Hey y'all! Today is the first day of Alexandra Adornetto Week! Since she is my hero and her series has impacted me so strongly, I'm celebrating by hosting a giveaway of the series, a review, a few posts, and an interview with Alexandra herself! For now, enjoy my review of Heaven, the final book in the Halo series! I love y'all and I hope you enjoy!
Release Date: August 21, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Only sixteen when she started the series, Ally Adornetto knows how teen hearts beat, and this long-awaited conclusion is certain to be her most popular book yet.
Bethany, an angel sent to Earth, and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier, have been to Hell and back. But now their love will be put to its highest test yet, as they defy Heavenly law and marry. They don’t tell Beth’s archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, but the angels know soon enough, and punishment comes in a terrifying form: the Sevens, who are rogue angels bent on keeping Beth and Xavier apart, destroying Gabriel and Ivy, and darkening angelic power in the heavens.The only way Bethany and Xavier can elude the Sevens is to hide in the open, and blend in with other mortals their own age. Gabriel and Ivy set them up at college, where they can’t reveal their relationship, and where there is still danger around each corner. Will Bethany be called back to Heaven – forever – and face leaving the love of her life?
My Review:How do I even begin to describe the series that has completely changed me? Some people assume that it’s just another paranormal romance – just another sappy love story – but it’s so much MORE than that for me. Not only is Beth and Xavier’s love healthy, developed, and the type of love that I would LOVE to have in my life, Alexandra Adornetto is such an inspiration. Her writing is phenomenal, she’s a great person, and her endings leave me speechless.I've been dreaming for a book like this for ages. I wasn’t as much a fan of Hades as I was of Halo, but Heaven blew them both out of the water. There were so many concepts and ideas that were introduced in the first two books that exploded completely in the third and added complexity to the story. It felt like there were so many layers to the book, even though it seems like there would only be one: Bethany and Xavier staying together.May I just say in warning that this book made me cry. No. Not just cry. Bawl. Sob my eyes out. It made me cry even harder than I did when I read The Fault in Our Stars. For some reason, happy endings make me cry more than sad endings do. I don’t know why, but I think it’s because it’s just so perfect and agonizing and incredible that people can go through so much and still come out okay.The trials in this book are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Every time that I thought that it was hopeless, my perspective was turned around when a new plot twist hit. Each trial that they endured and each test that Xavier and Bethany face only strengthened their relationship.It was everything from the previous books – intensified. Everything seemed more vibrant, written more passionately, tension filled the pages, and everything was all-or-nothing.Alexandra Adornetto did an excellent job with time. While some people may have doubted the authenticity of Bethany and Xavier’s relationship in the beginning, this definitely proves that it was NOT insta-love. Their idea of marriage involved a complete commitment to each other and they had dealt with enough trials that proved that their love for each other was real. Everything that Bethany experiences stems from her love with Xavier. She’s meant to love as an angel and her love was so potent for him.Heaven had the perfect mixture of light and dark, something that Alexandra Adornetto has such an excellent grasp of. She has this perfect sense of when to make things lighter and when to make them darker and tense. I love light books, but I love twisty and desperate and dark books too. It had all the right moods at all the right moments and it all just completely contributed to my reading experience.I can’t believe that this series is coming to an end. It’s what really inspired me to start writing and start reading even more than I already did (which is saying a lot!) It’s such a great series for both those who love paranormal like I do and those who don’t. It has tension, action, darkness, love, friendship, complexity, description…everything that I want from a book. From a scale of one to ten, Heaven is a thousand. I can’t even put into words how much my heart longed for this book and how it broke so many times while reading it. I want to read more books that give me this feeling – I’m heartbroken that it’s ended but it just makes me feel so alive. It means that if there’s love like this out in the world, anything is possible.Extended Review:I’m a sucker for beautiful description. Alexandra Adornetto manages to conjure an evocative setting in only a few sentences. Her descriptions are lush and every word is perfectly plucked to create breathtaking settings in my head without being too specific. I adore her for this special talent that she has. I wish more writers would be that descriptive. Seriously, I’m a sucker for description. It’s why books like Daughter of Smoke and Bone and The Scorpio Races appeal to me so much.After I finished this book, I sat in my bed and cried for a good two hours. I stayed up until two A.M. to finish it because I literally could not put it down. It’s impossible to even try to describe my love and addiction to this series. I don’t think that there’s even a word in the English language that could sum up how I felt right after reading this.Excuse me if this review is a little discombobulated. Most often, my best reviews are of books that I loved but wasn’t completely changed by, and I’m having trouble trying to come up with the exact way to persuade every single one of you to go out and buy this book. I promise you – this is one of the best books that I’ve read this year and I don’t think any other has even come close to the heartwrenching emotions that I felt while reading this.So many things happen in this book, but not in a way