A Shimmer of Angels - Lisa M. Basso Real rating: 2.5 stars, bumped down to two

So, have you ever read a book and thought to yourself, this seems familiar? Then by the end, you realize that you’ve read this book before, a few years ago. It wasn’t remarkable, I mean hey, you forgot about it. It wasn’t awful though, but it did have a good enough blurb to fool you twice.

That’s this book.

No, I’ve never read it before, but the book was a massive retelling of the same old, same old.

So, ladies and gentleman, how do we make a Young Adult book? Do we have a love triangle? Why, of COURSE we have a love triangle! Does the love triangle make sense, or is it just there for the sake of a love triangle? Silly! Why would there be a reason for the love triangle? How about we mix that in with some cardboard cutout characters? What other kinds of characters are there in Young Adult?

So, yeah. We’ve got Rayna, who thinks she’s insane because she spent a few years in the insane asylum. I think it’s a pretty legit reason to think you’re insane. She’s in the asylum because she can see angel wings on random people, and attacked said random people. It’s never really explained why she can see angel wings suddenly. I would have liked a little hint in the first book, but it may be explained in subsequent books.

Rayna goes from being an awful liar to a fantastic liar, depending on what the author needs at that point. It drove me insane. Because you can’t be an awful liar to your dad sometimes and then not other times. But a pretty legit liar to a maybe antagonist a few seconds after being unable to lie to your dad. You either are a good liar or a bad liar. It’s a “skill”, people.

Then we’ve got Cam, who has wings and no personality at ALL! Seriously. I tried to find some in him but for the entire book, I was playing Where is Cam’s Personality? It’s sort of like Where’s Waldo, except not as fun. Anyway, Cam has golden wings and can make people feel relaxed. Except Rayna. Oh, wait, no he can do that too in the latter half of the book. But the golden wings is the most important part and the only thing that makes him stand out.

Now we’ve got Kade, who comes in halfway through the book. Who I originally thought would be the antagonist, but silly me! Then we wouldn’t have a love triangle. On a different note, maybe I just wanted him to be the antagonist because three quarters of the way through the book THERE’S STILL NO ANTAGNOIST! Kade isn’t terrible, he’s got more of a personality than Cam, but still not a ton. So of course that means that Rayna is more drawn to Cam. Why? Maybe because of the golden wings, but she actually spent time with Kade and I thought it was just ridiculous. Kade is the bad boy with black wings and sarcasm. He also fell for loving a human. Rayna’s mom. Yeah, let that sink in.

Then we have an awful parent in her dad, a geeky best friend whose only personality trait is geeky, and a really embittered sister who is, of course, only really embittered.

The best piece of this book? The suicides. And they are sort of, kind of, glossed over as soon as the love triangle comes through. The writing isn’t awful, but I think Miss Basso just got bogged down in what she thought Young Adult should have.

There are a ton of little things that got on my nerves. I still don’t know what the hell happens at the climax. The antagonist, Az, is trying to drag Rayna to hell so they can see angel wings or he’ll kill everyone. The way it’s described is rushed, almost like the author couldn’t wait to get it over so that she could get back to other things. Plus, the antagonist is stupid. Why aren’t we just torturing Rayna? What’s with this whole convoluted plan? Not to mention, why hasn’t Rayna seen anymore black wings than this?

The job at the diner may have been the most frustrating piece. First, Rayna should have been fired. How many fucking coffee pots did that chick go through? Second! After you think you saw someone get killed there, and you know the murderer is coming back, why did you not quit your job? When she said she was going back, I almost threw my Kindle. Seriously. That’s a new level of stupid.

Also! “Clear of heart.” Gag me. Seriously.

Nope. I’m out. This was too predictable, too cheesy in some parts, and too confusing in the others. The only saving grace was that there WAS a plot, and the writing wasn’t awful. Which is worth 2.5 stars.