Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Plot Summary: Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held. The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes. The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.

I loved that Grace’s family has good values and morals, and they go out of their way to help others. I really liked Grace. She’s a great character, and she’s really what made the story so enjoyable for me. I got a little worried when she started in on her 'fixing' streak, but was reassured when she realized a key thing about helping others: they have to want to be helped. Many people don’t get that, so it was good to see here.

I had a few minor complaints. I think that Grace was too quick to believe Daniel’s explanation, even though I figured it out before she did. :) But the explanation is so abnormal that she should have freaked out and questioned everything. At the very least, she shouldn’t have believed it right off the bat. I also thought the ending was a bit too neat. That said, I also kind of expected it, given who Grace is.

My one big issue was with Pete. I didn’t like him at all, and felt the story would have been stronger without him. He seemed like an extra, even with the role he plays at the end. I realize what he was supposed to be, and Despain handled it well, but I would have much preferred it if he wasn’t there.

Overall, I liked the book. I wouldn't call it my favorite, but I still liked it. I’m really looking forward to the sequel, because I'd like to read more about Grace and how she deals with her new predicament. That’s going to make for some interesting reading! :)


Marcia said...

Good review. I like your comments about the characters. I'm reading a YA paranormal right now, though, and I have to say -- I'm done with this genre for a while. I've heard through the grapevine that editors and agents have had enough of it, too, but it'll keep coming until there's a noticeable shift in the audience. For me, the shift has come.

Angela Hoffman said...

Good review as usual, Tabitha. :) Even though I liked the book a great bit more than you did, we found the same strengths and weaknesses. However, I wish it wasn't set up so obviously for a sequel, because I like things to have closure when I read the last page. Even such, I know I'll happily lap up the sequel when it comes out!


Bish Denham said...

Thanks again, Tabitha for another great review.

Lisa Gail Green said...

Great review! Now I have to put it on my TBR list. I like how honest you are in your critique.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Good review. I enjoyed this book and will read the sequel when she gets it done. :-)

Tabitha said...

Sorry I've been absent today. I've been, you know, writing and all that. :)

Marcia - yeah, I'm with you on YA paranormal. For the most part, anyway. I still read it, but not for enjoyment. I read it because there's so much of it out there, and I feel like I need to know what's out there. But it's not a favorite of mine anymore. That said, this book was good enough to make me want to keep reading, even though I'm kind of burned out on paranormal. So that's a very good thing. :)

Angela - I love how our opinions and tastes run so similar! I'm with you on closure. I can deal with unanswered questions and a bit of unresolved issues, but I absolutely can't stand a cliffhanger. Fortunately, this one isn't. :)

Tabitha said...

Bish - glad you enjoyed it!

Lisa - thanks! I try to be honest, but always constructive. I hope you enjoy the book!

Shannon - I'm really looking forward to the sequel. The more I think about it, the more I'm looking forward to it. :)

Lenore Appelhans said...

I didn't like Pete either. Enjoyed the book a lot though!