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A Beautiful Dark

A Beautiful Dark

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A Beautiful Dark

évaluations:
4/5 (81 évaluations)
Longueur:
302 pages
4 heures
Éditeur:
Sortie:
Sep 27, 2011
ISBN:
9780062093189
Format:
Livre

Description

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.

Éditeur:
Sortie:
Sep 27, 2011
ISBN:
9780062093189
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

Jocelyn Davies is the author of A Beautiful Dark and A Fractured Light, the first two books in this captivating trilogy. She edits young adult fiction at a publishing house in New York, a job that has allowed her to cultivate a keen interest in all things angsty, hilarious, and/or unrequited. She is a graduate of Bates College, and lives in an apartment overflowing with books.


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A Beautiful Dark - Jocelyn Davies

dark.

Chapter 1

The air had a brutal edge to it as I stood outside of Love the Bean, the local free-trade coffee shop. Snow from a recent storm had frozen over in the subsequent days’ chill, leaving the roads and the sidewalks in town slick and hazardous. I almost slipped four different times as I walked from my car to the front door. The wind sliced at my neck where it was exposed beneath my hat, and I scanned up and down the street for signs of life.

Welcome to Saturday night in River Springs, Colorado: downtown was dead. Eden’s Gate Market, Big Mouth’s Diner, Into the Woods Outdoor Co.: most of the storefronts were dark.

Cassie and Dan were waiting for me inside the coffee shop. Every year I made them promise not to throw me a party, and every year they didn’t listen. It had become a tradition. So tonight, I’d planned everything. We were starting with celebratory cupcakes and lattes, courtesy of our friend Ian, who worked at the Bean and was always giving us free stuff; then when Ian ended his shift the four of us were going to see the midnight show of Storm Enemy at the Clark Street Cineplex, because I loved, loved, loved terrible disaster movies.

Struggling not to lose my balance on the icy sidewalk, I pushed through the front door.

At first, I thought I’d made a mistake. Except for the recent addition of some fairy-tale-caliber twinkle lights, the room was mostly dark, and completely empty.

Hello? I whispered. The door closed behind me with a light jangle of bells. I could hear a quiet, insistent sound. A soft shhhhing.

Surprise! Cassie jumped out at me from behind a purple velvet armchair.

"Come on," I groaned dramatically, finding it difficult to act surprised when I really wasn’t. I should have known she’d ignore my plan in favor of hers.

On cue, probably half of the junior class exploded out from behind various other velvet armchairs and overstuffed couches and from behind the coffee bar. I could see the rest of the girls from the ski team, Cassie’s friends from her band, and Dan’s track buddies. Northwood High School was small enough that most of the different groups got along, and apparently my birthday was enough of a reason for them to converge.

Happy birthday! everyone yelled.

Cassie! I hit her with my hat. You promised!

She held up her hands in surrender. Sorry. You know I never do what you tell me to do. She laughed and shook her head. You never learn.

Cassie grabbed my arm and maneuvered me through the crowd toward a circle of couches in the back. I could see Dan waiting for us with a mischievous smile and a glittering box.

Okay, wait, I know you also said no presents, Cassie shouted above the music as we worked our way through the throng, but I have no self-control.

You better not have spent—

Of course not. Don’t worry, it’s total crap.

When we got to the table, I started to say I hate you, but Dan interrupted me by nearly toppling me over in a bear hug. Aw, don’t be mad! Are you mad? Do you still love us? Because if not, my plan to finally have Cassie all to myself worked. He punched Cassie playfully on her arm. She rubbed the spot, and I could see the muscles in her cheeks twitch as if she was trying not to smile.

"Please, do you see the apocalypse? Because I’d give up on that happening until you do. She reached down to pick up a steaming mug. And even then, it’s negotiable."

I’m holding out for a hot zombie, I added.

Yeah, or, like, the hot scientist who finds the cure.

Or the hot government agent who’s assigned to protect you from the international terrorist who plans to wipe out the nation with the world’s first zombie virus weapon of mass destruction.

Because you carry the zombie virus antidote in your blood.

Exactly.

It’s a recessive trait.

What movie are we talking about? Dan asked.

Anyway, Skye, Cassie said, ignoring Dan’s question and holding the mug out ceremoniously, this is for you. She opened her cardigan, and a flash of metallic flask glinted at me. Seventeen is a big year.

It’d be bigger if the apocalypse was coming, Dan mumbled.

Did you two start drinking before I got here? I asked teasingly.

Cassie was decked out for the occasion in a floral minidress under her favorite yellow vintage cardigan, her red hair piled loosely on top of her head. She wore thick, sweatery tights and snow boots that were ubiquitous in Colorado during the winter. Dan was in his navy blue hoodie, the one he never took off. His straight brown hair flopped in his eyes, and he pushed it back. I just couldn’t stay mad at them. They’d been my best friends since kindergarten, and we were still as tight a unit as ever.

Okay, I admit it, I said. You guys are amazing. This place looks incredible.

Aw, she likes it! Dan nudged Cassie. Don’t get all mushy on us now, Skye.

"It better look effing incredible. Cassie sighed. It took me like two hours to finish making the paper icicles and untangle those little twinkle lights."

You are a craft goddess, I assured her.

Speaking of crafty, Dan said, pointing to the present on the couch behind him, you probably don’t want to hear this—his voice dropped to a stage whisper—"but we got you something." He mock-ducked, as if I was going to hit him.

Hilarious, I said. Did you practice that?

The present was wrapped in wrinkled silver tinfoil with gold glitter glue looping out the words Happy Birthday, Skye.

"The present was totally my idea," Cassie said.

"But I was in charge of wrapping it," Dan said, jumping in.

As if she couldn’t tell. Cassie rolled her eyes at me. But don’t open it now; it might be too much for your surprise-averse heart. Do us all a favor and open it later when we don’t have to painfully wait for your reaction. Okay?

Okay. I laughed. Plus, I don’t want to ruin this gorgeous wrapping job.

It’s harder than it looks, Dan insisted.

I’d like to propose a toast. I know I don’t usually like surprises, but . . . They looked at me expectantly. This one is pretty cool. Thanks.

Cassie lifted her mug. We like doing this stuff. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy. And we know birthdays are hard for you. I gave her a pointed look, which she pretended not to notice.

To always having each other’s backs. Dan raised his own mug.

To seventeen, Cassie added. The year it all falls into place.

Our mugs clinked together, echoing through the noisy coffeehouse as if it were only the three of us.

The twinkle lights cast a fuzzy glow over everything, and the music blasted full-volume out of the coffee shop speakers. More than one person had Cassie’s idea to stash a flask on them. Maggie Meltzer, the captain of the girls’ ski team, fed me shots of Jägermeister from her pink aluminum water bottle as the rest of the team started a dance party around us. Someone else pushed one of Dan’s track friends up against me and then we were dancing, too. From somewhere I couldn’t quite pinpoint, I heard Cassie’s voice float up: For someone who isn’t crazy about surprises, she’s really taken to this one.

Eventually I started to feel a little dizzy, like when you swim too far from shore and suddenly realize that you can’t touch the bottom anymore. Pausing for breath, I tipsily made my way back to our couches, using my arms to propel myself off the furniture, swimming against the tide. Cassie was sitting next to Dan, their heads tilted toward each other, their knees almost touching as they talked.

Hey, Skye! I turned around to see Ian smiling and wielding a tray of multicolored cupcakes. Cassie and I liked to call him Dan’s best XY friend. He had clean-cut sandy hair and a treasure map of freckles scattered across his face. Seeing Ian always made me happy. Not as happy as I often felt he wanted me to be, but still.

See, we can stick to at least one part of the original plan. Ian offered me first choice. On the house.

How are you not already fired? I asked as I picked out a pink-frosted vanilla cupcake with rainbow sprinkles.

This place would fall apart without me. I’m the sexy handyman.

I pushed him lightly. Shut up.

Really. He nudged his shoulder against mine. Anyway, I’d get fired for you. He set the tray on the low table in front of the couch where Cassie and Dan sat. Cassie jumped up immediately. Oooh, sugar, she crowed, grabbing a chocolate cupcake with yellow frosting.

Ian dropped down beside me. I’ve got a fifteen-minute break, he said. So, were you surprised?

"You mean even though you all went against my explicit instructions to not surprise me? Just like you did last year?"

And every year? He picked up a chocolate cupcake and began peeling off the wrapper, sucking some frosting off his thumb.

