defer to Gabriel despite the fact that Ivy is a higher ranking angel than Gabriel.

The novel is also very preachy about other subjects. Bethany tells the reader that technology is evil and destroys family value, Xavier preaches about the importance of children deferring to their parents (although he doesn't follow his own advice), and the reader is told that virginity is a gift, and that sex before marriage is wrong (but it's okay to sleep together in the same bed, and lie naked together). Women who are sexual are looked down upon, but men rarely get the same treatment. Xavier admits to having sex with his ex-girlfriend and he's still considered the paragon of perfection, while girls who have sex before marriage are seen as shameful and slutty.

This novel was an agonizing read, and I would not recommend it to anyone. It presents a disturbing picture of relationships, God, women, men, and the world. There is absolutely nothing positive to say about the substance of this book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Adriana.
11 reviews
January 15, 2011
Halo was a fascinating book to read. Bethany is the youngest of the three angels that were sent to the small town to do good. It's her first experience as a human. I found it interesting how she was fascinated with human life and wanted to experience life as an ordinary teenage girl. Her character is very childlike, exploring life with innocence and curiosity. She falls in love and I think her relationship with Xavier was well developed and very pure. Just like how first loves are usually like.

Gabriel and Ivy's characters weren't as well developed but the author gave hints that there was something else there. Specially with Gabriel. I expect in the other books we will learn much more about them.

Overall this was a very sweet story, a good introductory book to the series.

I highly recommend it. It's not a dark, intense book like many YA books are. Its a refreshing, sweet book. I can't wait to read the next books of the series. And hope that Xavier and Beth's relationship goes further.
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
595 reviews3,586 followers
April 15, 2016
Halo, like, Hush, Hush or Fallen is one of those books that has a...reputation. I read a lot of negative reviews on it, mostly due to their entertainment value, before finally deciding to read it myself. And now, I'm here to add to that collection.

I'm not going to go to too much detail because it's already been thoroughly discussed in many other reviews. However, I will tell you that Bethany is the single most idiotic heroine I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. I even created a new shelf for her—'annoying heroines'. She is utterly incompetent and constantly relies on Xavier to protect her. Seriously, Xavier treats it as a duty. Bethany even has daydreams of being on a pirate ship and having him rescue her. The entire book is extremely anti-feminist.

Gabriel/ Xavier are the same person. Big, tough alpha males but are super sweet with their girlfriends...and not an erection in sight. Because, hey, that is Adornetto's dream guy, right? An unrealistic figment of her imagination.

Ivy just sits there and sews and does other domestic stuff. That's one of the biggest issues I had with Halo, the word 'domestic' is used a lot. That's not a problem but when it's used over and over in such an anti-feminist book, then it's a problem.

I could go on and on about its problems but I'm too lazy and it's more fun to use gifs! Now I present my feelings while reading:

To conclude, I am definitely not going to read Hades because I don't want to end up like this.

But I will read the reviews!
Profile Image for James Tullos.
319 reviews1,421 followers
April 9, 2021
This has to be the most first-world problems per page I've ever come across. One of the major problems the protagonist faces is, I'm not kidding, her boyfriend gets a concussion and can't go to prom with her.

This is nearly 500 pages and nothing happens until the last ~90, which is especially annoying because I see a few spots where there could be some decent character drama or story beats. Oh well, on to torture myself some more.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
146 reviews76 followers
April 10, 2012
Everything I'm reading now
Is filled with stupid crap
And it was the same with Halo
I fell for Utter-shitto's trap
Everything that you said was true
This book was such a waste of time
After getting through with Halo
I want to commit a crime
Reading Halo. Halo. Halo.
Reading Halo. Halo. Halooooooo

Sorry, I couldn't resist.
It's sad that a book can be so bad that it doesn't even piss you off. I'm sorry, but I cannot take this book seriously. I gave it one hundred pages. More details later.

I should begin by saying that I did not finish this book. It was impossible for me to finish this book. Why?

Lack of Effort
As anyone who has read this book will notice, Alexandra Utter-shitto did not even attempt to try. She actually puts in contradictory information throughout.
Ex: The angels are supposed to be unfamiliar with life on Earth. However, it is revealed that both Gabriel and Ivy have been here before. Also, they didn't know that humans needed to eat. However, we later learn that they did various other types of research (Films and the like) Now, how did that get past the editors?
Even I noticed this! And I used to like TMI and HoN. I weep for my poor 16-year-old self.
This girl is incompetent. She always needs someone to help her. Even her human boyfriend. That's right: A human has to help an angel. She forgets her book. Xavier lets her use his and tells the teacher that he forgot his. She gets drunk at a partay! (Utter-shitto's did it! Not me) Xavier comes to her rescue.

