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Stranger Than Fiction

Hades

Hades - Alexandra Adornetto This book takes 'I've been through hell to be with you!' literally. Hades picks up a few months after Halo ends. It's Bethany's first Halloween and Xavier is taking her to her first Halloween party. Drinking, dude bro's and playboy bunnies aside, everyone is having a good time including the girls having a seance upstairs. What starts as a harmless Halloween activity ends with Bethany on the back of a motorcycle on an express lane ride to Hell. Jake Thorn rides again.


At least there's a coherent plot in Hades. Unlike it's predecessor where teens in love was the plot through and through, Hades got a different treatment. Stick Bethany in Hell and watch her claw her way out except Jake Thorn is one of the princes of Hell and wants to make Bethany his queen. The problems I have with the plot are that 1) Bethany spends months down there before her siblings and Xavier bust through Hell's walls to get her. In Xavier's car. That's right, Xavier's car is equipped to bust through Hell. Righteous. 2)There's a promise of a war brewing between Heaven and Hell because of Jake Thorn stealing an angel, though that never happens and 3) Most of it is drama for the sake of drama.

Because of one of the servants relaying some information about a river in Hell giving a person the power to astral project themselves back into their life, Bethany is able to see what her family and friends are doing.

There's a scene where Molly busts through the front door and demands to know where Bethany is. The school keeps saying she's sick, but it's been a couple of months with no other updates so she goes straight to the source. Xavier gives her the third degree and informs her that his relationship is far more important than Molly's friendship and that she should just go chase some boys. Seriously, the two squabble like children with points going to Xavier because his love for Bethany has more meaning than anything Molly could give. Of course this scene is just to set up Molly finding out about the angels when Micheal crashes through the ceiling. Also there's a subplot that's relevant to Molly telling Gabriel her feelings and now it's super hard because he's an ethereal being and she's just human and how do Xavier and Bethany do it? Because this needs to be resolved.

What ensues after months of waiting is a goose chase across the states with Ivy and Gabe towing Xavier and Molly with them. They perform an exorcism on a nun who tells them about a portal near some train tracks. In Hell, Bethany meets socialites, goes to bars, spends time with the servants and Jake Thorn and heals a tortured soul which lands her on 'Big Daddy's' bad side. They try to kill her and than lock her away when it doesn't work. It's during this time that Molly gets Gabriel alone to tell him about her feeling. Bethany, who's projecting at this point is trying to get her friend to not do it. We get a painful sequence of unrequited love before Gabe drops this load on us.

“If you think you love me, then you don’t know what love is,' Gabriel said. 'Love has to be reciprocated for it to be real.”

This is by far one of the most offensive things I've read in YA literature. I mean, there's a lot of offensive things in these books pertaining to true love and co dependent relationships being okay if you're with 'The One' and a woman's place and desire to be taken care of, but this is a whole new level. During this conversation, neither person was right or wrong until Gabe denied the existence of unrequited love.

Back in Hell, Jake Thorn discovers Bethany's pastime and decides to take action against Xavier once and for all. Fearing for her boyfriends life, Bethany projects in time and warns Xavier through his car radio to Jake Thorn's plan. Only Jake Thorn takes the wheel and almost succeeds in his plans if not for meddling angels. Back in Hell, Jake Thorn confronts Bethany and the two strike a deal, Xavier's life if Bethany gives Jake her 'flower'. The two shake.

"Maybe I needed to stop thinking of this as an act of sordid unfaithfulness, but rather an ultimate act of love."

No, Bethany, that's lying to yourself.

What happens between then and the end isn't really that important as Xavier driving into hell and getting an eyeful of lit candles and a half naked Jake Thorn on top of his girlfriend. It's also a HUGE surprise to Bethany that even if she had sex with a demon, Jake Thorn still would have went after Xavier. Gabriel slays the demon, they all go home. We get a montage of them living life and graduation. Xavier pulls Bethany away, announces he gave his rights as valedictorian to his best friend so that he could propose to Bethany so that he could keep a better eye on her. As a future sense of things to come, there's an earthquake and the ring slips off Bethany's finger. End Hades

With Hades, there felt like an actual plot, a sense of danger, risks needed to be taken. However, like with Halo, it took so long for them to move, because they needed more evidence or they needed to go here and there. It felt rushed in a few places, characters and plot points were dropped entirely in favor of moving things along. Jake Thorn seemed a little more fleshed out, but was still severely lacking. What few things I did like about Xavier in Halo, were completely dropped in Hades, giving him a more over protective, snotty demeanor that we've become so familiar with in most YA male love interests.I don't even the Christian values in these books, most of the time it's played well, but the times that it's not, it feels horribly judgmental.

Overall, Hades was better than it's predecessor, but still missed it's mark. Dat Cliffhanger doe.