Novel: White Hot Kiss (Dark Elements #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published: February 25th 2014 by Harlequin Teen
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she’s anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses. Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she’s crushed on since forever. Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she’s not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn’t an issue, considering Roth has no soul. But when Layla discovers she’s the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
I want to start this review by saying that I love Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’ve read so many of her books, and they are always fun, quick, interesting and always feel like a guilty pleasure. Even though I don’t feel guilty at all for loving them. So when I was in this huge reading slump, I knew her books would still appeal to me and captivate me. And I wasn’t wrong.
Aside from the fact that it’s written by Jennifer L. Armentrout, what attracted me to this book is that it has gargoyles. I can’t say I’ve read (m)any other books about gargoyles, so I was really intrigued. It has gargoyles and demons. Which is awesome.
I have to admit that aside from the love triangle, the synopsis doesn’t really give anything away about the story. Which can be a good thing, because then you get to go along and discover what’s happening alongside Layla, the main character. I didn’t know what to expect from the actual story, but I was pleasantly surprised. The plot line kept me reading, and I was invested in the story! I don’t really want to say anything about it, because then I’d be saying more than the synopsis does and I’ll feel like I’ve spoiled you. I’ll just say that I liked the mystery-detective aspect as well as the paranormal aspect.
As for the paranormal aspect, I have mixed feelings. I do love the gargoyles! It’s interesting to me that they return to their true gargoyle form to sleep. (Although to be real, I’ll probably be creeped out when I walk past a gargoyle now.) But I have to say that I kind of felt like I was reading an angel vs. demon book? How the gargoyles were described, what their purpose was, how they were created… It all just felt like an angel in different format to me.
P.S. Yes, there is a love triangle in this book. Which you can already see from the synopsis. Yes, I usually hate them. But when they are written by Jennifer L. Armentrout, I don’t tend to mind. I didn’t feel like rolling my eyes at Layla (although I did want to kick Zayne). I feel like it’s different when you already know going in that there will be a love triangle. I was prepared for it…
Layla. Let’s start with the most important one here. So Layla is half-demon, half-gargoyle, which gives her certain powers. She lives with the Wardens (the gargoyles) and aside from some paranormal duties, she lives a as-normal-as-possible life. She goes to high school, has two best friends, has crushes and so on. I did really like Layla. It was enjoyable to read from her point of view, and see how she interacts with everyone and deals with each situation. There are some things I don’t understand about her, but then again, I don’t know what I would do in those situations either. For example, she never questions the Wardens. She doesn’t really ask the questions that are burning inside her, because she’s afraid of either upsetting someone, or not getting an answer. Well, you sure won’t if you don’t ask. She just accepts what they tell her as the truth. It might be. It might not be. I like her inquisitive spirit, but she holds a lot of it back. But overall, really enjoyable main character (I -almost- always like a stubborn girl).
Zayne. Don’t really have a lot to say here. I’m curious to read more about him as I’ll continue with the series though. I’ve never been a fan of people who feel like they’re so righteous they can tell everyone what to do. Which is basically what the Wardens are. And so, even though they do so much good in the world, they can go to hell for that.
Roth. As you may have guessed, I’m a Roth fan. I think he’s hilarious. So I need the next book asap.
There are several other intriguing characters, such as Layla’s best friends, other Wardens, and so on. I do feel like each character added something to the story. Either to Layla, or to the plot. All interesting people, and I’m really excited to see what they’ll add to the books next.
Like I said, I’m a sucker for Jennifer L. Armentrout’s books. I love her. She manages to captivate me, make me smile, make me swoon and make me sad. Her books are always such a roller coaster of emotions! I would recommend this book if you like YA, paranormal or her writing. And even if you don’t, you still should consider giving it a go. They aren’t literary masterpieces, but does that mean we can’t enjoy them? Because then we wouldn’t have much left to read anyway. So yes, a definite recommend!
P.S. Don’t be fooled by the title. This isn’t a new adult book at all.