Where was it? We readers are told that the Agents of Darkness want to do something terrible to the world and the angels have to save it. One hundred pages in and Utter-shitto still doesn't delve any deeper. Instead, we are treated to school, Xavier, upcoming prom, Xavier, partays!, Xavier Woods, Mr. Xavier Woods, X Woody, and more Xavier.

She has no personality. As I was reading the scenes she had I was always wondering why was she even there? Then again, as long as it means less time is devoted to how perfect Ed-I mean Xavier is, Ivy is okay (not really).

The Archangel Gabriel
Pop Quiz: If you are writing a book about angels who have to save the world, and you include the angel who is famous for bring news of John the Baptist and Jesus' births, where would you send him?
A) War-torn Middle East
B) Posh first-world town.
C) Darfur

If you answered "B" then I suggest that you give up writing. Kidding.

And finally:

Angel Names
As any of you with a passing familiarity with angels should know, angels have a set pattern with their names: "-el" or "-iel" (Except for Metatron but...)
Where the hell did Bethany and Ivy come from? Unless they're short for Iviel or Bethaniel, they don't belong!
Hey, Utter-shitto, do you know why this is so? Hmmm? It's because "el" means God in Hebrew. These angels have names that tie them to God, and you've just stomped all over that! I hope you're happy.

So concludes my review of Halo, a book so bad it's funny. But honestly, I don't blame Utter-shitto. I blame the editors, publishers, her parents, her teachers, and Twilight.

Yes, Twilight! Because of that book, we now have to deal with copy kneazles that are even worse than the original.

That being said, I probably will read Hades just for the lulz and to see how far i can get. The only upside to this was that I checked this book out from the library and didn't have to pay for it (not even in fines!)
Profile Image for Paulina.
20 reviews
October 13, 2018
Gefallene Engel, verkleidete Engel, Nephilim. Engel sind der Geschmack des Augenblicks und unglücklicherweise schließt sich Adornetto's Roman den wirklich schlechten "Zwielicht" inspirierten Klonen an, die vor ihrem Roman gekommen sind. Wenn Bethany kein Bella-Klon wäre, wenn Xavier nicht so ein langweiliger engelhafter Cookie-Cutter wäre, dann würde Liebe Interesse haben, wenn nur Bethany, Ivy und Gabriel mehr Action auf ihrer Mission hätten, die die Welt rettet, wenn es nur interessanter wäre Charaktere in Venus Cove statt hübscher, attraktiver (Ich mache mir keine Sorgen, es gibt keine fugly Leute in dieser kleinen Stadt [Stepford]), wenn nur einige Schießhandlung im Roman war; warte das ist ein anderer HALO ..... Ifs, Ifs, so viele wenns das hätte so einen tollen Roman gemacht. Adornetto hat Talent, braucht aber einen GROSSEN Editor, um das Talent in etwas weniger kommerzielles und triviales herauszubringen.
Profile Image for Colleen Houck.
Author 40 books8,988 followers
December 22, 2015
I found I was very interested in Gabriel. Maybe because he was the oldest and I could relate to him the best. I think my favorite scene was actually when the demon showed up. He added a lot to the story. I had no idea the author wrote this book when she was only fourteen. Wow! I can't even imagine such a thing when I was that age.
16 reviews1 follower
January 12, 2020
I would rate this book 4.5 stars. but because of the small amount of goodness in my heart, I'm just going to give Halo a five instead. This book is about Beth, an angel sent from Heaven to cure the small town of Venus Cove of the dark forces of Lucifer. Beth ends up falling in love with a normal boy, Xander, much to her siblings, Ivy and Gabriel's disliking.

This book is probably the best heterosexual/straight romance novel I have read, which leads us to the first issue of the book *jazz hands*. The book starts as a romance novel, and until the last 80 pages, it stays like that. Then at the end suddenly it's an action-adventure novel and Indiana Jones is swinging in, walls are falling down, the protagonist is kidnapped and an agent of Lucifer is hypnotizing high-school students. The plotline and feel of the story are both what I like and dislike about the book.

