This year is all about book challenges. The second challenge I signed up for is the 10 in '10 Teen Chick Lit Challenge. One of the books I included on my list was The Dark Divine by Bree Despain.
Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.
The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel's shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.
The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy's dark secret...and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it--her soul.
I hadn't read a single review of this book and really didn't know what to expect. A few days after Christmas, I was armed with a Barnes and Noble gift card and ready to splurge on new books by new authors. While browsing the YA Fiction section, The Dark Divine caught my attention because of its intriguing cover art. My favorite color is purple, so that's another reason I was drawn to it. I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but it's worked out for me the few times I've given in to cover art. This time was no exception!
Not knowing what was going to happen and discovering the secrets as Grace did made the adventure all the more exciting. I really liked the way Bree Despain created suspense and tension, taking the characters (and this reader) on a captivating, seductive journey where the outcome wasn't predictable.
Even better, Grace was a strong, feisty, loyal female character. A true heroine. I often find those traits lacking in YA Fiction characters.
No matter what you enjoy--forbidden love, mythology, religion, horror, family secrets, the paranormal--there's a little bit of everything in this book. With a debut novel this good, I cannot wait to see what Bree Despain comes up with next!