by Rebecca Lim
Release date (UK): October 28th 2010
Summary: Mercy ′wakes′ on a school bus bound for Paradise, a small town where everyone knows everyone else′s business... or thinks they do. But Mercy has a secret life. She is an angel, doomed to return repeatedly to Earth, taking on a new ′persona′ each time she does, in an effort to resolve a cataclysmic rift between heavenly beings.
The first of a brilliant new series sees Mercy meeting Ryan, an eighteen-year-old whose sister was kidnapped two years ago and is presumed dead. When another girl is also kidnapped, Mercy knows she has to act quickly and use extraordinary powers to rescue her, even if it means exposing her true identity.
Let me start of by saying that I adored the book and I'd give it five out of five stars. And the reason I feel the need to start with that is because this review is shockingly difficult to write, I've been trying for hours but it's difficult to pin point what it was I loved about it... I resorted to just making a list of negatives and positives and then tried to string them together in a review-like manner, so here goes:
The characters were probably my favourite part of the book. I loved Mercy, she's strong and confident and awesome and I loved that about her (and I wish I could be more like her to be honest), I love how she would always be herself regardless of whose skin she's in -- even if she's in your typical wallflower girl, insecure, not the prettiest or anything, she still brought her own confidence. She managed to be a kick ass protagonist even though she was stuck in the body of this tiny unremarkable girl who only stands out when she sings.
I really liked Carmen (aforementioned tiny unremarkable girl) too, even though we don't really see her firsthand exactly, we get to know her through Mercy and how different they are and in the end it feels like we know both girls even though only Mercy was present. And then there's Ryan... Ryan was lovely, I wished we had seen more of him and I hope so much that we see more of him in the sequel.
The romance in the book was weird, but in a good way -- it was so subtle, it wasn't even close to being the main part of the story but there was a chemistry between the characters that made the romance seem more present than it was and I loved that, I loved that Rebecca didn't go down the popular YA fantasy path right now by having it be all about the romance. Don't get me wrong, I love the romance, but it was a refreshing change having that not be the focus.
The plot was really original (at least, I've never read any books like that), it's been a while since I've read a good mystery book and I can't really get into that too much without spoiling the book, so I'll just say read it and you'll see.
The only negative about the book that really stands out to me is that sometimes the fantasy aspect of the book didn't mesh well with the rest of the story. It kind of stuck out like a sore thumb at times (not the day to day stuff in Mercy's life, I liked that, but anytime the angel thing became the focus).
Not only did I find myself wishing I could just skip over those bits, but at times it was really confusing. But maybe that's the point... Mercy is trying to make sense of it too, and maybe it's setting up for the sequel but it was irritating sometimes and made it so that parts of the story didn't flow particularly well.
(Although, there is another summary of the book that seems to summarize the series instead of just the first book -- I read that summary after I read the book and it cleared up some of the confusion, but it would've spoiled aspects of the plot if I had read that summary first. Or maybe it doesn't spoil it and I just totally missed the point while reading the book, which is probable seeing as I mostly read between 2am and 6am.)
I actually think I would've loved the book much more if Mercy wasn't an angel, if it was just a contemporary mystery/romance instead because that was the part of the story that I loved and had me hooked, it had that something that I used to adore when reading Point Horror books when I was younger, that same charm and mystery that keeps you guessing. I'll probably warm up more to the supernatural aspect of the story when I read the sequel.
I'm not sure why this book was so hard to review so sorry if the review was kind of lacking, I tried. But I did love the book and I really recommend it. I desperately want to know what happens next though, I can't wait for the sequel.