I'd given up browsing the YA shelves by the time I read this. I wasn't going to read it at all, but my sister bought it and liked it, and since our tastes are usually similar, I figured I'd give it a try.
Egh. Next time I'll listen to that little voice in the back of my head when it tells me to run away screaming.
It wasn't the worst YA book I've read, okay? Ellie was realistic, her human life was realistic. Most YA books are too fluffy to admit things like abusive parents, underage drinking, etc.
My thing is, I don't care. I don't choose to read a book that advertises angels and demons because I want high school drama. I choose to read it because, you know, I'm expecting angels and demons.
Ellie is whiny and stupid and selfish. I didn't care about her at all. Every ten pages or so, she would go to a party . . . seriously, girl? A party? Aren't you supposed to be like, the planet's main defense against the monsters? People's souls are being devoured left and right, every minute of every day - you can't be everywhere at once, so naturally lots of them are going to be lost forever - but you spend your days at school or partying? This is one instance in which I think it would be okay for the heroine to drop her human life entirely and go save some people. Who cares what your friends and family think about it? You're saving lives, right?
No. Ellie doesn't think like that. She's got this huge responsibility, and all she does is cry about it. She wants to be a regular teen, dancing and driving expensive cars and going on dates. She's so irresponsible it makes me sick. I don't need a perfectly selfless, caring, flawless heroine - I like flawed characters best. But this was just dumb. She literally spent half the book crying, whining, arguing, snapping at her friends and family, and generally trying to wring all the goodies out of life for herself . . . as if she deserved them.
Will was just pitiful, I don't know what else I can say. He had no personality except for being the perfect YA love interest.
At least there wasn't a love triangle, I suppose.
One more little problem I have: this book incorporated some elements of Christian beliefs into the plot. You know, God made the world, there's a Heaven and a Hell and angels and Satan, etc. I don't mind people playing around with that stuff because hey, it's fiction, the author's not insulting anyone because she's not claiming it's fact.
My problem is . . . if God made the world, why did he hand it over to Ellie? He made all these precious souls and he loves them so very much. The WORST thing he could have done was give them to her, because she doesn't care one whit about any of them. They get in the way of her fun, right?
Basically, God is a scrawny little man sitting up on a cloud somewhere, anxiously rubbing his hands together and peering down, hoping to see that fewer than a hundred souls are being devoured a minute. HOW did this pathetic creature create the universe, again?
Possible spoilers below. Everything was described in detail on the back of the book, but you never know.
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Oh yeah, and the reincarnation thing - Ellie spends a year or two saving people, and then dies, and goes dormant again for more than a decade. How exactly is she being a service to the world, even assuming she spent every second of her life after her "awakening" trying to save people? I mean, souls are basically being left defenseless, being chewed up every day, while she's a toddler scraping her knees and trying to ride a bicycle. HELLO? Earth has NO other defenses? What kind of system is this, that sixteen-plus years are wasted per cycle, and then she spends 2% of her last year or two helping people?
The more I think about this book, the more it disgusts me, actually. I was going to give it a 1.5 star rating, but no. It doesn't deserve it.