review: a beautiful dark by jocelyn davies

Author: Jocelyn Davies
Publication Date: 09/27/2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 320
Source: e-ARC

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.
Skye has lived every day since the day her parents died in an accident just trying to have a normal life: she has a group of friends, hangs out at the local café, and is a member of her high school's ski team. A part of this normalcy is that every year her friends throw her a not-so-unexpected surprise birthday party, and this year was almost no exception until it was crashed by two people who would toss her normal life into a tailspin. Now Skye has to decide which truth she should believe, a decision that could change her path from here on out.

I haven't read too many angel books, as the few I have I haven't particularly cared for. The cover of this one almost dissuaded me from reading it - doesn't that pose seem incredibly uncomfortable? Honestly, I wasn't expecting to enjoy this one as much as I did. While, yes, this is a book about angels, the mythology involved isn't your typical fallen angel/archangel and I liked the way the mythos was disseminated. It may or may not involve a late night campfire on a cool winter night.

The newcomers in the book, Devin and Asher, are cold and hot. Devin is quiet, soft-spoken and empathetic while Asher is outgoing, slightly brash, and slightly steamy. For me, the dichotomy between the two of them was better described and therefore easy to visualize and fall into than was Skye's perspective. Jocelyn did a really great job of differentiating the two of them, and I was able to get a feel of them as two separate people which was vital to me for where the story was going.

A Beautiful Dark does contain a love-triangle of sorts. Here, however, it is not a bad thing but instead something that the story plays off of. It had me going back and forth between Devin and Asher as more and more information was given; I was waffling along with Skye. All in all it was a fast-paced read that had me curious as to who would make the better case for Skye, until everything changed in an ending that I would never have expected. I'm hoping that in A Fractured Light we'll get to see a bit more of Skye standing on her own now that she has all of the gaps filled in.

This ARC was received from HarperTeen via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

6 comments on "review: a beautiful dark by jocelyn davies"

Ashley Delgado wrote: Fri Oct 07, 10:58:00 PM

I've heard mixed things about A Beautiful Dark, some people that loved it and some people that hated it. Those that weren't too keen on it said it had something to do with a potential love square, I think? (I could be confusing it with another book, gah, there are too many to count! lol) But I think I'm going to give this one a shot, because honestly I haven't read many angel books at all--I think like 3 in total--so it's always good to add another to the list. :)

And you're right, that DOES look like an uncomfortable pose!

Leanna Elle wrote: Sat Oct 08, 06:58:00 AM

I didn't enjoy this one at all. Maybe I've read too many Angel books, but I just found this all very formulaic. There was nothing new here for me. Also, I didn't like the guys at all, which is always a downer! :/

Giselle wrote: Sat Oct 08, 08:11:00 AM

Great review, I have seen some mixed ones about this book. I've also had some not so great experience with angel stories. This one doesn't sound so bad though.

Xpresso Reads

Michelle @ Book Briefs wrote: Sat Oct 08, 12:12:00 PM

This was my first angel story, and I totally agree with you about the love triangle. I was going back and forth the whole time too. I like Asher more, but it is not by a landslide by any means.

Great review, and thanks for stopping by my blog. Let me know what you think of the girl of fire and thorn.

Jac (Two Moms Reading) wrote: Sun Oct 09, 12:53:00 AM

I think i fall into the "norm" on this one - I have bad luck finding Angel stories I really enjoy. I haven't read this one yet - the cover turned me off to be honest. (She looks so uncomfortable and unnatural.) I'm still on the fence as to if I'll give this one a try, but I want to thank you for the review - I'm leaning toward at least giving it a shot!

We Heart YA wrote: Sun Oct 09, 08:44:00 AM

It's good to know that you were "waffling" along with the heroine, since a lot of love triangles aren't really that -- they're too obvious who the heroine is going to pick.

But yeah, we're probably full-up on angel books right now... Nothing can touch Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

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