It only took one heartbeat to change my life - one chilling phone call in the middle of the night.
And then, as if my life didn't already suck, my dad sends my brother and me to some idyllic island for the summer to live with a grandma we never met. WTH. Naturally, I rebel. In the end, I find myself shipped off to Raven Hallow... and bored to tears.
Until I get an eyeful of the mind-bendingly gorgeous Zane Hunter. The dark-haired cutie makes my pulse go bonkers, and I think, maybe this might not be so bad after all. Six feet of swoon-inducing looks, with a hint of Celtic charm in his voice, he was the type of guy that left a string of broken hearts in his wake. And I had all the heartbreak I could handle.
Yet, there is something uncanny, almost supernatural about Zane, and it's not just his devastating smirk. No matter how much distance I put between us, Raven Hallow isn't big enough, and the sparking tension between is undeniable. Of course, the one person I want to avoid becomes my salvation.
My past comes back to terrorize me. Someone wants me dead, and the closer I get to the truth, the more I realize my whole life is a lie. I am no longer sure what is more frightening - the attempts on my life or the guy whose heart and soul are synchronized with mine.
©2015 J.L. Weil (P)2015 Caitlin Kelly
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"Swoon-worthy hero makes this book exciting!"
The White Raven by J.L. Weil is an exciting YA paranormal with a young plucky heroine, Piper, whose mother was recently murdered and an old fashioned hot alpha-male bad-boy, Zane, who makes it his job to protect the heroine from the same forces that killed her mother. The angst and sexual tension between the two main characters was very realistic. The hero reminded me a lot of the hero in Meg Cabot's Abandon series, which is a reimagining of the Hades/Persephone myth. In the Abandoned series, the hero is the keeper of the underworld. In the White Raven Zane is the son of the Grim-Reaper who helps souls cross over into the after life.
I absolutely loved the premise of this book, which is not that unique: one group trying to destroy a much smaller group so they can possess all of the power held by the smaller group. What is unique though is that three different communities live in Raven Hallow and each one has superhuman powers with characteristics similar to certain bird species. I especially appreciated the thought that two souls can reach out to each other and be synchronized, especially across different "breeds." What I didn't like was how foul-mouthed Piper was, especially when she is verbally sparring with our hero. I've never heard a teenager or an adult swear that much and I have two teen daughters myself, and chaperoned many buses full of bandies on several road trips over the past six years, including one very long trip to Disney. Don't get me wrong, a little swearing here and there is to be expected, but Piper's vocabulary is 50% bad words with another 25% of nothing but negativity. Her character would be much more believable and likable if her language were toned down.
I listened to the Audible version of this story narrated by Caitlin Kelly. She had great intonation and pace, including differing voices for male and female characters as appropriate. Her portrayal of Zane is swoon-worthy! Her narration certainly contributed to my enjoyment of this book and the overall rating reflects it. I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest unbiased review.
"Premise Overpowered by Weak Characterization"
I struggled to finish the first few chapters - never reached the halfway point, let alone the end of this mediocre YA novel. It takes real talent for an author to write authentic young characters that can appeal to youth as well as adults...let's be clear, that J.L. Weil does not possess this level of talent. The main character's inner musings are shallow and barely tolerable...even her mother being murdered before the book's opening doesn't make me as a reader get on board with her. She literally says "I'm different from other girls" when in fact her inane complaints make her seem like every annoying girl stereotype ever committed to paper.
"Wow! Clear your plans for the day."
I downloaded this to listen to as I cleaned/organized the house on a day off... I ended up being totally wrapped up in it and got nothing done the entire day except listening to the book straight through.Another reviewer described Zane very well as a 'swoon-worthy hero.'
I took off one star because there were a few things that annoyed me - Piper sounds very immature. She is constantly saying juvenile things like "douchebag", "dick nose", etc. I don't mind swearing, but these names sound like something out of middle school, and she is calling Zane these names when he's being nice to her, which makes her sound really insecure. She keeps saying what a jerk he is, but he's constantly protecting and helping her when no one else does. She's the one who is being a jerk to him.
Anyway, Zane makes up for that and I still loved the book. You can feel the connection between the two main characters. I also liked that it was a different angle than all the angel/vampire books out there. Waiting for the next one. I hope they explain why the 'agreement' that was made can't be changed... It seems like if she ends up with Zane everyone would still get the same benefit.
"Love the conflict of the romance!"
I gave this book a chance based on the reviews, and was not disappointed as I listened to it in one day. However there were some things I didn't like.
The main character, Piper, is definitely a unique seventeen year old with her word choices and foul language, which I think is what has been a bit of an issue with some readers. I agree, but not because of the profanity, but the way it's being used. I get the whole angst sullen teen given her circumstances, and her heavy sarcasm even, but her constant cliched phrasing is a little annoying and very excessive as the book goes on.
It wouldn't be so bad if the author stuck to signature phrases for the protagonist, but too many cliched remarks and sayings are used. And since most of the cliches are from way before her time, it makes her sound ridiculous.
