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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lailah by Nikki Kelly

At first glance, LAILAH is a YA paranormal book, but deep down, it's really a book about self-discovery. When I first read the synopsis, I was intrigued by the mystery behind the story and the characters. I was even more interested when I realized that the story was originally posted on Wattpad, and eventually got picked up by a major publishing company. I've never read anything on Wattpad because I don't really have the time to read unedited books, but with a huge following on Wattpad, and a publisher that could polish and enhance the writing, I just couldn't stay away from LAILAH. Although it fell a little bit short of my high expectations, I still enjoyed the story quite a bit.

The main character's story is what really had me interested in the book. Francesca (or Cessie), or Lailah as she was known in her 'past life', isn't an ordinary girl. She doesn't know who she is, or what she is because she seems to be immortal and forever young. She explains her situation as best she can when she says, "Every time I die, I wake up. I don't remember anything about the past. I have some fragile recollection of who I am, who I was... The memories, the visions are the only insight I have. Some days, they seem more of a curse than a gift." (ARC p. 275) Obviously, because of the title, this book is her story, discovering why she's immortal and why both vampires and angels are after her. Character-wise, I find her very apathetic, despite being very mysterious. I would assume that someone who's known for a long time that they're immortal would want to know more about themselves and why they 'resurrect', especially since that someone barely remembers anything about her past lives. Eventually we learn that this has been going on for over 200 years without her finding out the truth. Don't get me wrong, I love learning things through characters, but this doesn't seem realistic because human nature would have her asking questions way before.

The whole story begins when Lailah saves a vampire and then meets an angel. They seem to hold the key to finding out more about her, especially since associating with them has brought her a lot of attention. Now, a large bunch of vampires and angels are after her, although we don't really know why they're interested. Gabriel, an angel of Death, Jonah, a new-ish vampire, and a few other vampires form a group that are trying to fight darkness and evil vampires. They more or less adopt Lailah to their little group, because most of them seem to really care about her, and want to help her survive against the dark vampires.

The mystery girl, the vampire and the angel end up forming a messy love triangle. I'm a fan of love triangle when done right, but in this case, it was quite typical. For most of the the novel, Lailah is pretty indecisive, and obviously with an angel and a vampire, you have the clichéd good boy vs. bad boy struggle. One thing I did like, however, is the fact that one love interest is completely new, and the other is someone she has known forever, but has forgotten almost everything about him because of her weird resurrection situation.

Many other clichés are found throughout the book, like the heroine always running away when faced with danger, the insta-love between characters, the one character that holds the answer to almost everything (Gabriel) but doesn't want to reveal too much, the character that is so special and has amazing powers and strength but doesn't know why (Lailah), the female lead always being told what to do by the male lead (or any male in general), and many others. I was also annoyed by the amount of time talking shopping and doing the actual shopping. I'm a big fan of that activity, don't get me wrong, but there's no sense in being overly repetitive.

I wish the author could have avoided some of the clichés, or at least toned them down a little. Despite all these little quirks I had with the book, I really did enjoy the story. The interactions between the characters and the overall mystery was exceptional. I didn't even mention the wonderful world Nikki Kelly created, which balanced mythology and original concept perfectly. Each chapter leads to more suspense and intrigue. The numerous and stimulating secrets will have you binge read this book because you won't be able to put it down without learning more. I'm definitely interested in finding out what happens next in this saga because I truly expect this series will continue to fascinate readers.

stephsig hallow

Tynga is a 32 years old mom of two, from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and photography.

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