Tuesday, May 15

Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore

Blaming herself for her best friend's death and haunted by nightmares, ballerina Brielle abandons her big city dreams and returns to her tiny hometown of Stratus in the fall of her senior year of high school to start over. Her attempts to lay low are complicated by the mysterious -and distractingly handsome- new kid in school, Jake. When events take an unexpected twist, Brielle finds herself in a crisis of faith, forced to make soul-deep decisions in the face of terrifying circumstances and brilliant truth.

I found a lot to like in this book. The angels and demons are strong, powerful and realistic – decidedly the best portrayal of them of I've seen since reading This Present Darkness years ago. The facts and details, as far as I could tell, lined up well with what the Bible tells us about heavenly creatures. Where creative license was taken, it was beautiful, creative and respectful.

The characters were well developed, especially considering the relative briefness of the book. They were consistent, and it was a blessing to find that the relationships modeled were reflect the kinds of healthy interaction we want for ourselves and our young people – loyal friends, on-target parents/ guardians, supportive teachers.

Perhaps amongst its biggest achievements is the book's handling of difficult subjects like human trafficking and dealing with loss. These elements are dealt with honestly but tactfully; not an easy task. I read this in one sitting and look forward to the sequel!

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