Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Book Review: Lailah

Published By: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Page Count: 416
Source: ARC won at YA Lit Panel at DragonCon
Audience: Young Adult - Paranormal

I know that vampires have been done to death in YA literature, but I still can't help feeling a bit giddy when I hear about a new one. I have been and will always be a vampire girl. Between the awesome cover and the vampire aspect, I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. Fate intervened on my behalf and I won a copy while attending DragonCon. I couldn't wait to crack this beauty open.

Lailah begins with the main character, Francesca, not knowing who she is or where she comes from. A chance meeting with a handsome vampire, Jonah, will bring her into a supernatural world that hides from human eyes. Jonah is convinced that Francesca is not human, but he can't figure out what she truly is. Things change even more when Francesca learns that the guy she's been dreaming of, Gabriel, is actually an angel and that her name is Lailah. Lailah's dreams begin to unravel the secrets of her past, but will she find out the truth before its too late? An evil vampire cadre is out to get her and the Archangels want her dead. Lailah must decide who to trust and learn to fight before she's erased from the world.

I really liked the combination of vampires and angels in this one. I was worried that it would feel a little Twilightly and there are some parallels, but Kelly does a nice job of forging her own mythology.  I was intrigued by the background of the angels and vampires, but I wish that I had learned about it in a more subtle way. The info dumps down via dialogue among the characters was a bit overwhelming at times. Kelly did make up for this in the plot twists and the action that starts around the midpoint.

One of my favorite aspects of the novel was the theme of good and evil. The concept of everyone having evil and goodness lurking inside plays out multiple times throughout the novel. Each of the characters has to battle between the two sides of their nature. I think this internal conflict mirrors reality and adds complexity to the story. I liked that the characters had depth and the relationships that they forged were often tentative. 

In addition to the theme, I did enjoy the romance. There are some layers of a love triangle here, but ultimately Lailah thinks she knows who her heart belongs to. Both Jonah and Gabriel make excellent leading men. I will be interested to see how things develop in the future. I typically hate love triangles, but for some reason, this one didn't irk me.

I will say that in spite of how much I enjoyed this one, I do have a few complaints. First, the beginning was slow. There were some chapters that felt border line excruciating as I waded through the hefty exposition. I could have down without the shopping trip and mundane daily activities. Things pick up quickly around the halfway mark, and from that point on, I couldn't put the novel down. Second, I was frustrated with Lailah a lot in the first half of the novel. I felt like she made stupid choices that were rarely backed with reason. For example, you claim to have a special connection in your soul with one guy, but then almost make out with the other. That doesn't make sense to me. She also seems to run into dangerous situations without thinking things through. I just wanted to shake her at times.

One Last Gripe: Some of the dialogue felt cheesy and unrealistic. Real people don't talk like some of these characters.

Favorite Things About This Book: I love the lore and the European setting

First Sentence: Lightning streaked and forked into three, the thunder pounded in waves of two, and the silence fell at once.

Favorite Character: Gabriel

Least Favorite Character: Michael

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely Allie – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.


  1. This sounds really interesting! It's going on my TBR :)

    Thanks for sharing and I hope to see you around my blog!


    1. Thanks for checking out the review. I'll be sure to swing by your blog and do some browsing.


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