Book Review: Meant to Be

Meant to Be (The Saving Angels #1)
Published By: CreateSpace
Page Count: 296
Release Date: March 2011
Buy it at Amazon 
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult

I originally purchased Meant to Be because of the price. I figured at 99 cents (for the ebook) if it was horrible then it wasn't that big of a deal. However, this read was a pleasant surprise from a self published author. I really struggled with how to rate this one. While I truly enjoyed the concept and liked the characters there were some aspects of the book that I feel could have been improved. In spite of the issues I had with the book, Meant to Be is a strong start to a series and I do plan on reading future books.

Meant to Be is a paranormal romance focusing on angels. If you are anything like me you have grown weary of seeing all the new YA books cropping up on the shelves about angels. It seems they have become the new vampire, but in my opinion they are often not nearly as cool. However, Tiffany King has created angels that are different from others I have read and I was instantly intrigued by her angel lore. Female angels in this book are drawn to emotions and often feel the intensity of not only their own feelings, but also those of others. Male angels take on the stereotypical male role and are the strong, protective type with rage issues - think incredible hulk, but less green. It was interesting to see how King explained these traits and made them work within the plot.

I also really enjoyed the characters in this one. Krista, the main character, is an avid reader and she also just wants to blend in at all times. She has severe anxiety issues and hates attention. As a teenager, I could really relate to Krista's traits and I would have enjoyed reading about someone who was so much like me. As an adult, I still try to avoid attention from people I don't know, but my anxiety has gotten better. Also, unlike Krista, I never puked to deal with my nerves and stress. Sam, Shawn, and Mark were also characters that I enjoyed spending time with as I read. I will caution readers that there is "insta-love" in this one. It seems these characters meet and are instantly ready to commit to one another. Marriage is even tossed about several times by various characters. I had to roll my eyes several times, but the explanation for this does come. So.... roll your eyes, but keep reading. It will all make sense in a logical way - I promise.

Now for the negatives - First, I was frustrated by some of the editing issues. There were many simple mistakes that would have taken a few seconds to fix. However, I know that since Tiffany King is a self published author that she probably didn't have an editing professional to help out like the larger publishers provide. The mistakes weren't enough to distract me from the read, but they were annoying. Second, the writing is not bad by any means, but it is simplistic. There is very little variation in sentence structure and word choice. Many of the same cliches, comparisons, and words pop up several times throughout the book. This novel could have been so much stronger with a good editor and some variation in the writing. Third, the beginning was really slow for me. Lastly, there was quite a bit of cheesy dialogue, but it all seemed to fit the moment. It just wasn't exactly how I would have expected teenagers to talk. If all of these issues had been fixed then Meant to Be would have earned a 4 birdie rating from me.

Overall, I would recommend reading this one - especially if you are a fan of YA, angel novels, or romance. Tiffany King is a creative writer who I expect to see great things from in the future. First novels - especially self published ones - can be difficult. I was impressed by the creativity that went into this work. There are also some major twists in this one I didn't see coming. The end had me on the edge of my seat and I am anxious to read book #2.

One Last Gripe: The whole brother and sister issue just seemed thrown into me. Also, if I thought someone was related to me, you better believe I would be getting a DNA test. I am hoping this issue will be addressed in later books.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The explanation concerning Santa Cruz and the angels

First Sentence: The dream was as familiar as always, but that didn't keep my heart from practically beating out of my chest from the anticipation of seeing him again.

Favorite Character: Sam

Least Favorite Character: Matt

Krista Miller feels like she has lived her entire life in a glass box with her every emotion on display. She can’t help feeling like a defect as her sensitivities have made her socially inept and without any real friends; the one exception being the boy that visits her each night in her dreams.

Krista’s emotions are put to the test when a move to California triggers a devastating change to her fantasy world. The nightly comfort that the boy provides has now become a recurring nightmare as he is taken from her by an unseen force.

Struggling to appear normal, Krista enrolls in a new school and finds it to be nothing like she thought. Her new life is sent spiraling out of control from a strange connection with a boy, Mark, who claims to know all her secrets.

As Krista begins to explore the emotions that Mark evokes in her, secrets about their mysterious past and their predestined purpose threatens to separate them just when they have found each other.