Saturday 19 January 2013

Review: A Shimmer of Angels by Lisa M. Basso

Summary (from Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Rayna sees angels, and has the medication and weekly therapy sessions to prove it. Now, in remission, Rayna starts fresh at a new school, lands a new job, and desperately tries for normalcy. She ignores signs that she may be slipping into the world she has tried so hard to climb out of. But these days, it’s more than just hallucinations that keep Rayna up at night. Students are dying, and she may be the only one who can stop it. Can she keep her job, her sanity, and her friends from dying at the hands of angels she can't admit to seeing?

It's not easy to write a YA adult book about angels that's fresh and hasn't been done many a times before and, although there were elements of originality in A Shimmer of Angels, overall there isn't a great deal about the novel that makes it stand out against all the other angel books out there.

The writing is probably the best part of A Shimmer of Angels, it's easy to read, and while it isn't amazing literature that brought be tears it is light and fitting to the genre of the book. It's the sort of writing that made me want to carry on reading and find out what happened next story line wise.

The plot is pretty different actually. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that A Shimmer of Angels didn't have a completely generic story line. It was really quite enthralling the way Basso weaved in students' suicides with your typical demon-angel-fallen-angel plot. Together with interesting family dynamics and a teenage girl that everybody thinks is completely crazy and you've got yourself a plot that incites the reader successfully.

I liked Rayna, she isn't the best protagonist but she's a likable one that made me sympathise with her situation and care for her.. even though there were moments where I rolled my eyes at her judgemental ways (calling girls slutty for wearing skimpy clothing on Halloween.. Do you know them Rayna? Do you?). Anyways, yes, she's a little whiny and discloses information at bad times I would say (is it that hard to keep a secret when your safety is on the line?) but I didn't have a problem reading from her point of view.

The characters, on a whole, aren't that well developed, the parts about Rayna's best friend are sweet but he wasn't in the book enough for me to get a solid picture of him in my mind, there wasn't any layers to the character, just a nerdy guy who likes Doctor Who. We are told he's the best friend and that's just about it.

The same can be said for the love triangle. Honestly, the love triangle is what really ruined the book for me, it's written with Rayna spending substantially more time with one of the love interests, sharing more thoughts and fears with the same love interest so it would make sense if she fell for this guy, yes? No. Apparently, having an instant connection (although he leaves her when she really needs him) at the beginning of the book and spending next to no time with them ends with you professing your love to them by the end. That makes complete sense(!)

Speaking of sense, Rayna being locked away for three years for seeing angels a couple times doesn't really make sense either... but I'm being picky now. Yes, there were a couple of plot holes, yes, the love triangle irritated me to no end but I liked reading A Shimmer of Angels (as hard as that may be to believe) and I look forward to reading the sequel.

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Music choice: I watched Raise Your Voice the other day (again) because I'm a sucker for cheesy chick-flick-romancey movies (don't judge me) and I remember the song that Hilary Duff sings at the end and I think it fits perfectly with this book. 
'Seen that ray of light
And it's shining on my destiny'

'It doesn't matter what people say
And it doesn't matter how long it takes
Believe in yourself and you'll fly high
And it only matters how true you are
Be true to yourself and follow your heart'

This is Someone's Watching Over Me by Hilary Duff.


  1. Yeah, the romance was so beyond strange. I did not get what was so great about the first guy...They only talked for like 30mins all together and suddenly they were making out and she kept thinking she was already in love with him...

  2. I'm not sure if this is the place to mention this but Congrats! I’ve nominated your blog for the Liebster Blog Award! :)


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