A Shimmer of Angels

A Shimmer of Angels

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A Shimmer of Angels
Author(s)
Publisher
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
January 29, 2013
ISBN
978-0985029432
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In this compelling and spirited debut novel, 16-year-old Rayna Evans has spent the last three years in a mental institution for seeing angels—intent on remaining free, she ignores signs that she may be slipping into a world she has tried to climb out of. When her hallucinations begin showing up at school, can she keep her sanity and prevent students from dying at the hands of angels she cannot admit to seeing? Psychiatry, fantasy, and realism come together here in a story of a young girl struggling with identity, secrets, and confronting her greatest fears.

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(Updated: January 30, 2013)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

Great Debut Novel From Month9bks

I love YA paranormals, especially ones with intriguing premises and hot guys. A Shimmer of Angels has all this and more!


Rayna ‘Ray’ has just gotten released from SS Crazy after admitting she happens to see angels. She's labeled ‘schizophrenic’ and given a cocktail of anti-psychotic drugs to silence the ‘visions’. She’s learned its best not to admit this to others or else she’ll end up back there. To her that’s a fate worse than death. She starts a new school, hoping to be normal and put the past behind. This proves hard as once again she sees an angel. Only worse, this angel happens to be in her new High School. And to top things off it seems that kids in her school are dying. Ray notices a frightening trend that all of the suicide victims have in common: they drew a mysterious dark angel like the one she’d seen in a dream. Ray fears for her sanity and her life as she comes face to face with not just one but two angels. Seems no one believes her. Not her father or little sister. It’s up to her to confront her fears in order to stop more kids from being killed. Even if this means she might be silenced too.


I really loved this story! I felt this novel stood out among the other angel tales out there. What’s great is the author could have just made this a story about a girl that is labeled ‘crazy’. No, instead she shows us how Ray deals with her visions and also her way of knowing if they’re real or not. She uses all five senses to do this. Also the author has Ray deal with two different angels, who are surprised that she can see them.


Now this love triangle involves not one but two very hot angels. The chemistry between her and Kade is intense. Cade, the angel of light, seems more standoffish at first then slowly his own attraction to Ray comes out. This adds great tension between all three of these characters. Seriously, what’s a girl to do?



I admit I loved Kade as I felt he stepped up to the plate more than once to help Ray out. I also tend to be a sucker for the anti-hero. I love when I see glimpses of vulnerabilities in an otherwise badass character. For example Kade is called, ‘Friday night soul-kabob,’ and we find ourselves wondering if that’s his real purpose or something else. This trait only makes me love that character even more!


Great voice, with an engaging protagonist who struggles with her own sanity issues which take a backseat to a string of unsolved murders in town. You can’t help but cheer Ray on as she tries to solve the mysteries without landing back in SS Crazy.


Intriguing premise with a heroine who not only is torn between two hot angels but must push aside her own fears in order to save not only those around her but herself. A great debut novel from Month9bks. Can’t wait to read more!

Good Points
1. Great voice
2. Engaging protagonist
3. Not one but two hot angels
4. Great debut novel from Month9bks
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Review: A Shimmer Of Angels

A Shimmer Of Angels is about this girl named Rayna who has spent three years locked away at the loony bin for seeing angels. She finally returns home and the first thing she sees are wings. She keeps that a secret so she wont be sent away again. At school she meets Cam, an angel and at work, she meets the hot, sexy, Fallen angel, Kade. Suicides start happening from kids at school, kids that Rayna has class with. What did they all have in common aside from committing suicide? Drawing an angel with black wings.

I don't even know where to start. This book was an amazing book! It has what every Young Adult loves to read in books: romance, a good-looking and nice angel, a hot, fallen angel, drama, mystery, suspense. This book takes the word intense to a whole other level. When I first started reading the book, just a few pages in, I knew I was going to like it. It's a book that takes you through an emotional roller coaster and I actually enjoyed the ride. I have two favorite characters: Kade and Lee. Lee, because he is funny and is the only friend Rayna has that has stuck by her through everything. I really got attached to his character.

Kade is so hot! When he was introduced to the story, I was drawn to him. He is a cocky, collected, alluring, and tempting Fallen angel, but he is not like other Fallen angels and that's what I like about him. He actually cares for her. Not at the beginning, for when they met he had other intentions. Along the way, he started caring for her and my insides went all mushy.

The description on the story is on point, the characters are ones that you can get attached to, the story is very interesting and doesn't disappoint!

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Review: A Shimmer of Angels

A Shimmer of Angels was a good debut from Lisa M. Basso. I was a bit reluctant in reading this book since I don’t normally read books with angels but this one sounded interesting. I mean, having a plot about a sixteen years-old girl who is taken into a mental institution for seeing angels… well, yah, it does sound appealing.

Rayna “Ray” just comes out of a mental institution and is on remission. After her mother’s death, she begins seeing people with angels wings and it was soon called Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder. After three years of being away and taking pills, Ray leaves and starts a new life with her father and sister. And one of the first steps is getting a job. However, it all comes down to the moment she sees an angel in her school and some of her colleagues begin to mysteriously kill themselves. Some evidences make her believe the angels she suddenly started re-seeing are behind the deaths.

The plot is mainly Ray finding the truth about angels; they exist and those three years she was in were in vain. She’s special since she’s the only one who can see both the good angels and the Fallen – bad angels.

Ray meets Cam, a young angel with bright, white wings. He’s her colleague at school and soon becomes her love interest. On the other hand, when she starts working at the local restaurant, she meets Kade, another angel but this one a Fallen. His wings are black. Several things happen and Ray is lead to believe that Kade is responsible for her colleagues’ death. But she soon finds that Kade might be a Fallen but is not a killer. And, also, Kade fell, abandoning the good side, because of her mother.