Yeah. Believe it or not, I was.

Ian nodded to himself, pleased. So what do you think of the band? he asked.

I glanced back to the small stage in the corner where three guys were playing indie pop. Not bad.

Not as good as The Somnambulists, Cassie said quickly.

Is that what we’re calling your band now? Dan said, amused.

But your band wasn’t available tonight, Ian reminded her. You had a surprise party to make happen.

True. She reached for another cupcake, splitting it in half with a fork. I have many talents. She absently passed me the other half. I sort of outdid myself tonight, didn’t I?

You did, I agreed. Next year, though, when I say no surprise party, I mean no surprise party.

Like that’s going to happen, Ian said.

If we don’t throw you a party, who will? Cassie asked, before turning her attention back to Dan.

I knew she didn’t mean them to, but her words stung. I thought of my parents. I had such fuzzy memories of them because I was so young when they died, but my mom’s best friend—my legal guardian, who I call Aunt Jo—had given me this whole box of photos from my childhood with them. Apparently every year on my birthday, my mom would bake me a woefully lopsided cake from Funfetti mix, and she’d let me decorate it with chocolate and vanilla frosting in a marble pattern. The cakes were all pretty hideous, according to the pictures, but marble-frosted Funfetti cake was still my favorite dessert. Funny the things I could suddenly miss even though I barely remembered them.

You look really great, Ian said quietly, bringing me back to the present.

Thanks, I said. Must be that one-year-older thing.

No, you always look great. He blushed, suddenly fascinated by what was left of his cupcake.

He was wearing a green polo shirt with the Bean logo over his heart. Not exactly sexy. I knew he wouldn’t believe me if I told him he looked good, too. It would just be me trying to feel comfortable with his compliment. Trying to make us both feel comfortable with it.

It was getting hot in there, too loud, too crowded. I never did well with small spaces and large gatherings. I wanted to be on the slopes, skiing, with the exhilaration of the bracing wind rushing over my face. That was where I always wanted to be.

I need air, I announced to the group.

"You mean frostbite? Cassie looked up dubiously. Have fun."

Bundle up, dear! Dan called in his best grandma voice.

I scanned the pile of coats on the couch for a glimpse of mine. All I could see were my hat and scarf peeking out from under someone’s parka.

You want company? Ian asked.

Thanks, I said, pretending to be engrossed in searching for my outerwear, but I’m just going to catch a few deep breaths. Not worth you getting frostbite, too.

That’s cool. He stood up. I gotta get back to work anyway.

The cupcakes were great.

I didn’t bake them. His voice held a strange, disappointed edge to it, and I was left with the feeling that I’d somehow done something wrong.

With a sigh, I watched him walk away. Why didn’t you just say yes, Skye? Would his joining you have been the worst thing ever? No, but I craved the solitude, just a couple of minutes alone. He’d understand. He always did.

After snatching my hat and scarf from the couch and slipping them on, I snuck out the front door.

The cold air swallowed me whole. It felt good, revitalized me. Out here, it was quiet and peaceful. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, enjoying the alone time. When I opened them, the full moon stared back at me, lighting up the mountains below.

Hey.

I whipped around, embarrassed at being caught having a moment of reflection. Someone was standing against the wall of the building behind me. I could see the outline of a guy’s tall, sinewy frame, but his face was obscured by the shadows cast by the awning.

Oh, I gasped. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to disturb you. I can— I turned toward the door.

No, stay, he said. It was getting too quiet. He stepped into the light. I’m not used to living so close to the mountains. I think they create a sound buffer, or something.

Our eyes met, and something in the way he looked at me made me pause. The blackness of his eyes was magnetic, and something strange flickered through my own in response. I had the weirdest feeling of déjà vu.

It was dark where we stood on the street, but what moonlight there was shone on his face, exaggerating the definition of his cheekbones and illuminating his smooth olive skin. His short hair was so black that it was hard to tell where he ended and the night began. You’re Skye, right?

Yeah, I admitted, tearing my eyes away to look back out at the mountains. I didn’t want him to catch me staring. Did I know him? He didn’t look familiar, but he seemed to recognize me. Maybe he’d heard someone inside say my name. Hiding from my own party. I’m such a winner.

He sized me up. You don’t strike me as someone who would avoid a good time. So there must be more to the story. Anything—or anyone—specific that you’re hiding from?

Nope, I said. Nothing.

Nothing? His tone was playful, like we’d known each other all our lives and shared secrets.

Or everything, I admitted, trying not to smile.

He laughed, and the low sound echoed across the empty street. My stomach twisted. Calm yourself, Skye. I never reacted this way to guys I’d just met. I was usually the cool and collected one. It was Cassie who was boy crazy.

So do you make a habit of ducking out of your own parties? he asked.

"Only when they’re thrown for me against my will. Do you make a habit of lurking outside of other people’s parties?" I shot back.

Without question. He grinned, showing off an adorable dimple. You never know who you’ll meet.

We stood on the silent street for a while, at an impasse, just watching our breath escape in clouds of steam into the night. I wanted to keep talking to him, but my brain felt stuck.

You really need to stop letting Cassie empty her flask into your drink, I thought.

I should go inside, I said finally. They’re going to wonder where I disappeared to.

What’d you wish for?

I turned to face him again. What?

Your birthday wish, he said. You know. Closing your eyes. Blowing out the candles. What did you wish for?

For some unknown reason, warmth rushed up my spine, flooding my cheeks. Why did so innocent a question seem so intimate? I must have forgotten to make one, I said, realizing as the words left my mouth that they were true.

It’s not too late, he said. You’ve still got half an hour to change your life.

I looked at him, confused. What a strange thing to say to someone you’d just met. Maybe I don’t want to change my life.

You wouldn’t change anything at all?

My mind flashed to my parents, of course, but wishing for a way to feel closer to them was impossible. No, I said. Not really.

Well, I hope that works out for you.

I turned back toward the door, feeling like I’d missed the point of the conversation somehow.

I’ll see you around, Skye, he said as I walked back inside. Happy birthday.

Chapter 2

In the privacy of the fluorescent-lit bathroom, I stared at my reflection. My eyes were flashing silver in the light—true silver, not the silvery gray they appeared to be on most days. I blinked, but nothing changed. They only flashed brighter, more vibrantly. They reminded me of a movie we watched in chemistry earlier in the year. When the scientist broke an old thermometer into a petri dish, the mercury slipped from the cracks in the glass, quick and light, not nearly as thick and goopy as I’d expected it would be.

I couldn’t quiet my heartbeat. What had caused my eyes to look this way? Had the effect started before I went outside? Or did it have something to do with the unexpected attraction I’d felt to the guy leaning against the wall? I realized now that I didn’t even know his name.

When I heard the door to the bathroom open followed by the sound of laughter, I fled into the nearest stall and pressed my back against the cool metal door. I fought to calm my erratic heart and wild thoughts, to focus on the problem at hand. I couldn’t face my friends until my eyes were normal gray again. What had I done to make it stop the last time this happened?

I’d been skiing in a race about two weeks before. It had been neck and neck for a while—this girl from Holy Cross Academy and I. I’d leaned into the wind, feeling for the turns, blocking out the noise, the sound, everything but the feel of the snow beneath me. At the bottom, when she congratulated me on my win, I took off my goggles. Whoa, she’d said. Are you wearing contacts? And moments later, in a bathroom so much like this one, I saw it for the first time. My eyes like liquid silver coins staring back at me in shock.

I detached myself from the stall door and waited until the two girls who had interrupted me left, the door squeaking open and then shut. The bathroom was quiet. I emerged, lifting my face once again to stare into the mirror, bracing myself for what I was about to see.

But my eyes were back to the same old nickel gray. Something my dad used to say needled its way into my thoughts. Little silver bells. When they ring, we’ll know. It came out of nowhere. I hadn’t thought about it since he’d died.

Pushing the memory aside, I took a deep breath and stood straighter, appraising the rest of me. My skin looked even paler than usual. My jeans and periwinkle sweater, which before had felt just right for a cozy night with friends, now felt frumpy. I took my sweater off. The tight T-shirt underneath was marginally better. My black waves were plastered to my neck from the dancing, and I scooped them up into a ponytail.

I glanced down at my watch. It was almost midnight. I wondered if everyone would give me a hard time for going home this early. Cassie would be disappointed. She’d been gloating all week that she’d convinced Aunt Jo to forfeit my curfew just this one night. I hated to waste it, but I’d suddenly lost all enthusiasm for partying. Why did this keep happening? Was I sick?

