Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Paranormal YA
The Story: Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself does. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he's one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil.
My Review: This book starts out in a really cool place for a female lead, I thought. Willow is fixing her best friend's car in the school parking lot. It's clear that Willow has accepted the fact that she's different and isn't trying to hide it. Even though she doesn't advertise it, it's known that she has the ability to see into people's lives. When the most popular and perfect girl in school asks for a reading, Willow agrees, but there's an undercurrent of unease from the beginning. And what Willow sees when she touches the girl is more unnerving than she'd realized it could be.
The angels in Angel Burn are not your typical angel. They aren't the good guys you're used to reading about. In fact, they are endangering the lives of humans on massive levels and the humans don't even know what's happening. One touch from an angel could change your life forever--and not in a good way. Believe me, you do not want to get angel burn.
Angel Burn alternates chapters between Willow and Alex, an undeniably sexy and mysterious killer. It's when Alex is sent to kill Willow that things get complicated--and very interesting. We learn things about Willow that she doesn't know about herself. We get to watch Alex as he squirms under what he's always been taught and his ever-growing feelings for Willow. The dynamic between the two characters is really well written and intense.
There are times when you could cut the tension between them with a knife. Slowly, the relationship turns to something more than distaste. Being able to read what was going on in the heads of both characters really sets this story apart from so many other angel books out there. Here, we get to see what it's like to be an angel killer, someone who's trained to fight back against the angels. Then, we get to see what it's like to be Willow--a completely new creature, yet someone to be feared all the same. It's a really, really great book and I'm thoroughly looking forward to book two in this trilogy!