Monday, December 6, 2010

Review: The Dark Divine

The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Released: December 2009
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Format: Digital and Print
Available at: Indie Bound, Powell's Books, Barnes & Noble

Summary: Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held. The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

I bought The Dark Divine because I had heard so many good things about it. I was glad I had avoided spoilers because it really increases the suspense in the book as the secrets unfold. I enjoyed this book for many reasons. First, the main character, Grace Divine, is wonderful. She's a pastor's daughter, but yet she doesn't blindly follow the church. She asks hard questions, and her faith is her own, not something she has because others have forced it on her. She's strong, compassionate, loyal and she's not afraid to speak her mind.

I also love that the author gave Grace loving, supportive parents who aren't perfect, but they are approachable, and listen to what their children say. One of my big pet peeves about many YA novels is the lack of supportive adults. Yes, there are bad parents out there, but there are more good parents who try to listen and understand their teenagers.

There are elements of romance, suspense and action in The Dark Divine that keep the reader glued to the pages, but it also has some lessons that are crucial to everyone, not just teenagers. Do we have to earn love? If we make mistakes are we no longer worthy of being loved? The romance is touching, and the relationship between Grace and her brother is fascinating. She adores him to the point of thinking he can do no wrong, but as the story goes on she must admit he isn't perfect and may have faults.

Other themes running through the book include forgiveness, sacrifice, and jealousy. I would recommend The Dark Divine for teens 14 and older. Fans of Twilight will love this book without fail, but also those who enjoy Maggie Stiefvater and Claudia Gray will like it as well. This story entertains, but also causes the reader to think about what they might do in Grace's situation. I love books that stir up things up and make me think about things.
The next book in the series, The Lost Saint will be released on December 28th, 2010. I'm not posting the blurb from it because it has a huge spoiler for the first book. The cover is just as stunning as The Dark Divine, and should be another great read.

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