The bathroom door squeaked on its hinges again as I pushed my way back into the hall, reminding myself to tell Ian that he should probably get that fixed.

The light in the hall was dim, and it took my eyes a little while to adjust to the difference.

But then I saw them.

Two guys were standing with their backs to me. I could barely make out that one was blond, while the other’s close-cropped hair blended into the dark background. They spoke in hushed tones. Every now and then their voices rose and then fell again, as if the conversation was heated but they were afraid of being overheard. I couldn’t see their faces from where I stood, but I definitely didn’t recognize them.

I could hear only a snippet of the conversation: Not . . . yet! The blond guy stood straight, his arms stiff by his sides and his hands balled into fists. You are not supposed to interfere.

Do you think I care? the dark-haired guy whispered loudly. Your rules mean nothing to me, Devin.

In a blur, he pushed the blond guy, sending him toppling back into a stack of wooden chairs that went crashing to the ground. At least, he must have pushed him—he moved too fast for me to see exactly what had happened. Everyone turned around to look. Someone cut the music. Devin looked stunned as he lay tangled on the floor amid a nest of chairs.

"I can see that, Asher."

Devin shoved himself to his feet. Asher came back at him, and the two locked together, head to head. Some people in the crowd shouted. I tried to suppress the panic rising in my throat.

You would have done the same thing. Asher’s voice was a growl, deep and menacing.

You know I wouldn’t have.

As the crowd gathered in closer, I found myself right at the front, inside the circle. People jostled against me, striving to get a better view. I was trapped.

Well, whose fault is that?

Devin twisted around in Asher’s grip, and Asher went flying backward—toward me. I couldn’t move; the crowd was packed in too tight. Closing my eyes, I held my arms out to catch

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  • (5/5)
    I love how Jocelyn was able to interpret the feeling of a spiritual person,I think if the world was ever able bring about the same interpretation of pain and loneliness human beings experience, it would be her line about Skye, being in pain and only being understood by non human beings, it showed the depth of pain mortals face, even in the real world. I think this series is so under-rated. I wish that they would make a movie of this book, I haven't read alot of Y.A series in long time because some of them all the have the same tropes. But I love how unpredictable the love triangle is in this series. I am now officially a fan of Jocelyn's work. This story will live rent free in my mind until I get old.???
  • (5/5)
    I love it . I really ship Ian and Skye who else dose it, ??
  • (3/5)
    Not a bad little paranormal teenage romance lent me me by a co-worker. I was a little worried about the angel thing because I loathed Fallen. Skye is the Mary-Sue in a small Colorado town that is not gritty at all. She's got more than a triangle and a choice between order and chaos ahead of her. A quick and light read.
  • (5/5)
    This book is GREAT !! I was so caught into this book.
  • (4/5)

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    Jocelyn Davies has written what I lovingly call "book candy". So easy and delicious to devour, that it might just be a sin. Books like this may or may not knock my socks off, but they'll keep me reading on and on until I'm finished. A Beautiful Dark was just that for me. Nothing too heavy, nothing mind blowing, but a sweeping and enjoyable read nonetheless.

    Skye is a wonderfully vivid character. The reader is treated to a view of Skye's entire life, including her tough past and her bright present with her friends. She is funny, smart, sweet, and a loyal friend. It was honestly hard not to appreciate Skye, even when I felt a little bit frustrated by her choices (or lack thereof). She's a real person. It just so happens that she has an extraordinary side to her as well.

    If that wasn't enough, Joceyln Davies offers up two very different boys for the reader to choose between. One light, one dark. One cocky and charismatic and the other stoic and at peace. Devin and Asher are like night and day, but this works very well for the story. The tension that exists between these two crackles off the pages. Their existence makes Skye's story so much more intriguing.

    As I mentioned above, the story line tends to fall into a pattern that ends up a little easy to anticipate at times. A Beautiful Dark is, at it's core, an angel book. It follows a lot of the same rules that books in this category often do. Light and dark. Good and evil. Skye's future is hinged on which she chooses. What kept me immersed in the story though was the unique set of rules that each side had in place. Davies doesn't just allow her boys free reign over their lives, there are rules that must be followed. I won't spoil, but it does make things much more interesting.

    The bottom line? This is a great read. I didn't find it to be anything absolutely unique or groundbreaking, but it was a great read nonetheless. I was looking for something a little less serious and a little more fun, and I found that in A Beautiful Dark. I'm not one to compare books, but I will say that if you enjoy paranormal romance this will be a book you are sure to fall in love with. Good luck choosing sides!

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • (5/5)
    Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance, Young AdultColorado The night that Skye turns seventeen she meets two very different and enigmatic strangers. Their appearance in her life also manages to send it into a tail spin. Asher is dark and wild and Devin is his complete opposite being fair and aloof. The only thing Skye knows about them is that their presence seems to coincide with several strange events that are happening. She doesn’t know what they want from her or why they seem to follow her everywhere. Skye ends up discovering a secret in the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter night. A secret that threatens to shatter the world she has always known. She is falling for Asher and yet can’t seem to stay away from Devin which is tearing her apart. What she soon finds out is that her choice will end up reaching farther than the three of them could begin to imagine. This is the start of a series that starts out fast and pulls the reader into the story without letting go even after the last page is reached. The characters are well written and intriguing. The story slowly unfolds in such a way that it makes it very hard to put the book down until the reader finds out what is exactly going on. While it ends on a cliffhanger it proves to work with the story line and will have readers eagerly wanting to read the next book in the series. The story also takes some great twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of their seats. This is one book worth checking out. It is also a book that while it seems to be lengthy once the readers starts they will find that they quickly reach the end long before they are ready too.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this one, but there wasn't anything that completely made it original. I mean, I connected with Skye, and I liked the tension with the triangle being Devin and Asher. I personally liked Asher a lot more because he is dark, handsome, and the banter and on the other hand the tender moments they have. Devin just never really seemed to get his chance to really shine, and though they have moments they seem to come too late after Skye and Asher connected. But Skye is conflicted so there is still the triangle, but my personal choice has been made, and it would take a lot to change my mind in the next one. I enjoyed Skye coming into her own and learning and mostly being really frustrated by her powers and learning about her history. Her parents died when she was little so of course there were things that she didn't know about them, but the two new boys, that are vying for her heart and her destiny shake everything in her life up and make her open her eyes to who her parents were and what that means for her. I will def be continuing with this series. Bottom Line: With steamy romance(s) and a main character I felt for so I devoured even though the premise isnt the most original.
  • (4/5)
    In this novel, Skye is a quiet, well-behaved teen who does not seem very enthusiastic about the world around her, except for the stark beauty of snowy Colorado. She has two close friends, Cassie and Dan, but I didn’t feel that Skye truly felt connected to them beyond the convenience of interacting with those around her. Individually, the characters work, and each have their own depth depending on their importance to the story. Besides conversation and some references to the past, we really do not get a sense of who some of the characters like Dan or Ian are beyond vague descriptions and interactions with Skye. Asher and Devin, on the other hand, are described with more attention to detail as Skye learns more about the two. Her adopted aunt’s character delivers more depth, but I think that is because Skye has no other family to turn to, and Aunt Jo has been her caring and supporting rock and Skye’s only connection to her parent’s past. I think these characterizations are Jocelyn Davies’ way to indicate the lack of connection Skye feels with those around her until the two new strangers enter her life.Asher and Devin explode into Skye’s life, almost literally. She is drawn to both guys, but for different reasons. Asher is fun, sexy, and a wee bit dangerous, while Devin exudes tranquility and follows all the rules. While this seemed cliched at first, their characterization made complete sense as the book progressed. Both were sent to look after Skye and make note of her progress as she grows older. In fact, the book starts with Skye’s seventeenth birthday party where she first meets Asher and sees him fighting with Devin. Asher and Devin are at odds throughout the whole book, both warning Skye to not trust the other one, as if Skye wasn’t confused enough about them. This tug and pull between the three of them is what kept the story going, though the story was a bit inconsistent at times.There are some gaps in the timeline and information that could have been stronger. For example, Skye instantly gives up skiing, something she loves to do, after an accident, but never mentions it again or say that she misses it which I find odd for someone who was a passionate champion skier. There is also the fact that Asher has been around for a lot longer than Devin, but that is never explained. Switching from Skye obsessing over Asher and Devin to her hosting a party without either of them seemed incongruous to the story. Also, if Cassie was Skye’s best friend, wouldn’t Skye at least talk to her some about the two guys, even if she doesn’t reveal their secrets? The one time she tries was ill timed and seems to alienate her from Cassie even more, though Cassie doesn’t realize it. I just feel Skye and Cassie’s relationship is too vague, and could have been portrayed better.The ending of the book came too fast, and left too many questions for me to sit comfortably until the next book comes out. The events at the very end were a bit confusing to read. There is just too much information that Skye and the reader don’t know, which leads to betrayal and high emotions. I hope that the next installment will answer those lingering questions and let us know what Skye’s future is. Notable Scene:My mind was tugged in a thousand different directions, as we walked through the darkening parking lot as the sky shifted from twilight to night. I barely noticed all the remaining cars that belonged to the students involved in after-school practices and meetings.I wasn’t like anyone else I’d ever known before these guys showed up in my life. How would I fit in with Cassie, Dan, and Ian? Holding this secret–a secret so big that it felt like it would consume me.I must have shivered, because Devin took his jacket off and hung it across my shoulders lightly, almost as if he was afraid to touch me. I hoped he didn’t realize that it wasn’t just the cold I was shivering from.“Thanks.”He was quiet, leaving me to my own thoughts. And there were lots of them. Every now and then I would begin a sentence and leave it unfinished, trailing off into the bitter night air.Finally Devin turned to me, his face illuminated as we passed under a streetlight. “That happened very quickly, much more suddenly than I would have liked.” Then we were back in the dark, his face hidden again. I saw him relax and realized he preferred if I couldn’t see him. “If you have any questions, you can ask me.” We were almost at my car; I could see it a couple of rows away.“What are you?” It was the question I’d asked before they’d managed to avoid answering.“I’m a Guardian. A messenger.”
  • (3/5)
    VOYA Rating: 3Q3PRecommendedSkye is being treated to a surprise birthday party thrown by her friends. She didn’t really want a party, but her friends wanted to celebrate with her. Skye had lost both her parents when she was little and was raised by her “aunt” (her mother’s best friend who adopted Skye). Skye has been noticing small changes that are happening to her. On the night of her 17th birthday, 2 super hot cousins, Asher and Devin, show up in her small town. She is immediately attracted to both of them in different ways. Even stranger things begin happening now. The story starts to reveal that Skye is part angel and she needs to choose whether or not she is going to join the Order or the Rebellion. Skye decides that she is going to try to live her life normally, but the appearance of her powers and of Asher and Devin put a stop to any sense of normalcy. Skye begins to realize that one by one, the people she has loved in her life have been taken away from her. She gets swept up into the world of angels, who are forcing her to choose sides. Each side believes the other is wrong and without them humanity would spiral into chaos. Skye feels betrayed by everyone and the truce is broken.With the way this book ended, there will probably be a sequel. This book is a paranormal romance. It was a light, entertaining read. The angels in this story, part of the Order and the Rebellion, are actually aliens who keep humanity from descending into chaos. Each side has it’s own philosophies and have been battling for centuries. Skye’s parents were from the Order AND the Rebellion which had never happened before. Neither side liked that Skye was born from love. They were waiting for Skye to turn 17 and see what powers emerged and that would dictate which side she would belong to. I think more will be revealed in the second book because it’s hard to tell what the purpose of the rebellion is. Why are the angels meddling in humanity? I think this book is a good fit for teens into paranormal romance. The characters are following the angel trend. It has a unique spin in that the angels are aliens and not religious figures. For those readers looking for action and romance, this book would be a fun choice. I think it is a good additional purchase for a school or public library. Nothing really objectionable, so it’s good for middle and high school. I emailed the book trailer created by the publisher to all of our students. I am also going to make a book display with all the angel books that I have in the library.
  • (1/5)
    What drew me to A Beautiful Dark is probably pretty obvious: there's a girl wearing a dress on the cover. That said, the more I look at it, the less I'm sure I actually even like the cover. The dress isn't all that flattering, and I hate the way it goes up at the shoulders. Clearly, the pointy shoulders were to suggest wings, which they do, but they also look like crazy evil-witch-queen shoulder pads.

    From the very beginning, this book reminded me heavily of Personal Demons, although this book was definitely better. Both are about a girl being pursued, because of her super secret powers she doesn't know she has, by two hot guys, one light, one dark. In both books, the guys appear from out of town and infiltrate her high school. Both heroines are torn and want both guys. However, this one works a bit better, because at least it's not told from the POV of the heroine and one of the guys, which made the love triangle more stupid than most.

    The main problem I had with this book was that the characters were all flat, failing to resemble real people at all. First of all, there's Skye. At first, I thought I might like her, because she was focused on good grades, totally not looks-focused, and not boy crazy. Of course, this level-headed girl goes out of the window as soon as the hot boys show up. For all that she's supposed to be incredibly intelligent, she fails to make any but the simplest deductions about the situations in which she finds herself. Although possessed of a lot of power, she doesn't try very hard to learn how to use it, and spends most of her time crying about how she just wants to be normal. Wouldn't a girl who loves to study want to figure out how to make use of her talents, rather than moping to lessons? Despite all that power, she has no control over at all, and thus does nothing useful with it ever.

    In addition to Skye, there are three boys panting after her. First, there's Ian, the requisite best friend in unrequited love. He ought to be sympathetic, but he has no personality. He merely alternates between trying to buy Skye's affection with tons of free beverages from the coffee house where he works and being a dick to her because she doesn't like him.

    Asher, the dark angel boy, is the one she feels an immediate lust for, even though she quickly decides that he's a playboy. The heroine has correctly identified that this guy is a bad place to put her heart, yet she spends most of the book wanting him. I will never like a male lead who winks as much as Asher does. Oh yeah, and did I mention the part where he totally was watching her secretly for most of her life? I thought Edward watching Bella sleep after they met was creepy, but Skye didn't even know him and he was watching.

    Devin seems the best of the lot, assuming you have a thing for boring rule-followers. Not to mention the ordained to be with someone else part of the equation. His main qualification as boyfriend material is that he has a calming effect on Skye. This could be romantic, I suppose, but it's not here.

    Skye's friends, Dan and Cassie, could have stolen the show. Several series that I love/hate have awful main characters but keep me coming back for the sidekicks (prime example: Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments books). Unfortunately, Davies didn't care about them all that much, and they don't do much of anything interesting either.

    The plot, too, is lacking. Honestly, despite the fact that it's almost 400 pages long, not a whole lot happens to move the plot arc along. It feels as though this could have been the opening to a novel (assuming you cut out the unnecessary stuff), rather than a complete novel itself.

