Monday, September 22, 2014

Finding the Light in the Dark

"...I first came to appreciate that there was
no such thing as good and evil;
it could never be that simple.
Somewhere between black and white,
there were shades of gray."
--Nikki Kelly, Lailah



Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Feiwel & Friend
Pages: 416
Publication Date: October 7th, 2014
Source: ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: First book in the series
Goodreads Description

Over one million Wattpad readers have made Lailah a sensation!

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely Allie – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

The Story

Y'all I had zero expectations going into this except Ksenia from Macmillian loves this...and that's good enough for me. I love books that blow your minimal expectations out of the water and THIS was one of those books. Lailah opens up with a girl named Francesca (aka Lailah but she doesn't know she is Lailah) who really doesn't know who or what she is. She knows she has lived past lives and doesn't know why she wakes up after she dies. She has flashbacks to previous memories every so often and she always remembers one man's face and name...Gabriel. She also knows of the existence of vampires due to past circumstances and happens upon one while walking home from work one night. From there we are catapulted into the world of angels and vampires and the battle between dimensions.

This story is SO good. It is fast-paced with the perfect tempo of revealing big secrets and plot points. I kept wanting one more chapter, one more chapter, one more chapter. We don't know what Lailah is, why vampires are after her, who Gabriel is to her, there are just so many variables and I HAD TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS! Ok, back up. So Lailah finally meets Gabriel (SWOON!) and that vampire she came across in the beginning? Yeah, that's Jonah (SWOON!). You can read more below on that. We slowly learn the rules of this vampire and angel society, where they come, and eventually how Lailah fits into this. In the mean time, the gang is on the run and trying to keep Lailah safe with Gabriel and Jonah being the two major components of said defensive strategy. I loved getting to know these guys. Anyways. I don't want to reveal too much plot but I couldn't put this book down. The dynamics between Lailah and Gabriel and Jonah and the other vampires is intense, funny, dangerous, and highly entertaining. Each character brings their own unique quirks to the table and their interactions combined bring a whole lot to the table.

The Triangle

I know a lot of people hate love triangles and I don't particularly enjoy them but this one was SO well done. I mean, the best divide I've read about in a long time because I seriously LOVED both these guys. Gabriel is an angel and light and is so devoted to Lailah. They have a history and piecing together that history is a major part of the story that I LOVED! SO MUCH! He is a little closed off and tight-lipped about their past so getting underneath that shield was super fun to read...and sexy...And then there's Jonah. Jonah is a vampire and dark and has evilish tendencies but only in the way of vampires. I loved seeing Jonah start to care about her. He is rugged and sexy and has so many amazing qualities. I definitely...DEFINITELY ship one guy with Lailah over the other but I do love them both. In fact, I don't know how the rest of the story goes but it's almost like there isn't a triangle at the same time because it seems pretty obvious who she loves...but we'll see...

The Theme

Another reason why I didn't mind the infamous love triangle is not only because it was so well-written but because is also represents a a major ongoing theme in the book. The representation of light vs dark, good vs evil, and all the gray in between is beautiful. I loooooooved this. I love the complexity of discussing the 'right' or 'good' decision versus the 'bad' and 'evil' choice. There are more than 50 shades of gray in between and the battle for making the right choice is a constant theme. We are all complicated and complex human beings. Nothing is every simple when it comes to matters of the heart. The way that Nikki Kelly writes these polarizing components is brilliant. She not only juxtaposes the good and bad she also intertwines and combines them. It's brilliant. Touching again on the love triangle aspect and why I loved it--because it shows that we are not all one thing or the other. We all have good and bad and dark and light inside of us. None of us fit nicely into any one of those abstract categories because we all have so much inside us. I absolutely loved how complex and intricate the choices Lailah has to make are and how it all plays a major role in the end and let me tell you, the end is freakin' amazing. I cannot wait another year for the next book. It's going to be painful.


The Descriptions

This is nit picky but some of the descriptions of the action scenes got a little confusing to me. It wasn't super bothersome to me but I found  myself head tilting a little bit trying to keep track of who was where and what exactly was going on. Especially when a dark cloaked figure would make an appearance.

Backstage Pass
If you like paranormal, vampires, REALLY well-written and complex matters of the heart, and the idea of the gray area in between black and white--this book is for you. 

3 comments:

  1. I haven't heard of this one before today. but it sounds great! I've added it to my wish list. If it was out now I'd buy it today based on your review. :)

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  2. This is only the second review that I've seen for this book but both have said that it is surprisingly good. I love a fast-paced book with swoony guys and I like the theme of good vs evil and the gray area in between! I need to read this!

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  3. Aww, yay, I'm glad you liked Lailah! I'm still unsure as to whether I'd like to read it or not (since I don't prioritize my paranormal reads), but hearing you and Rachel rave about it makes me curious. I might just have to give this story a chance! (Plus, those two guys? They sound awesome.)

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