where the pacing was confusing. Each scene blends seamlessly into the next, with plot twists and everything coming together and the entire series built up to this finale. I try not to expect too much of final books, but this final book was one that I had such high expectations for that I was nervous about picking it up. What if it wasn’t as good? What if I didn’t get exactly what I wanted from it? I did.Imagine the first time you read your favorite book. It sucks you in and spits you back out at the end. It’s just you and this world of fantastical imagination. The rest of the world doesn’t matter. Nothing does, but reading one more word. One more sentence. One more chapter. It goes this way until you’ve finished, and you feel completely changed. It’s the type of book that fills you and makes you completely whole. It’s like I didn’t know what I was missing until I read Heaven and my world was flipped upside down. I’ve reread Halo so many times, looking for that feeling again. Now, I’ve found it, and it’s a thousand times better.While the first book in the series seemed flawless, this was even more so, if that’s even possible. I didn’t think that it was possible for Alexandra Adornetto to get even better. It’s so great reading this book by her and reminding myself of why she’s my hero with every word that touches me.Bethany came into the series as a naïve young girl. Now, she’s still slightly naïve but the experiences that she’s gone through and the trials that she’s endured in order for her and Xavier to be together…she’s really blossomed into somebody. In the first book, her siblings criticize her from being distracted from her focus on Earth by falling in love with Xavier, but it felt like her entire purpose was to fall for Xavier. The world needs more love like theirs. It was so passionate and poignant. Some people don’t believe in teen love; they say that they’ll just break up and depending on your age, it isn’t “real” love. It’s why so many people object when teens get married in books or in movies. I personally wouldn’t, but I think it completely worked in this book. They were so in love with each other, but they were also the best of friends and that’s how love’s supposed to be.Xavier is supposed to be the perfect guy and he is when it comes to Bethany. I liked how we got to see a bit more of his vulnerable side in Heaven, but he’s never willing to let her go. He isn’t overbearing and he completely does whatever it takes to ensure Bethany’s safety and happiness. He thinks of her before he thinks of himself and is absolutely head over heels for her. He’s willing to step up to the plate when needed or when Bethany is in danger.I loved how it wasn’t always Xavier who saved Bethany. Not every book has to be a damsel-in-distress story. Bethany is girly and lovestruck. She’s mature, but she still has some growing up to do. She is completely strong though. She’s always willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that her and Xavier can stay together and that the people she loves are safe.There were some supporting characters that we met in previous books that were mentioned briefly but never fully brought back. There were some who were also completely fleshed out and brought back. They ended up being extremely important to the plot and I completely fell in love with them. Molly was more complex and twisted than she used to be in the confused way of a girl who isn’t sure what she wants. We were introduced to Spencer, Mary Ellen, Raphael. We had cameos from Xavier’s family towards the end and saw a darker side of Heaven and Hell. New creatures were introduced: the Sevens, reapers, more arch angels. There were just as many characters.There were some characters that I missed hearing as much about, but I was more than happy with the way that the series panned out. I missed hearing more about Ivy and Gabriel (who actually was mentioned quite a bit) and I also really really really missed Jake. Okay, I said it. I love Jake. I wished he would have come up more. There were all these built up references to the love triangle in previous books but after Hades, he only appeared once. I wanted more of an epic showdown between him and Xavier, and I thought that there would be more even after the climax of Hades. I adore Jake. I would love to even see a short story about him. I love the good guys like Xavier, but Jake is my idea of a bad boy.There were so many other love stories woven into this one that were tangled and confusing and upsetting and contrasted so well with Bethany and Xavier’s story. There were so many great emotions in every scene of this book and every word broke my heart and stitched it back together.I was kind of expecting more from him and the demons. The entire point of the angels coming down was to snuff out the darkness from Venus Cove but towards the end of the series, it slowed down. There was never really a definite end to the battle of angels vs. demons, nor was it mentioned much. I was expecting it to be equal with Bethany and Xavier’s relationship as the center point of the book but there wasn’t much of a climax for that plot. It was mostly just about Bethany and Xavier’s love. I loved it, but I was expecting more of a plot that had to do with the fate of the world.I’m just so passionate about this book. If you’re looking for a love story, if you’re looking for an epic story, if you’re looking for something to brighten your day, if you’re looking for something to break your heart, if you’re looking for a book to make you feel alive, this book is for you.I honestly think that I’m the biggest fan of this book and of this author out there so it’s incredible for me to have had this experience with the series. It’s not even a book anymore. It’s so much more than that. This book is heaven. This book is everything that I’ve always wanted to feel, complete at 417 pages. It gives me hope that there are still books like this out there. It’s absolutely stunning. Thank you so much to Alexandra Adornetto for writing this series – you have no idea how much it means to me.Recommended for anybody who loves: Shiver; angels; romantic stories; Vampire Academy; Venom; The Notebook; etc,.No book club questions.