    Fans of Twilight will flock (punned!) to this series, but if you're in it for plot, a strong heroine or originality, I would recommend looking elsewhere. That said, I might end up reading the sequel, because it has a pretty cover. Hopefully not though.
  • (2/5)
    I've been slowly reading this for 3 months. The story didn't even really start until about page 200. After that things picked up, and then it ended horribly. The only reason I kept going until the end is that I was concerned about some of the content and I wanted to know exactly what was in it. I was very disturbed by the absence of any adults or supervision for these teenagers. They did whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.Some cussing and vulgar language, teen drinking and talk of "hooking up".
  • (3/5)
    The very first thing that drew me in on NetGalley was the cover. I think its really beautiful the way she's like flying and after reading the story I kind of think I know what scene it was from. Anyway, so I clicked it and read the synopsis and I was intrigued by the two boys. It didn't really say what they were, just that one was "dark" and the other is "fair." I wanted to see what theur mystery was. So I was able to review it (thank you HarperCollins) and it turns out that they're angels. I was so excited because I LOVE books with Angels. They're my favorite genre of paranormal romance. As far as the story, I liked it. I will say that at the beginning I was like ok... where is the moving plot, but it got a lot better after the boys introduced their story and said what their purpose of being there was. Also, the love triangle.... I'm not exactly sure what to say about it. I was just as confused as she was while bouncing back and forth between the two during the story. It wasn't until the very end where we got something definite. (I didn't like either one during the plot but at the climax it was confirmed.) As far as everything else concerning Skye, she was an ok character, but I couldn't reallly relate to her. She was ok, but not terrible or great. I was a little disappointed because like I said I was looking for a "real" romance with angels, but it was ok. I enjoyed the read and Davies' writing style, but I wish I liked the two dudes more and the romance was a bigger part of the story. Lastly, the end does have a cliff hanger ending. If you do not like them, you will definitely not like this ending. I'm unfortunaely one of those kinds of people. I felt so lost and confused. Like its ok to have a cliffhanger, but don't put it to where the reader feels like they still don't know anything after the entire story is read. That's the way I felt. Hopefully this book has a sequel. (That's why I put that on the book's info at the top. I need there to be a sequel to understand the missing part.)
  • (4/5)
    A Beautiful Dark is a fateful tale of forbidden love and twisted fate--I can't wait for the next installment. What did I like? 1.) Asher--the dark, mysterious, is he good or bad?, guy. I couldn't get enough of Asher--he melted my heart! 2.) Devin--the other mysterious, is he good or bad?, guy. Devin had me on edge the entire time. I don't know whether to love or to hate him. 3.) The blurring lines between gooda and evil. Many times in books, you have the clear cut good guy and the clear cut bad guy. I love when books walk the line with this distinction! From beginning to end (and still), I have no idea who to root for! Davies kept me guessing over and over again,and I look forward to her next book. Davies builds a world that doesn't reside in dichotomies. There is no black vs. white, good vs. bad, or love vs. hate. Even though the characters themselves try to insit that this is exactly how the world is, everything they do, everything they say, is riddle with shades of grey!!!! The only downer? At times, the action did drag. It's almost 400 pages, and it probably could have easily been 320 pages of non-stop, thrill-seeking love and action; but instead, there were some duller moments I just wanted to skip through. And the end? I don't know how I feel about it yet. I like the cliffhanger ending, but I still find myself saying, "It ended there? What the geez?""
  • (5/5)
    Yes! Another book that has left me with my mouth open. I really don't know where to begin. Let's start with the cover. Doesn't it scream pure awesomeness? I love it! When I first saw this cover I knew this was a book I had to get my hands on. I am sucker for covers and I've said this thousands of times, I am guilty of judging a book by it's cover. If I saw A Beautiful Dark in a bookstore, I would have picked it up without reading the back thanks to its cover.With that said, I guess I can start piecing together all these crazy thoughts I have in my head about this book. Jocelyn Davies has made her way to my TOP THREE YA authors of 2011. I LOVE it when a book keeps me up super late reading. I just could not put A Beautiful Dark down. It had a very nice beginning, awesome middle, and banging ending. I feel I must warn everyone though, if you are not a huge fan of cliffhangers, well here's a head up. A Beautiful Dark has a HUGE cliffhanger, and YES this bothered me, but only because who knows how long I have to wait for the next book since this was an Advance Readers Copy. I was up all night thinking about this book and mad at myself for reading it so fast, but I just couldn't stop reading. The story was just SO good and put together so well. From chapter one til the end there is always something happening that keeps you turning the pages. To me there wasn't a part in the book where I was wishing it would just hurry up and get to it. It's at a perfect pace, not to slow, not to fast. When I did put it down to have dinner with my family, I was tempted to read and eat at the same time. I was dying to know what exactly these two new boys wanted with Skye and why was Skye so important.Asher... Where do I start? Everyone loves a bad boy and Asher is the perfect bad boy. His personality made this book. I loved him and he is now my TOP THREE favorite male characters of 2011. Even though I am not a big fan of love triangles, I feel A Beautiful Dark wasn't overly dragged out with it. It's clear that Skye has more of an attraction to Asher (or it could just be my love for him) than she did Devin. Devin was a very nice character, but to sweet for me. I am so Team Asher! The bickering between the two was very funny and sexy. Who doesn't want two guys fighting for your attention?This is a definite FIVE star for me. I think everyone who loves YA and Paranormal stories needs to add this to their To Be Read pile. Or you can just pre-order it now. I promise you WILL NOT regret it! 5 out of 5 Stars!
  • (4/5)
    Let me just start this review by saying that the only reason I gave A Beautiful Dark an A instead of an A+ is because it ended on a cliff-hanger, and I hate cliff-hangers! That and I wanted to kick Skye a few times at the end because she kind of acted like an idiot... twice. I can't say that I would have acted any differently, but since I was on the outside looking in, I can see the problem with her assumptions. Oh well. That being said, I can't wait for the sequel! Over all, it is an excellent book. For a good part of the book, Skye has no idea what's going on, and while you can kind of guess the gist of what's happening to her, you can't figure the entire thing out until the big reveal. I liked that because it kept me guessing throughout the book. Some of the things that Davies hinted at were a bit obvious, and I figured them out pretty quickly, but I didn't figure out all of Skye's situation until the very end. It's much more serious than she thinks, and that was surprising. The characters in the novel are wonderful and easy to relate to. Skye is a character who draws you in right away. The fact that she doesn't like crowds and takes her studies seriously made me feel a connection to her immediately. I would have liked to have seen more of Cassie, but it's clear that she could not have been in the book as often as I would have liked. However, I would have liked to have seen more memories from Skye's and Cassie's childhood. It would have helped solidify their friendship in my mind. I LOVE ASHER! He is wonderful. He is probably my favorite character in the entire book. I like how he's sarcastic and caring at the same time. Devin doesn't really blow me away. I didn't trust him from the beginning, and I still don't trust him. I'm sure he means well and all, but I just see him as weak-minded and heartless. That's pretty typical for a love triangle, though. You love one and hate one. Ian and Dan were pretty flat characters, but that could have been because they weren't around much. Ian bored me to tears. I was kind of glad he wasn't around more, to be honest. Dan was okay. Nothing special, though. Raven was a believable villain. She is catty and it's obvious from her introduction that she stops at nothing to get what she wants. I kind of hated her, but obviously I was supposed to. She reminded me of a cross between a mean girl in high school and some kind of psycho killer type. Not a settling combination, to say the least. I really enjoyed reading this novel. It's a unique take on the angel lore that's so prevalent in YA literature today. I can't wait to see what happens to Skye, Asher, and Devin in the next book. I'd recommend A Beautiful Dark to anyone ages 12+.
  • (3/5)
    Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales Quick and Dirty: While I found the characters and mythology interesting, the plot was unsteady. Opening Sentence: The air had a brutal edge to it as I stood outside of Love the Bean, the local free-trade coffee shop. The Review: In this novel, Skye is a quiet, well-behaved teen who does not seem very enthusiastic about the world around her, except for the stark beauty of snowy Colorado. She has two close friends, Cassie and Dan, but I didn’t feel that Skye truly felt connected to them beyond the convenience of interacting with those around her. Individually, the characters work, and each have their own depth depending on their importance to the story. Besides conversation and some references to the past, we really do not get a sense of who some of the characters like Dan or Ian are beyond vague descriptions and interactions with Skye. Asher and Devin, on the other hand, are described with more attention to detail as Skye learns more about the two. Her adopted aunt’s character delivers more depth, but I think that is because Skye has no other family to turn to, and Aunt Jo has been her caring and supporting rock and Skye’s only connection to her parent’s past. I think these characterizations are Jocelyn Davies’ way to indicate the lack of connection Skye feels with those around her until the two new strangers enter her life. Asher and Devin explode into Skye’s life, almost literally. She is drawn to both guys, but for different reasons. Asher is fun, sexy, and a wee bit dangerous, while Devin exudes tranquility and follows all the rules. While this seemed cliched at first, their characterization made complete sense as the book progressed. Both were sent to look after Skye and make note of her progress as she grows older. In fact, the book starts with Skye’s seventeenth birthday party where she first meets Asher and sees him fighting with Devin. Asher and Devin are at odds throughout the whole book, both warning Skye to not trust the other one, as if Skye wasn’t confused enough about them. This tug and pull between the three of them is what kept the story going, though the story was a bit inconsistent at times. There are some gaps in the timeline and information that could have been stronger. For example, Skye instantly gives up skiing, something she loves to do, after an accident, but never mentions it again or say that she misses it which I find odd for someone who was a passionate champion skier. There is also the fact that Asher has been around for a lot longer than Devin, but that is never explained. Switching from Skye obsessing over Asher and Devin to her hosting a party without either of them seemed incongruous to the story. Also, if Cassie was Skye’s best friend, wouldn’t Skye at least talk to her some about the two guys, even if she doesn’t reveal their secrets? The one time she tries was ill timed and seems to alienate her from Cassie even more, though Cassie doesn’t realize it. I just feel Skye and Cassie’s relationship is too vague, and could have been portrayed better. The ending of the book came too fast, and left too many questions for me to sit comfortably until the next book comes out. The events at the very end were a bit confusing to read. There is just too much information that Skye and the reader don’t know, which leads to betrayal and high emotions. I hope that the next installment will answer those lingering questions and let us know what Skye’s future is. Notable Scene: My mind was tugged in a thousand different directions, as we walked through the darkening parking lot as the sky shifted from twilight to night. I barely noticed all the remaining cars that belonged to the students involved in after-school practices and meetings. I wasn’t like anyone else I’d ever known before these guys showed up in my life. How would I fit in with Cassie, Dan, and Ian? Holding this secret–a secret so big that it felt like it would consume me. I must have shivered, because Devin took his jacket off and hung it across my shoulders lightly, almost as if he was afraid to touch me. I hoped he didn’t realize that it wasn’t just the cold I was shivering from. “Thanks.” He was quiet, leaving me to my own thoughts. And there were lots of them. Every now and then I would begin a sentence and leave it unfinished, trailing off into the bitter night air. Finally Devin turned to me, his face illuminated as we passed under a streetlight. “That happened very quickly, much more suddenly than I would have liked.” Then we were back in the dark, his face hidden again. I saw him relax and realized he preferred if I couldn’t see him. “If you have any questions, you can ask me.” We were almost at my car; I could see it a couple of rows away. “What are you?” It was the question I’d asked before they’d managed to avoid answering. “I’m a Guardian. A messenger.” A Beautiful Dark Series: 1. A Beautiful Dark 2. A Fractured Light FTC Advisory: Harper Teen provided me with a copy of A Beautiful Dark. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
  • (3/5)
    This is another one that was just wasn't for me. It was okay, I just didn't love it. In fact, it took me 168 pages before I even wanted to continue reading it. It is super sloooooow.I felt no connection to Skye whatsoever. She was a little bland, a little annoying and I didn't care what happened to her one way or the other. I didn't fall for either of the two boys. They were fine, but not swoon-worthy. I'm not about to declare myself Team Asher or Team Devin. Come to think of it, I don't even think I'm Team Skye.And it's a shame. The premise of this book seemed like something that I would love. All the ingredients for a fantastic YA paranormal romance are in place--a heroine discovering an unknown origin and the powers that go along with it, and a love triangle involving two smoldering guys--but it failed to hold my attention. It lacked that certain something that grabs the reader by the throat and refuses to let go. And it just wasn't an original enough plot to make up for the lackluster writing and subpar pacing.Would I recommend this book? Sure. Selectively. It has received tons of rave reviews. Some people absolutely LOVE this book. But in the end, all I can say is that a lot of nothing happens then the climax hits you out of nowhere, leaving you with an incredible cliffhanger and too many unanswered questions.Personally, I felt the awesome ending was too little payoff for the slow start and I don't appreciate the fact that I have to wait for the sequel to get any sort of satisfying conclusion to the most interesting part of an otherwise boring tale. Still, none of this changes the fact that I will be awaiting the sequel. At this point, I have to know what happens next.
  • (3/5)
    I was intrigued by the summary of this book but wasn't too sure I would like it. I did like it, but it was nothing that stood out for me. The storyline was not original and I think my limit is drawn on love triangles. Enough is enough. But to judge this one fairly and not compare it to a distaste for the concept, I have to give the author credit for making it interesting! I thought it was different to see Skye torn between how she felt about the love interests all the way up until the end. I didn't feel a connection to any of the characters and they all felt like poor carbon copies of other characters I liked from other similar books. Skye seemed too whiny and not a strong character to admire. All the secondary characters felt useless and not likeable. It was still a good read and a good attempt at a overly used concept in YA paranormal.
  • (3/5)
    I wanted to like this book but, it just didn't do it for me. The main thing not in it's favor for me was the fact that I just couldn't seem to like Skye. She is too wishy washy for me. Half of the book revolves around her going back and forth between having feelings for Asher and Devin. I love a good love triangle as much as the next person (actually one of the reasons I bought it), but I couldn't decide who Skye liked until the last two pages...literally. Then there is poor Ian, the best friend whom Skye has to be blind not to have noticed he has a thing for her, but constantly insists on hanging out with. Give the poor boy a break. The characters just weren't that likable to me. If I had to pick a favorite it would definitely be Asher. He was dark, brooding, and a bit of a playboy. The thing that made him stand out is that he was his own person. Asher isn't perfect and doesn't apologize for it. He goes after what he wants and still manages to make you like him. I knew what the characters were from the first page, no shock there. The thing is that I have read stories along this same line dozens of times. A Beautiful Dark didn't add anything I haven't read before. I was upset with the lack of originality. Onto the part I liked. The ending was the best part of the book. It could have been fleshed out a little more, but I so was not expecting that to happen. A Beautiful Dark leaves off with a huge cliffhanger. Will I be picking up the next one? The answer is if the price is right. My review might sound alike I hated the book, but I didn't. A Beautiful Dark was just OK.
  • (5/5)
    Why exactly is it that I love angel books so much? Oh yeah, it's because of awesome, impossible-to-put-down books such as A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies! When I say that this book was impossible to put down, I mean it! My ARC copy of this book is bordering on 400 pages, yet I read this book from start to finish in around 7 hours, unable to tear myself away.I really loved and connected with so many of the characters in A Beautiful Dark, which is something that is really vital to my enjoyment of a book. If I can't connect with the characters, I find it next to impossible to really get into a book, but there were no worries in that regard when it came to this book! Skye was someone that I felt a connection with almost immediately! She seemed like such a normal teenaged girl; hanging out with her best friends, dealing with boys, trying to do well in school and starting to think about collage. I really like it when I can actually relate to a character, as was the case with Skye, at least before her life got flipped upside down by the arrival of Asher and Devin. I also really liked Skye's feistiness, she definitely had a bit of an attitude and wasn't afraid to use it, especially when it came to Asher and Devin. Skye had so many other great traits, such as her intelligence, strength and determination that really drew me to her and made her such a great character in my eyes!In addition to having a great main character, A Beautiful Dark also had two absolutely scrumptious love interests! Asher was definitely a bad boy and as a result, he had me hooked from the beginning. He's a bit cocky, mischievous, playful, outgoing, and a total ladies man, at least from first impressions. But once we get to know him better, we get to see a much more caring and gentle side of him, although his wild side is still definitely there! Asher's perfect balance of sexy bad boy and sweetheart made him an ideal love interest for me! The polar opposite to Asher's wild ways was the always in control and rule abiding Devin. For the majority of the book Devin was quiet and reserved except for a few fleeting moments when we got to see behind his walls. What I found interesting was that, from a glance, Devin would seem to be nothing like Asher, but as I got further in the book I definitely got the feeling that Devin was a lot more like Asher then he should have been. I feel like he craved to be able to break the rules, no matter how much he tried to hide it. I think that in the end, Devin's refusal to break the rules really turned out to be his biggest flaw.The plot of A Beautiful Dark was great! It kept me interested and on my toes, and it was an awesome take on angels. I liked getting to learn a bit about the history of the angels and can't wait to learn more about them in the future books in this series! Also, Jocelyn Davies' writing was awesome, I felt like this book was so easy to read in I would find myself getting sucked in and then being astonished by how much I'd read without even realizing it! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone!
  • (4/5)
