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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Angel Burn - L. A. Weatherly

Angel Burn (U.S. Release)

Released on May 2011

www.candlewick.com

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

Can I simply say "wow!" I don't know what I was really expecting from Angel Burn, but I'm not sure the book met my original expectations. It's been a very, very long time since a book has wormed its way into my dreams. I hated having to put it down to get chores done.

L. A. Weatherly's paranormal teen novel was released in the U.K. in October 2010. Candlewick is releasing it to U.S. readers in May 2011. I highly recommend it for your teen's shelf.

The story revolves around a few key characters. Willow is the most important. She's your semi-average high schooler, only she's cool enough to know how to fix cars and she's psychic. When a fellow classmate asks Willow for a reading, Willow's stunned to find out Beth recently encountered an angel. Worse, Beth plans to leave her family,  home and friends behind and join the Church of the Angels. Willow feels this decision is going to affect Beth's happiness and health. The angels aren't as nice as they seem.

When Willow learns Beth has in fact taken off, she heads to the Church of Angels to save her. Only the angels realize Willow is a threat, she's half-angel, and attack. Willow's saved by a mysterious teen named Alex. Willow will put her family in danger if she goes home, so she and Alex go on the run.

Alex spent much of his life training and then serving as an Angel Killer. He understands the threat the angels pose to humankind. The angels must drain humans of their energy in order to survive. However, the angels are increasing in number and Willow may be man's only hope.

The title, Angel Burn, relates to the condition imposed on humans after a feeding. An angel feeding off a human alters the human's health in some way. They might become senile or develop cancer. Everyone responds differently.

I loved, loved, loved this book. I don't think I could say it enough. I'm not sure of the author's true intentions, but I loved how the church became the evil. In today's world, while some still feel churches are the be all and end all, I tend to question just how legit some churches are. I realize every experience is different, but I've heard the stories of my mother and her sister being consistently hit by nuns in their private Catholic school. We'll all heard the stories of the Catholic priests. Televangelists certainly heat up the news with their illicit and often criminal behaviors. For that reason, I found myself completely drawn to Angel Burn and was thrilled to be rooting against the church leaders.

Teens are unlikely to think twice about the church aspect. Instead, they'll be drawn to the powerful romance that builds between Alex and Willow. It's a great one!

I don't know if this is the first in a series. It seems possible. My fingers are crossed that it is! I can't wait to see what happens next, especially with Alex and Willow.

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