Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Review: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her (Gods and Monsters #1) by Kelly Keaton

Reading Level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Simon & Pulse (February 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9781442409248
ISBN-13: 978-1442409248
Source: Finished copy received from publisher
Cover: I really like the mixture of black and blue on this cover and that font is wonderful. The gate is nice but it isn't screaming at me. I'd still pick this one up for sure though!
First Sentence: "Under the cafeteria table, my right knee bounced like a jackhammer possessed."

Mini-ReviewGritty, dark, and addicting, Darkness Becomes Her is an excellent introduction to Ari, a girl that can truly take care of herself.

Book Summary:

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.
She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.
Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
Book Review: 

Darkness Becomes Her is definitely not for the faint of heart. Ari is gritty, foul-mouthed, tough and full of really bad memories of the past. But she's also one of the most honest and kick-ass characters you'll meet in young adult fiction today. Full of twists and turns, an interesting cast of characters and rich world building, Darkness Becomes Her is not to be missed.

Ari is one of those unfiltered characters that is not for everyone. Within the first 6 pages I counted about 10 swear words and a good variety of them. She's rough around the edges but she's got good reasoning to be. She doesn't trust people because of her past but she knows how to take care of herself and she's incredibly mature. One of the best things about Ari for me was that I had confidence that she could get herself out of anything. It's nice to follow a capable heroine. She knew how to fight and well and she had the guts to do what must be done in order to stay alive. I loved this about her.

I had no idea where this novel was going but it was such a pleasure getting there, that I really didn't care. Ms. Keaton built New 2 as a safe haven for freaks. After several hurricanes ravaged it, several families pulled their resources together and buy New Orleans. It's damaged still, dark and everything is rotting just a little bit minus the tourist part which has been completely re-done. With Spanish moss, old trees, creepy graveyard and shiny, glittered beads, Darkness Becomes Her combines the creepy with the gorgeous and mixes them for the perfect brew of setting. Adding a set of ragtag characters, each with their own abilities makes the place really come alive. Crank and Violet are both little girls-- Crank is a whiz with mechanics and drives a mail truck and Violet is a little goth girl with tiny fangs that hides behind Mardi Gras masks and collects shiny things.

My only major compliant was Ari and Sebastian's relationship. I instantly loved them as a couple-- he was dark, a bit Gothic and brooding and she was capable and rough around the edges. I just didn't love how quickly they came together. They hadn't even known each other for a day and they were smooching. For people that are supposed to be guarded, they were certainly quick to let each other in. I liked them together but I wish I'd had a couple more moments to have them flirt before they just were. I also wish I'd had a bit more resolution with them at the ending. He did some Major Stuff and I need to know they are at least okay.

Darkness Becomes Her had so much right going on with it and was such a quick read. From the moment I was in Ari's head, I was addicted, racing to a conclusion that didn't disappoint. In Ari's capable hands and with a rich world, Darkness Becomes Her is an amazing, if not incredibly gritty, debut novel. I'm surely going to be reading book 2.



  1. I LOVED this book so much! Great review!

  2. I really enjoyed this book, too, but I agree that Ari and Sebastian's relationship started way too quickly. Still, the plot was unpredictable and I enjoyed seeing how the events all came together.

  3. The book WAS good, as much of it as I was able to read, that is (about half the book before it expired :() I did realize the amount of cursing - crazy, huh? Still, it was good and I'm glad you enjoyed it! Great review!

  4. know my feelings on this book. LOL But I think the world is super cool and the characters are awesome if one can get past Ari's foul-mouth. I definitely think this one is for older teens. Cool trailer!!


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