    I absolutely loved this book! The protagonist, Skye, is so strong despite all the hardships she's faced. She's loyal to her herself and her friends, and that says a lot about her character. The love triangle/deception/confusion adds tremendously to the story of Skye discovering her power and the forces of light and dark. Excellent addition to the angel genre of YA Fantasy. This is the first of what I expect to be a dramatic and intense series. I'll definitely be recommending it to many of my YA patrons.
  • (5/5)
    Recently I have read quite a few books that have settings in colder, mountainous locations...and this book did a wonderful job of painting a gorgeous landscape in Colorado. The author created a fantastic situation in which to introduce Asher and Devin to Skye. The mysterious newcomers are perfectly blended into the scene of the night of Skye’s birthday party. The chemistry between Asher and Skye is undeniable, but there is also Devin who is the strong, silent, “zen” type and is also dreamy. I love trying to figure out their personalities and watching them each interact with Skye and with each other. You can definitely see that Asher & Devin have...issues with each other, and the conflict between them gives the story a feel that I would compare to a rubber band stretched to it's limit before snapping.The story gets a little frustrating at some points because you want Skye to go ahead and figure her powers out so she can make up her mind about the huge decision she has to make, but at the same time...you get to savor the moments with her and the boys. (Which was fine by me.)There isn’t a lot of information given to the reader (or Skye for that matter), but it’s better that way because the ending is SUCH a cliffhanger! You get to see who the heroic stud is out of Asher & Devin and it leaves you BEGGING for the story to continue. I loved Skye’s BFFs Dan & Cassie (and Ian, I guess--he totally likes her, feeling is not mutual, poor thing)--they are GREAT supporting characters in her life and have surprises/secrets of their own. Her Aunt Jo is her mom’s best friend that adopted her when her parents died in a car crash when Skye was little...and she’s a strong mother-figure for her, but is absent a lot on her excursions. However, you really get to see how independent and resilient Skye is by herself. I really enjoyed this book because I think it accurately depicts high schoolers that age without censoring so much that it becomes prude and unrealistic. I’m almost 24 and I know exactly how high schoolers behave, and some authors try to censor out all of the risky business which drives me crazy. The portrayal of the high school students and teachers in this book are REALISTIC and that is the best part because it makes the rest of the story easier to get lost in. I would definitely recommend this book if you love fallen angels!
  • (4/5)
    A Beautiful Dark is as breathtakingly wondrous and mysterious as its title. Jocelyn Davies has a way with words that allows her not only to tell the story but to ornate it. The sentences, chapters, scenes, all flow into one another, filled with rich imagery and raw emotions.Skye incorporates several of my ideals in a heroine. She is witty, and she has equally witty friends that I want to share (read: steal) backing her. Inside, she is still a teenage girl. She worries about school and worries about guys, and she has real strength. Strength is something that Skye needs when Asher and Devin come into her life.While I'm not fond of love triangles, having seen so many of them in recent books, I really can't blame Skye's attraction to these two impossibly hot guys, and I do like how she deals with them in the beginning. She doesn't fall for the two hot guys and ask questions later. Though she is intrigued by them (like everyone else), she deals with them in a realistic manner. Just remembering her attitude towards them has me cracking up inside. Skye is just so down-to-earth.Of course, this being a paranormal romance book, Skye's world takes a 180-degree turn when she finds out the truth about her origins. And let me say that I am perfectly happy living my normal everyday life without having to make the decisions that she has to make. Davies leaves us with a cliffhanger—a shocking, momentous cliffhanger—that has me on the lookout for book two!
  • (3/5)
    I don't know why I torture myself and read books when I know they have love triangles. I guess maybe I decided to read this because I heard the love triangle wasn't too bad, and in retrospect, it really wasn't. However, if Skye continues to love Devin in the next books after what he did to her, then there is something seriously wrong with her. And that would be a terrible message to send to whoever is reading this book, honestly -_-A Beautiful Dark starts off in normal. It's Skye's birthday, she has a guy pining after her, WHOO. Enter Asher and Devin, and, well, everything isn't so normal anymore. I kinda liked the way they were introduced into the book :PI had one huge problem with this book, and it had nothing to do with the love triangle. There was no subtlety. Everything was just too obvious and predictable - except for the end with Devin, I didn't see that coming - and the mystery felt way too forced. It wasn't suspenseful at all, in my opinion.I won't rant about the love triangle, because it doesn't pertain to this book, but every book with a love triangle, but I will say this - Skye was kind of ridiculous when it came to Asher and Devin. She's always thinking about one of them, but what really annoyed me was how one paragraph she was thinking about Asher and then the next she was thinking about Devin and it was like Asher didn't even exist, or vice versa. It wasn't very often that she compared them. In romance terms, at least.Another issue I had was the pacing. It felt too fast to me. It seemed like it was just WHAM-BAM-ANGEL TIME. To be honest, I got kind of bored sometimes because the entire middle of the book was either Skye avoiding Asher and Devin or Skye trying to find her powers with them. (With a little romance added in, sure, but meh.)But I do have to admit that the love triangle really wasn't too bad. I hope it remains that way in the next book. Especially after what Devin did -_-Overall: This book needed to slow down a little bit, include some more details. Skye wasn't the best narrator to me, because of both her thoughts and actions. She just wasn't interesting. But A Beautiful Dark does seem to have a new take on angels, and the end was a complete surprise. 2.5 stars. (I'm sure I'll end up reading the sequel. Just because I'm really a masochist when it comes to books, it seems.)
  • (4/5)
    Love triangles, and angels, and crazy cliff hangers… oh my.Finally a YA book with a main character that has friends that I really like. Real friends that were supportive and not annoying. I especially loved Skye’s best friend Cassie who stood by Skye through thick and thin. As much as I enjoyed the characters in A Beautiful Dark what rubbed me the wrong way was how often Skye’s Aunt was gone. I mean come on what parent is going to leave their teenage daughter home alone for 10 days? Mine never did. Maybe I’m just jealous.Speaking of Skye, I liked her. I felt like she was a strong, smart character that showed a lot of emotion. I don’t know what I would do in her situation. Normally in a love triangle you can pick who you would go with…um, let me clarify that…who I would want Skye to go with, but, let me tell you right now, with Devin and Asher I just have no idea.Asher and Devin are rivals and both are vying for Skye’s trust and, well, other things. Neither Asher nor Devin are supposed to want Skye romantically, but you can guess how that goes. As A Beautiful Dark progresses you don’t know who to trust, even though you want to trust them both. All of this leads up to a stellar of a cliffhanger ending that had me biting my nails off.Dear Jocelyn Davies,I need the next book. You just drove me crazy with that ending!Happy Reading,Rebecca
  • (3/5)
    I had high hopes for this book. The whole angel thing wasn't something I had read a lot of and I was kind of looking forward to taking a break from faeries, vampires, werewolves and dystopians (although I do adore those dystopians).Everything started out wonderfully. I was immediately drawn in by the quick pacing and dropped hints of silver eyes and mysterious guys. (Hey that rhymes!) The introduction of Asher had me swooning in my seat (or was that just the swaying of the subway train?) and Devin heightened the intrigue to a whole new level. By the time Asher and Devin end up in a fist fight in the middle of Skye's 17th birthday party, and the cafe's boiler blows causing everyone to have to evacuate, I was already on the edge of my seat.But that was pretty much where the excitement ended. At least for me. I'm not a big fan of the whole romance thing as it is, especially when the story is mostly based around that. I am really tired of the whole love triangle issue (more of a love square in this book). It's usually pretty clear who they are going to end up with and you are usually left hoping they change their minds...but they rarely do. The one thing I did like about this story is that it does keep you guessing a little more than most. Even after finishing the whole book I'm still left unsure as to which one is the better pick.I quickly got tired of the back and forth between Asher and Devin, I'm better, no I'm better, she's mine, no she's mine, my side should win, no my side should win, garbage. It was literally exhausting. OK...we get it...I find another common theme in YA books lately is for these kids to conveniently have no parents (or any adult authority) around them often, if at all. Skye's parents are dead, and she lives with her aunt, who conveniently is a tour guide and takes groups up into the mountains all the time and is almost never at home. It's not just this book, it's almost all of them lately, and it's just starting to bother me. I find it too convenient that authors keep doing things to these parents and guardians that makes them "disappear". Maybe if they were around more these kids wouldn't do such crazy things. /sigh I know I know...that's the point right? It's all just too convenient for me, and lazy writing...find a better way to work things in.There were also some weird flow issues here and there, things that I hope will get cleaned up between the ARC and final polished publication stage. The one thing that stuck out is after an accident where Asher is telling Skye to stay awake because she hit her head and might have a concussion, however after she starts asking some questions that make him feel uncomfortable he tells her to get some sleep. Huh?I liked that the chapters were short. I find it's easier to stay engaged in a story when the chapters are shorter. Also, being a transit reader, it's easier to break in between sections when moving from one vehicle to another, and then to work or home.I absolutely hated the ending. I had no idea whatsoever that this was to be part of a series, (or a trilogy as I have now come to discover). I was really really hoping for that nice and neat standalone novel. Well I was disappointed again. Goodreads usually prepares me for these types of things, but it let me down this time! It STILL doesn't show it as part of a trilogy. I had to Google it after turning the last digital page, once I had finished screaming of course...But even if I had of known that there were going to be more books, the ending still would have sucked. I'm sorry...these cliffhangers are getting tiresome...I understand you have to keep us hanging a little on some things...but to just end us all at the cliff is ridiculous...and again...lazy.I might still read the second one...just to find out what happens with Asher and Devin...but I'm really in no hurry and it wouldn't kill me to never find out...