I like that the antagonist is not revealed until at least halfway, and they are not revealed to be the issue until later. The antagonist, Jake Thorn, is an agent of Lucifer who wants to mess up the whole town and covers up his dirty work with a charming reputation and a clever back story. However, it annoys me that it takes the Angels (Beth, Ivy, and Gabriel) so long to figure out he's malicious even though it is clearly implied with multiple threats and hints. I don't like it when books or movies make it obvious something bad is happening, and the main character is oblivious to it, and literally isn't going to find out, nor stop the problem, until it's wagging its tongue right in the protagonist's face. (with the exception of "Maleficent, Mistress of Evil") Beth's siblings are kind of antagonists for a little while when they don't support Beth and Xander's relationship.

My main issue with the plotline is it speeds up so much at the end when the huge issue could have been omitted and it still would have been a great romance novel. But no-no, the author just had to add a huge issue that affects the whole world. So much is happening that your senses are overwhelmed. Kind of like Marvel action scenes, your head is turning around and around, and you literally can't see anything, even though the filmmaker thinks you can, and all you hear are grunts and screams, and your head is turning back and forth like a tennis match, and every once in a while you actually process something. A wall falling down with glowing angels behind it and one of the worst things on earth being banished eternally happens in one paragraph. One paragraph.

The rest of the plotline was good, and the flow of romance was good. What I mean by this is, Xander and Beth don't do that thing where they flirt for like half the book and kiss at the end. Also known as Percy Jackson relationships. They get together not too fast, but not too slow. Although it is a fantasy book, their relationship is believable and realistic. There are sections that are slightly mature, and some rather dark and gory scenes.

Towards the end, after the discovery of Jake being an agent of Lucifer, one of Beth's friends commits suicide through psychological control by Jake. The author chose for Tallulah to commit suicide, and although I am not downgrading her death, she was in two scenes before that and didn't seem to hold much emotional value to Beth. I think Beth's best friend Molly would have been deeper and more definite to Jake's evil nature. God forbid, I don't want Molly to die, but that would have been a better addition/component to the story.

I loved how descriptive the book was. When Beth meets Xander for the first time, the author cuts no corners and doesn' wait to scrutinize every trait of Xander. When Beth tells Xander she is actually an angel, the author builds up the reveal in a beautiful way, letting you envision her wings spreading as she dove off the cliff. The detail and scrutinization are one of the best parts of the book for me.

I wish the author didn't end on a cliffhanger, but it's apparently a trilogy and if that's true, I really want to read them. The message Jake sent to Beth after being banished is, well, both extremely creepy and also extremely confusing. "The Lake of Fire awaits my lady". What kind of ending is that? There isn't some excerpt that gives us an education on dark creepy satanic jerk language, and maybe I missed that lesson of Sunday school, but what is a "Lake of Fire"? The religious component of the book is both interesting and confusing. To be honest, I could do without it.

Overall, this is a great book that everything you hoped for, and a tiny bit more. There are minor issues that I have with this book, but that's probably just me being picky. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy with a hint of romance, or anyone who is looking for a better version of the 80% horrendous Percy Jackson romances, or just anyone who finds the idea of good and evil interesting.
Profile Image for Melissa.
470 reviews15 followers
November 13, 2010
The cover is the best part of the book. I really wanted to like this book. I've always liked reading books with angels in it, but this book was so bad that I had to finally give up after around 270 pages because I couldn't stand it anymore.

The beginning was okay, but after that, it was so long and draggy and I was getting ticked off by Bethany. Her sudden [and most of the time irrational] mood-swings and clinginess to Xavier, and general helplessness really made me not like her. I mean, what type of angel are you if you always depend on other people to save the day?

I haven't read a book this bad in a long time; I wouldn't even recommend it to a middle schooler because the main character is such a terrible role model for girls [helpless damsel in distress].

Time to read something better like Mockingjay.
Profile Image for April.
2,101 reviews950 followers
October 18, 2012
It's interesting how the phrase don't judge a book by it's cover works both ways. Sometimes an ugly book cover contains a beautiful story. Sometimes a gorgeous cover cloaks mediocre work. When I grabbed a copy of Halo at BEA, it was like getting a golden ticket. Halo was one of my highly anticipated reads. I mean, look at the awesome cover! However, I wound up incredibly disappointed.
Read the rest of my review here
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