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Stranger Than Fiction


Heaven - Alexandra Adornetto

Finally, a YA novel that lives up to it's self proclaimed cries of being Romeo and Juliet. However, the lead hero and heroine in this case, leave bodies in their wake as they struggle to make all that oppose them see that their love as God's Will. Heaven is split into four arc's really.

Starting off where Hades ended, with the couple sitting in the diner with the wedding band rolling around on the table after the place is rocked with an earthquake. Their love has stirred something, but that wasn't my heart a flutter. They rush to the chapel, make their vows, exchange their rings and and are joined by a reaper who slays Xavier's childhood priest. Folks, I've barely started this book and things are already starting to become unhinged. Naturally, they're saved by their biggest supporters, as Gabe and Ivy get them out in a hurry, fleeing to a cabin in the woods where the couple stay for the duration of the summer. Needless to say, the angels are not happy with their union. A group of them, called the 'Seven', are hunting them and it's revealed that God has nothing to do with this particular manhunt. I find this strange as I thought that the God from this particular book kept tabs on all his children. On top of that, it's stated in the previous two books and through out the duration of Heaven that Xavier is in God's good favor. Again, Heaven is all drama for the sake of drama. They make a promise to Gabe and Ivy not to have sex and have a pseudeo honeymoon, sort of, trying to make the best out of a shitty situation. Until they're found out, barely surviving the ordeal with the power of love.

Arc two starts with Ivy and Gabriel sticking the two in collage, a dream both teens wanted to live. They mess with Xavier and Bethany's papers, making them play brother and sister as it's easier to hide them in plain sight as siblings. Apparently. They live like this for a while, with Bethany's roommate developing this obsessive lust for Xavier that's constantly mocked by Bethany, something I grew tired of quickly. They managed to sneak away during a party and consummate their marriage before returning to school. It's become a thing in this trilogy, every time Gabe or Ivy tell them not to do something that would raise attention to them, Xavier and Bethany are caught with their panties down, figuratively and literally, a few chapters later. Molly is also introduced back into the series because that romantic sub plot she had with Gabriel in Hades needed to be resolved. She's engaged now, to a religious cultist nut job who abuses her. This is cut momentarily short when the Seven attack and kill off some students, Xavier and attempt to take Bethany. Once again, Gabriel and Ivy step in to intervene and whisk the couple away.

Arc three is Xavier's possession. Lucifer has overtaken his body and is slowly killing him as revenge for having one of his own taken. Upon striking a deal with Lucifer, Bethany raised Jake Thorn's spirit so that he could name the price for Xavier's safe return. Gabrial's wings were the ultimate price but not before another arch angel comes to save them and Gabe is left with severely deformed wings. See, if this was the overall plot for Heaven, it would have been more fitting. The other three arcs just sit there for the sake of fleshing out this book more but THIS is what Heaven should have been about. There's real consequences, sacrifices could have been and were made, but Ms. Adornetto had to tie on subplot after subplot, drawing in more characters who existed for a page or two just for this particular arc to end rather hastily. Xavier is exorcised and is back to marital bliss with Bethany, though not before they fix Molly and her crumbling world. In an act to finish off this arc and Molly's character, Molly and Gabriel finally talk about stuff. Gabe has been feeling more and more human and admits he does perhaps love Molly more than he's willing to admit. The feeling, however, will disappear once his wings grow in more.

Arc four is where the Seven finally corner the love birds and Bethany sacrifices herself in place of Xavier's sister. In heaven, Bethany is put into Angel therapy with a therapist named Eve who grills her about her angelhood and heaven, locks her into white rooms until one day, she's visited by Gabe. His advice is to play the game and find help from within. Naturally, Beth thinks of Xavier and remembers his dead ex girlfriend and seeks her out. Since this series is all about how 'other girls' are just vapid, shallow bitches, Emily gives her the third degree before reluctantly leading Bethany to Bethany's childhood friend, Zach. Zach was mentioned briefly at the start of Heaven and never mentioned until now. It was shitty foreshadowing then and I'm not surprised to see him now. Zach, who had signed up to be with Seven at one point, is now playing shepherd to child spirits in heaven. Zach points them in the direction of Joesph who heads an uprising of angels who want to turn human. Okay, lets put things on hold for a minute. We're introduced to four new characters in the last part of Heaven, four characters who influence the plot heavily from the moment they are introduced until the end and that's all they are. Plot. The last arc was so bogged down by all these extras. Yes, Bethany does become human. After escaping Eve, Emily gives Bethany her blessing and Joesph cuts off Bethany's wings. She falls, witnesses her friends becoming adults and Xavier becoming a man, before finding her way back to Byron. Xavier answers, marvels at her humanness, invites her in and they continue blissfully into their small but perfect piece of forever.

The Halo trilogy has been no new experience. It echos what I've learned from previous YA series that were released in the last 10 years, bringing nothing new to the table. Xavier and Bethany are, quite honestly, the most selfish fictional couple there is. All three books were bogged down by drama and characters that were half assed developed for the sake of moving the plot along. What I enjoyed about the first and second books, has been completely removed from the third. Could I recommend this series? I personally don't know if I could because everything is so weak in plot, character and structure wise. Whatever else the book holds is held back by the authors personal beliefs that extend beyond her christian faith that all good girls wait until marriage, other girls are vapid whores and that you're no good without 'the one'.