Halo (Halo #1) by Alexandra Adornetto
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
 Published August 31st 2010
Hardcover, 496 pages
Challenges:  100 Books in 2011, YA Series, A-Z

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 must 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?

You are first attracted to Alexandra Adornetto’s novel by the AMAZING cover!  I personally think this cover is absolutely gorgeous!! That being said, I do wish the content of the novel was just as gorgeous.  As with many novels, there are good things and there are bad things about Halo. I really enjoyed the dynamics between the 3 main angels: Gabriel, Ivy and Bethany.  However, I really do wish their relationships with each other were explored and developed more.  They are very different from each other, and these differences are focused more on than their similarities (beyond the fact that they are all angels).  Because of such a hard focus, it was hard to see why they see themselves as a ‘family’ (again outside of the fact that they are angels). 

I was torn between believing in Bethany.  On one hand it is made clear that while Bethany is an angel she is still rather new, and thus she is more susceptible to the “human” emotions and pressure. Adornetto shows these susceptibilities wonderfully.  You see her grow more and more human as the novel moves forward.  On the other hand, it was hard to believe her as a character because she falls too quickly into the human ways and even at times act too human, if possible – her angel ways are completely forgotten at times to the point of being almost fake.

The relationship between Bethany and her 2 boy interests, Xavier and Jake, are wonderfully created.  Both are developed at the appropriate speed, not too fast or too slow.  The only aspect I find lacking is Xavier’s acceptance of Bethany being an Angel.  However, Xavier coming from a religious household really does explain his unwavering belief in her, but I do wish this was explored more (Xavier’s background in his beliefs in God).

 Even though Halo‘s premise is not ‘unique’ it still manages to stand apart from many of the current YA Literature for a few main reasons.  First, Alexandra Adornetto’s age (about 18) grabbed my attention.  I am always amazed at authors who get as much hype as Adornetto has, even more so when they are indeed a Young Adult.  While reading Halo I could see where improvements could be made but more importantly I could see her growing as an author as the series continues. While Halo may not be a new favorite, it engaged me enough as I look forward to reading the rest of the series.  

My Rating:
Arlaina Tibensky’s WebPage

Alexandra Emily Adornetto (born 18 April 1992) is the Australian author of four young adult books: The Strangest Adventures trilogy, and Halo.

Adornetto is the daughter of an English teacher and a Drama teacher and attended, in her own words, “many” schools including MacRobertson Girls’ High School, Ruyton Girls’ School, Korowa Anglican Girls’ School and Eltham College. She says she was 13 years and on school holidays when she decided to become a recluse and started writing her first book for young adults, entitled The Shadow Thief. She did some research into Australian publishing houses, making sure she followed all the submission guidelines exactly, and then sent her manuscript to HarperCollins. She has said that it took HarperCollins about twenty-four weeks to get back to her asking to publish her book.

Alexandra currently splits her time between Australia and the USA as she works on the Halo series. Her passions include theology, country music, acting and singing. In the future she hopes to combine novel writing and acting“