  • (3/5)
    Fallen Angels and Love Triangles...this is what I posted in my link this past 'Teaser Tuesday.' I believe that phrase describes this book accurately, but with a little twist to it. On the night of her seventeenth birthday, Skye Parker meets two guys she's never before seen in her small Colorado town. One of them, tall, dark and outgoing introduces himself as Asher. The other, Devin, is more reserved with blonde hair and piercing blue eyes. Both of them seem to force themselves into Skye's life. They are in every class and appear around every corner. As attractive as they are, Skye's had enough of the stalker-act and confronts them for answers. What they tell her sends her seemingly normal teenage life in a tail-spin. Everything she's known to be true is tested. Who is Skye Parker, really? What is her destiny? There are tremendous similarities between this and other Angel/Nephilim books out on the market today, but I don't find that the fault of the author. That's the market today for young-adult fiction. But author Jocelyn Davies doesn't follow the usual rules of any other novel i've read on Angels. If I state any of the differences here, it would be a spoiler, but Davies does a great job with building her characters and keeps the reader hanging on. I don't see anything about a sequel, which would be an incredible disappointment seeing as how the book ended, so I can't imagine Skye's story is done yet.
  • (5/5)
    After reading several mixed reviews of this book- I was hesitant to start it! But when I did, I was pleasantly surprised to be giggling on all of page TWO, and thinking, "WIN!" when Skye and her friends start talking about the coming zombie apocalypse during her birthday party! "I'm holding out for a hot zombie," "Yeah, or, like the hot scientist who finds the cure." "Or the hot government agent who's assigned to protect you from the international terrorist who plans to wipe out the nation with the world's first zombie virus weapon of mass destruction."Hehe!!! I loooove this: One- because it's her birthday party, and Two: because it's very much a conversation my friends and I would have at a gathering of any sort! Anyzombiewhatever... Moving on!Skye steps out for some air, where she encounters a gorgeous guy... Of course. At this point I'm thinking that this guy is either going to be the villain or the romantic interest. Predictably, she is instantly attracted to him. But, what intrigued me was what he says to her after she tells him that she hasn't made a birthday wish, "It's not too late," he said. "You've still got half an hour to change your life."Ooooh! Right?!?!Coincidentally, Asher (the guy outside her party) and his cousin, Devlin, start attending Skye's school the following week! We've got two guys- ONE chick... *sigh* but oddly enough I thoroughly enjoyed this particular love triangle/battle of wills between Devlin and Asher!Devlin and Asher are as different as night and day. Asher is flirty, cocky and dangerous, in contrast to Devlin's sweet, calm confidence. What intrigued me the most was that where as the romance factor was mostly focused on Asher- and that's who I would have USUALLY been pulling for... but I was SO Team Devlin (for MOST of the book)!At this point I know that one of them HAS to be the 'villainous' one... That's just HOW it works! But which one? Have I been completely fooled? Am I way off point? If so... Kudos to to Ms. Davies, because that doesn't happen often!About 1/3 of the way in, I find myself tiring of the general bit of 'nothing-ness' going on... UNTIL they go on a ski trip and around the camp fire, Asher tells a 'story' about a Rebel and a Guardian of an elder race of greater beings falling in love, having a baby and being shunned by their respective sides. WE of course know that these are Skye's parents- but she doesn't figure it out until Devlin and Asher take her up to the roof of her school and reveal to her their WINGS!Asher is a black-winged, Rebel and Devlin a white-winged, Guardian. Both sent here to watch over Skye as she comes into adulthood. There has never been a child born to a Rebel and a Guardian before, so no one knows what she will become... But BOTH sides want her.Then Devlin's little blonde-haired, blue-eyed angel girlfriend/mate shows up out of the blue... and I call party foul! I wasn't made aware of this chick so I get to switch teams! And this may have had a little something to do it with it too, "He [Asher] had taken my face into his hands and the rest of me into the darkness of his wings, and he was kissing me and I was kissing him and we were kissing eachother in my little bedroom, in my little house, in my little town, while the mountains soared into the sky."Uh yeah...A Beautiful Dark had a KILLER ending... Made complete with forbidden love, two HOTTER than hot male love interests, a hidden past and an unknown future. I am dying to read the next one!4.5 stars!
  • (4/5)
    From the beautiful, prophetic cover to the prologue, A Beautiful Dark is a promising book.The book is set in the snowy mountains of Colorado, providing a nice change in climate from a genre predominantly set in sunny, beach spots or the rainy, dreary Northwest. Every time Skye ventures outside for a break from the drama, the wintry blasts seemed to re-invigorate me, as well. In addition to the change in scenery, I also liked main character, Skye. She is a girl with a good head on her shoulders. She's smart and responsible, but is not so uptight that she becomes someone that you can not relate to. She takes the revelations that are furiously thrown in her direction with the incredulity that is to be expected. And, she doesn't become overly infatuated with the two new guys in her life, Devin and Asher. Skye subjects them to the scrutiny they deserve and is quick to call them out on their games. I also liked Skye's core group of friends, Cassie, Dan, and Ian. They were funny, kind, and always had her back. They also were just mischievous enough to make them realistic. Their scenes provided a nice contrast to the drama surrounding Skye's love life.And speaking of love life, I'm not even sure that's the right way to phrase it. Let me start with the two "guys" in question. Skye meets Asher first. Asher is wild, unpredictable, a rule breaker. That appeals to the side of Skye that longs to break free. Devin is calm, peaceful, a loner. He adheres rigidly to the rules, believes in order. He appeals to the part of Skye that longs for peace and logic. I was never sure which guy was the supposed good guy/bad guy. First I thought Asher was bad, then Devin. Then I thought both, but possibly neither. I thought I knew who I wanted Skye to be with. But I wasn't sure that he was the right one, the good guy. But then I wasn't sure that I cared if he was the good guy, because I liked him. Are you getting a sense of my general confusion? Well played, Davies. Because I felt like I knew where the whole story was going, but she certainly kept me on my toes. The ending of A Beautiful Dark is filled with tons of revelations and HUGE cliffhanger. But, in a way, I felt unsatisfied. I can't quite explain why. It just felt... lacking. But I plan to read the next book in the series, hoping to get some answers. Favorite Quote:" With Asher, I'd begun to feel like conversation was a game, a skill, and I couldn't show my hand. I had to hide my smile, make him work for it. With Devin, things just seemed so easy.""Devin was more of a dove. Asher was a hawk."*I received this book from Harper Teen, in exchange for an honest review.*
  • (5/5)
    Now we all know how the old saying goes: don’t judge a book by its cover, but I’ll be totally honest. I couldn’t wait to read this book and it was all about the cover. It pulled me in immediately. It’s an enigma. Who is this girl? The background is dark and stormy; the title is evocative of an intriguing mystery. I couldn’t rest until I was one of the first readers and got my hands on it. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.Skye, the protagonist, age seventeen is living a normal life—sort of. She’s the unrequited crush of a young man that works at the coffee shack, trying to negotiate school and friends and come to terms with the loss of her parents, killed in an accident. Having Mom’s best friend as her guardian is great, but it can’t remove the pain that is always brewing beneath the surface.Missing parents are a common device in YA fiction to allow for situations that would be a lot more difficult if not impossible if adults were present—at least if you want a credible story or the writer is utilizing irresponsible parents as part of the plot. That’s not the case here. The missing parents are an integral part of the mystery of this story. They’re part of a delicious little twist that is essentially only hinted at. I’m hoping to see it explored more as the tale continues.Jocelyn Davies does a nice job of worldbuilding. It was easy to fall into that world and visualize the cold, ski-town, the crunchy ice and the hot, steaming coffee that await the teens who meet up at the intimate coffee shack. When two hot boys who are diametrically opposed to each other, appear in Skye’s life, things begin heat up—and I’m not talking about that coffee!I loved the two strange boys that Skye finds herself jockeying between. The author is to be commended for giving Devin and Asher very unique and distinctive personalities. Readers may find themselves liking one more than the other, but that’s okay because people are often drawn to one type of person over another. That’s the way it is in the real world. They both had their strengths and flaws and I had a hard time deciding whom to root for. Their emotions had depth and I loved the attraction and repulsion they had in their connection to Skye.The ending was a total shock and a huge cliffhanger. This is no stand-alone novel. One must read the next book in the series to get important questions answered and I for one, can’t wait!