An Amazing & Intense Paranormal YA,
This review is from: Brightest Kind of Darkness: Book 1 (Kindle Edition)
From the very beginning Brightest Kind of Darkness reminded me of a way better version of Final Destination. They aren't even similar in the beginning, at all. However, just one thing Nara said got the comparison stuck in my head and I was unable to let it go. Nara mentions trying to alter what happened in her dream when she was young, a girl breaking her arms on the monkey bars, by inviting her to play with sidewalk chalk. Instead of the broken arm, the girl ends up with a blood clot from a rogue baseball. Changing fate is a dangerous thing and yet Nara knows she has to risk it again in the opening scenes of the novel. Because of this past horrific experience, I was so proud and endeared to her from this moment on because reporting a bomb should be an obvious choice but Nara knows first hand that it isn't. I don't want to say too much, but I was so pleased with myself when Nara made a discovery a little more than halfway into the book. My stupid comparisons are genius.
Nara was such a refreshing teenager to read about. She was genuinely a good person; it's so rare to read about a character like her especially in YA. She wasn't sickly sweet or full of fake kindness either. I like realistic characters and as someone who is kinda sorta prone to grudge holding, I find those types characters easier to identify with. Nara was effortlessly easy to sympathize with and understand, and she was real. Her volunteering at an animal shelter is what helped me make that special reader-character connection. I volunteer with horses and handicapped kids/adult so I have a special respect for others that donate their time. It's not easy and it's usually thankless; if you only do it for yourself, you won't last more than a few weeks before it burns you out. I don't like saying it because it always annoys me when it is or isn't attributed to a celebrity, but I have to admit that Nara is a great role model. She's certainly someone I admire.
For quite a good portion of Brightest Kind of Darkness I had no idea what to make of Ethan. We're given little snippets of information that all contradict what Nara seems to be feeling. For example we see his drawings of a demon eating flesh and he's described as a troubled loner. All of Nara's first descriptions of him had me feeling pretty blah about him, I'll admit that I can be shallow when it comes to heroes though. However, Nara tells us she feels safe around him etc. I liked having conflicting feelings about Ethan instead of being pulled into an instant love situation where I've either got to love him along with the heroine or else the book isn't nearly as enjoyable.
Brightest Kind of Darkness is an amazing, intense read. Even when it was 6AM and hadn't slept yet, I couldn't seem to put it down.
(I received this book for free from the author in exchange of an honest review)