She's supposedly inexperienced with boys, but she doesn't come across that way at all. The author plays on Piper's love and concern for her brother to make her sympathetic, but it is very poorly expressed in my opinion, and likewise the relationship between the two siblings. The backstory is very weak and vague, and makes the main conflict that is supposed to have sprung from it shallow feeling because of it, which in turn makes the conflict not very immediate.
I however loved the characters, especially Zane and Zoe. Would have liked to have more setting detail, but the book had a good overall pace. The world is somewhat original, but it's the conflict of the romance that is what makes this book in my opinion.
I can't say anything without giving it away, but it's where most of the gripping stakes in this book lye. The narrator, Kaitlin Kelly, did an amazing job, and I especially was impressed with her male voices, and her Irish lilts. Despite what I found to be flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, since it is filled with on your seat tension. I can't wait for the next in the series, and am anxious to see where Weil takes us next!
"Great YA paranormal romance!"
Piper and her family are devastated when her mother was murdered. She was her best friend and the best mother one could ask for. Her father, stricken with grief, sends her and her little brother to an island her rich grandmother owns. The grandmother she only saw in pictures before. The one her mother left to be with her father.
Arriving at Raven Hallow, her life changes as she never would thought it would. Tons of luxuries she never would have dreamt of at home. Furthermore, everybody seems to know her and of her arrival. She meets Zane, the mysterious and gorgeous guy who seems to hide many things. The island is definitely hiding some secrets and Piper is determined to find out the truth.
I couldn’t get into the story at first, because I thought Piper complained too much and all the time. As it went on, it got more and more interesting and fascinating and I found myself liking the main character. I really wanted her to be with Zane and thought they made a great couple. He really is the one for her. The author introduced a new race of paranormal creatures. I was trying to guess what the people of the island really were for a long time, and I was really surprised when I finally learned the truth. The ending left me wanting more and I’m definitely excited to know what happens next in the series. Fans of YA paranormal romance should absolutely get this!
The narration contributed to my enjoyment of this book. I could clearly picture the main character in my head and her voice was comfortable to listen to. I also really liked how Caitlin Kelly impersonated the main character's romantic interest, Zane.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
"A good paranormal read!"
When Piper and her brother get the call to say that their mother was murdered, they are all absolutely devastated. Piper's dad decides to send them to their Grandmother, who they don't know, in Ravens Hollow. This is the Grandmother they've never meet, the one who their own mother left so she could be with their father, the one who's rich! From the minute they arrive on the island, Piper and her brothers life changes totally! Can Piper find out the secrets of her mothers life? Why does she keep seeing the same tattoo on peoples hands? Just what is going on in this small community and why does she feel drawn to the standoffish Zane?
This took me a little while to get totally into but once I did, I really enjoyed it. It started like so many other young adult books and I was initially rolling my eyes a lot and thinking, here we go again! But then it gets interesting, and I found myself eagerly reading the next page. It's not perfect, but still worth the read.
I liked all the characters, mostly, and by mostly I mean Piper annoyed me at times. I can't pinpoint why exactly but I think it was because she was so whiny at the start. I think if a character doesn't grab you from the beginning, then it's hard to totally like them the whole way through.
The romance was.... hmmm, not sure what to call it really other than similar to thousands of other books! Girl sees hot boy, hot boy is standoffish and doesn't want anything to do with her, yet is somehow drawn to her, girl keeps thinking of him and both end up together, yawn!! I wanted something more from it but sadly, it was just OK.
The plot was what saved the book for me. I loved the history and mythology behind the book. I loved finding out about the White Ravens and can't wait to find out about the Reaper war. It was fast paced enough and mostly held my attention throughout. I will definitely read the next one to see what happens, though I do hope a lot of the cliche is gone!!!
Caitlin Kelly was really good. It's my first book narrated by her and I enjoyed it. She had the right tones for the right times and gave each character their own. I will have to see if there is anything else by her that I'd like to listen to!
*I received a copy of this in exchange for an honest review.*
"The best book ever"
I liked the emotion in the book and the love hate relationship between vain and the white Raven but over all the whole book was good and I can't what for the next book
"Great YA Paranormal Romance"
The story gripped me from the beginning. It was hard to put it down. I'm looking forward to book 2!
I found the story unique and refreshing! I have never heard anything like it. I'm so hooked. I enjoyed learning about Piper and her rebellious attitude. I don't blame her. It is not easy to go live with someone you know nothing about, specially after her painful loss.
Zane is an intriguing character and I can't help but want to see where their story goes. There are so many secrets and so much that Piper doesn't know.
The narrator did a great job bringing the story to life. The book concluded in a bit of a cliffhanger. A lot needs to be sorted out and some important decisions need to be made.
**This audiobook was provided free of charge in exchange for my honest unbiased opinion**
Honestly, I spent most of the book being annoyed by the main character. She was so immature & dramatic it was exhausting being in her head. The story was okay, but nothing I haven't read before. Overall I was very underwhelmed.
I enjoyed the story line of White Raven in theory. However, the main character is a brat who tries to come across as tough, and who has a foul mouth which was somewhat of a turnoff for me. She was completely disrespectful, rude and stayed horny which had me doing the eyeroll throughout the story. With the exception of the paranormal aspect, everything was predictable between the main character and Zane.
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