Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

“We don't forgive people because they deserve it. We forgive them because
they need it—because we need it.” 

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'd seen this book around before and the cover kind of intrigued me. (What kind of plot is best summarized by uber-pale legs with purple toenail polish?) So when I won a copy of the series from Rachel's Book Reviews, I took it as an omen that I should read the books. 

So Grace, our main character, is the daughter of a pastor. I've read books with situations like this before, and I think this book does a better job of portraying what that lifestyle would be like than any other I've read—she can't watch certain TV shows, she isn't allowed to use the internet in her room, she can't curse, she helps out around the community with her family. 

I also liked how there are actually bible and religious references in it—I'm glad the author did her research instead of just using the church family thing as an interesting background for her characters. It made it a lot more believable.

I think there is a secret YA book recipe that's being passed around from YA writer to YA writer, and I've been trying to figure it out how it goes. I've written it out to the best of my abilities:

  • Start with love interest. His qualities must include: crazy good looks, a dark and mysterious past, a cocky and arrogant front, the ability to be a sweet best friend, a shy and guarded attitude, and a soft and romantic side. It's imperative that ALL of these traits are included in the SAME person.
  • Add main girl character. She should be clueless when it comes to figuring out extremely obvious truths. For extra spice, have her be persuaded to ride a motorcycle by aforementioned love interest at some point during the book.
  • Add one humorous and slightly quirky best friend to appear a few times throughout book for comic relief. Don't be afraid to have her disappear conveniently when the plot thickens and there isn't time for her.
  • For best results, include another completely hot guy to play second love interest. The main character should date him about three-quarters of the way into the book.
  • Mix well. Top with good cover to seduce innocent YA readers.

Now, I might be missing a few steps, but I think that's the basic gist of it. Try and tell me that you haven't read a recipe book or two. (Or twelve.)

So, along with my recipe idea, I also believe in the line filler conspiracy. This is when a writer is in the middle of writing dialogue, but they need something to really hook their readers. Well, how about using one of these lovely line fillers?

"You have no idea what you do to me."
"What I am...It's why no one can ever love me."
"All I wanted was your love, and now I know that's the one thing I can never have."

I don't know about you, but I just cannot stand it when anything like these come from our hot and brooding love interest, so you can probably imagine my reaction when all three of these (and many, many more) poured out of Daniel's mouth.

I had a lot of other little issues with this book, like Grace just leaving randomly and never explaining it to her parents, or how there was way too many clues to what was really going on that Grace never realized, or how odd it was that the character's moods would change three or four times all on one page. (That last one really was weird.)

But I'm not going to continue writing my thoughts, even though I could, because I'm not trying to bash this book. (Yes, I know it looks like I am.) Also, I seem to be in the minority for not liking this book—all and any reviews I've read for it are glowing and positive.

This book wasn't bad—but I've read so many books that go above and beyond my expectations, this one just fell flat. It's your typical YA paranormal read; I wouldn't recommend against it, but I recommend it, either.

Read more reviews for The Dark Divine at:


  1. When I saw the title of your post I though it was part of the Divine collection from P.C. Cast! I love your "recipe" for YA fiction. :)

    1. Haha, thank you! (: Oh, I have to read one of P.C. Cast's books. I have The House of Night series, but I haven't read it yet.

      Thanks for stopping by! (:

  2. Great review! Your very descriptive and mention so many things from the book!
    Good Luck!

    Alex @ Possession of Books

    1. Awe, thank you! I hope, if you read it, you enjoy it more than I did. (:

  3. Great review. I haven't read this one but was thinking about it. I don't think I'll be doing that now. :) I'm following you now too! Do you have a button I could add to my site? I'll add yours if you add mine. :)

    1. Thanks! It wasn't really my cup of tea, but I know people who liked it.

      I don't have a button, but thanks for asking! (:

  4. This one has been on my list for awhile now. I think I might even have it in the TBR pile somewhere, in which case I will probably still give it a try. The recipe part bugs me though - I don't like when I can predict everything, unless it's a really light and fluffy read - them I expect it.

    - Jessica @ Book Sake

    1. You'll have to read it and let me know what you think—like I said, there's tons of great reviews for this book. I totally agree with you on predictability.

      Thanks for stopping by! (:

  5. This book has been on my shelf for a long while and I still haven't got round to reading it. Shame it doesn't offer more, but I'm hoping I'll still enjoy it! :) Thanks for the review

    1. I hope you enjoy it more than I did. Thanks for stopping by! (: