Friday, 26 July 2019

Book Review: Saving Angel (Divisa, #1) by J.L. Weil

Saving Angel by J.L. Weil is like one of those car crashes you can't look away from. You know you'll probably see something you can never unsee, but it's so grotesque you just have to look.

That's probably not a great way to recommend a book but, let's be honest, I don't recommend this book.

First of all, first-person. First-freaking-person. What the hell is with YA/NA literature always being in first-person?! It almost never works and comes across as just plain lazy. Get rid of the damned first-person and write properly, dammit.

Sorry, rant over.

Where was I?

Oh, right. Grammar. Yikes. The writing isn't terrific. If anything, it reads like it was never passed to an editor. The dialogue is awkward and unnatural; the vocabulary is limited; the tenses get confused; the transitions are unclear in places; the wrong words are emphasized; no one speaks without yelling; there's almost no introspection; and the whole thing is juvenile to the point of being childish.

The worst part isn't the author's (lack of) technical ability. No, that honor belongs to the story's relationships. It's incredibly important to point out unhealthy relationships and challenge them. As someone who endured a childhood of abuse, I can't say this enough. Sadly, though, Saving Angel does pretty much the opposite. It doesn't just perpetuate unhealthy relationships - it almost glorifies them.

Angel's father became a raging alcoholic (for no apparent reason,) became abusive, and killed a man. Does she learn from it? No. Does she immediately seek out the first guy who treats her like shit? You betcha. We have to stop these cycles, people! Girls reading this will think that kind of thing is okay and it isn't.

It. Is. NOT. Okay.

Please, please, please start glorifying healthy relationships!

Also, there's pretty much every kind of insult hidden in Saving Angel, from "pansy" to fat shaming. Like I said, childish.

The first thing I noticed when I started Saving Angel (even before the daddy issues) was Angel's fascination with people's looks. It's painfully vain. Worse, every single person - including her mother - is sexualized. Worse, her mom totally pervs on young men (aka: CHILDREN.) Eww.

And just when you think it can't get any worse, it gets a dash of incest!

So much eww.

I already mentioned that Angel sexualizes everyone. She describes being attracted to Chase in a very physical way, even says things she'd like to do to him. Except, oh yeah... she's a virgin. Because they're always virgins, right?

Let's add that to the List of Shit About YA/NA Lit that Pisses Me Off.

Here's another thing for the list: Angel meets another Divisa (half-demon) girl who has the hots for Chase and instantly hates Angel with a passion. We seriously need to get rid of this passé cat fight shit. It's unhealthy and teaches girls that they have to be in constant competition with other women. Stop that shit right now!

Getting back to Angel and Chase's seriously effed up relationship... they're on-and-off-again for no goddamn reason. One minute they're tearing each other's clothes off but, the moment they're interrupted, they're back to hating each other. Why? For the love of the gods and all that is sacred, WHY?! No reason is ever given and that just drives me up a tree.

Aside from being poorly written and out of touch, the main character is always either crying or passing out. (Pause for *eyeroll*) Also, she keeps complaining about how it's always raining (because, I assume, TWILIGHT,) but I come from a similar area and I call bullshit. Hello, crops like that don't grow in constant rain.

All I can say about Saving Angel is that it was interesting enough to at least finish. I like the whole half-demon thing (although they really just seem like vampires without fangs.) There's an entire series, including two novellas. Do I have any interest in reading any of the others? No.

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