There’s a love triangle in this book alright and I can honestly say I’m Team Kade. Though at first I thought he was too conceited, he soon made me realised that despite being a Fallen, he has such a great heart and spirit. As for Cam, I didn’t like him the first time we are introduced to him neither did I liked him when Ray needed him and he ran away.

Anyway, I’m not going to rant about the love interest of Ray – which is Cam, of course, despite the attraction she has for Kade (even if she barely pays attention to him) since there’s another book coming out in 2014 and I still have hope she’s eventually forget Cam. But, that’s me!

One thing I totally loved about this book were the several Doctor Who references Lee, Ray’s best friend, did during the story. I mean, as a Whovian reading something as “Holy Daleks” was freaking awesome!

A Shimmer of Angels was an enjoyable reading. Sometimes I would roll my eyes at how predictable is was, or how cliché is was, but still an entertaining book. If you like wars between God and Lucifer, good angels and bad angels, teenager angst and love triangles, this will be a delightful read.

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Oh-So-Stereotypical Paranormal Romance

While A Shimmer of Angels started off quite promising – a young girl institutionalized for three years for seeing wings? That’s gotta result in some pretty cool psychological twists, right? – it quickly escalated into the oh-so-stereotypical paranormal romance where the protagonist is clumsy-and-plain yet every-guy-says-she’s-gorgeous, white-winged angels are good while black-winged angels are evil, love triangles run rampant, and the word love is thrown around with abandon after mere days.

Rayna was the worst kind of protagonist. At first, her mental stability was hanging by such a thin thread, I was anxious to the point of uncomfortableness, worried for her seemingly inevitable return to the S.S. Crazy – her term for the mental health institution she stayed in. As A Shimmer of Angels progressed, I looked forward to her character development as she slowly grew to realize that her hallucinations were real. Instead, I watched her tumble into confusion, as she warred with herself about her sanity. Her constantly conflicting emotions made her extremely self-centered, to the point where I began to dislike her as a character.

"Worry bit at me like a pesky mosquito. Lee was the only person in this world I could trust – with everything but the angel thing; no one would believe that. Except, well, the angels. And to repay his kindness, I’d gone and twisted myself up with Cam and Kade, leaving him high and dry. What a spectacular friend I was turning out to be. No wonder he’d missed school; he was probably avoiding me."

He couldn’t have missed school because he was sick, or because he had a family emergency. No, that wouldn’t make any sense. He must have missed school to avoid having to see Rayna. *headdesk* Somehow, she managed to turn her friend’s possible illness or personal emergency into something concerning her; conceited, much?

I also didn’t enjoy Basso’s writing. She repeated the same imagery, to the point of ridiculousness.

"My hair blew into my face."

I lost count, the number of times an angel’s wings made Rayna’s hair blow into her face. Every time it happened, I waited to see what everyone’s reaction would be to the mysterious and sudden indoor breeze. Of course, Basso never had anyone else comment on this oddity, which kept distancing me from her world. Why have something happen – and happen often – if no one’s going to comment on it? Even Rayna seemed to get more agitated with each use of it, pushing the hair out of her eyes with more and more ferocity.

And then there was the list of Twilight-esque cliches that had me cringing at every instance. Rayna describes herself as plain, especially in comparison to her sister who inherited their mother’s shiny blond locks and heart-shaped face, yet numerous guys seem to fall instantly in love with her – Luke, Cam, Kade – without explanation. Her clumsiness was written to rival Bella’s,

"I jerked back. Too hard. My chair tipped over, talking me with it. I smacked Jeremy in my mouth on my way down. My head bounced off the floor…"

"The coffee pot shattered against the tile floor, littering me with tiny fragments of glass and a hot rush of coffee."

and she was caught in between the ultimate love triangle, with the good, white-winged angel on the one side, and the bad, black-winged angel on the other (even though the “bad” angel did nothing but help her whenever she asked…). And lastly, because what paranormal romance is complete without it’s insta-love!, she managed to fall in love with someone she had about a handful of interactions with.

"Trust Cam. With not only my life, but so many others. I’d never been able to trust any of them before. But Cam was different. He had…oh what the hell, if I couldn’t admit my feelings when I was falling toward Hell, then when could I? He had my heart. There, I’d said it."

But don’t trust me, trust Rayna’s best friend Lee:

“'Sorry, Ray. I never would’ve pushed him on you if I’d known he’d only be around a few weeks.'

I had to change the subject. The thought of Cam gone forever hurt too much."

While these YA cliches on their own are annoying enough, easily, my biggest issue with A Shimmer of Angels was Basso’s treatment of the mental health system. Rayna’s mental stability is a large part of A Shimmer of Angels, and it was referenced repeatedly throughout the whole book. But even though it is touched on constantly, I didn’t understand Rayna’s father’s reasoning behind institutionalizing her for so long – and at such a young age – because we were told nothing about Rayna’s history with her illness, other than the fact that she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. How long had she been seeing wings for? Had it ever caused her to harm herself or others? Was she in therapy for a while, and because it wasn’t working they decided on something as extreme as institutionalization? And why was she in the institution for so long? Considering how often Rayna commented on her “craziness” during the first half of the book, I expected to learn quite a bit about her illness and the reasons for her extreme treatment. But not only was the fact that she was institutionalized at thirteen never explained, Basso takes it even further by having Rayna explain how awful it was to be restrained, which had me wondering what such a meek and scared little girl could do, while heavily drugged, in order for someone to think it was necessary to forcibly restrain her limbs? I am often asked to suspend disbelief in fiction. In this case, as nothing surrounding the treatment of Rayna’s mental illness was grounded in any type of reality, I was unable to suspend such disbelief and thus, unable to enjoy anything else A Shimmer of Angels might have had to offer.

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