After a young woman’s mother dies, she finds out her absent father is an angel, and then she is contacted by reapers who tell her that she’s to learn how to be one of them and lead souls to their next destination… This doesn’t sound like the sort of story I’d like, especially since it’s YA, something I generally avoid due to a distaste for “insta-love” and similar, all-too-pervasive clichés.
“Spoiler”/good news: There’s no insta-love in this novel.
The plot, which after the middle of the book looks at first to be a trite A-B-C quest (find the thing so you can find the next thing so you can find the thing after that), turns out to be rather more complex than that. Not only is the thing more difficult to find, but the reason for needing it is… not straightforward, after all. Unveiled is not a short story’s plot stretched out into a novel through adding lots of filler scenes. Then again, neither is it one of those irritatingly minimalist novels in which the author leaves out nearly everything – no descriptions, no internal dialogue – under the guise of “let the reader imagine everything for her/himself.” (I don’t read stories by other people so I can imagine everything myself. When I want that, I have my own stories, thanks.) Although I never felt an emotional connection to the characters, I was honestly curious about what would happen to them. Sometimes, that’s enough to keep me reading.
I do sort of like the protagonist. In one scene early on, she thinks good Mexican food is far more important than looking at cute boys whom she couldn’t date anyway. Jo has her priorities right! 🙂 Oh, I’m sure she’ll end up in a relationship – not just a close friendship, alas – with the guy who annoys her so much through most of this novel, but it won’t be because she thinks she has to have a boyfriend to make her existence have any meaning.
I can’t say I’d seek out the sequel to this novel, but I also don’t think I’d refuse to read it for the purpose of reviewing it, if the author doesn’t repeat the one (fairly big) problem with this first book in the series. Y’see, I’m rather fond of books having correct punctuation and grammar. I know it’s not supposed to matter at all, that most ‘readers dont care is the grammer good all they care is do they like the characters and what happen at the end?’ but I’m not like that. I have trouble reading for enjoyment when nearly every page (more than ninety percent — I counted) of a book has at least one error, and many have more than one. Comma splices and run-on sentences get in the way of the words, which means they get in the way of the story. My advice to the author: Next time, find an editor who knows grammar and punctuation (and who specializes in YA fantasy/paranormal, if possible), because there are far too many errors in this book, and a good story like this one deserves better.