So, as many of you know, I take in book review requests from either independent authors or publishers or frantic readers or anybody who sends in a book review request. I generally take the book into consideration, read other reviews about the book, check out the author’s background, give it some time, then maybe I’ll read it. So there’s a whole process I go through before actually reading whatever book has been sent through my blog. It’s kind of difficult because I ended up deleting my review request guideline page (which I’ll be putting back up soon) so if you don’t frequent my blog, you won’t know what kind of books I review.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t generally get to a book that’s been submitted within the first week. It’s generally a week or two before I come around to a book someone submitted those two weeks before and then I’ll go through the process of checking it out.
I’m sure you’re wondering why this matters and what this has to do with Saving London … and I’ll tell you. Just two days ago, on May 17th, I received an email from a publisher requesting a review of their author’s newest book, Saving London. I read the email, loved how sweet the publisher was, and scrolled down to see the book cover attached ….
Guys. There is an angel wing on that cover. Since I’m just getting over reading the fantastic end to Susan Ee’s masterful Penryn and the End of Days Series and a Goodreads friend recommended a book called Hush, Hush, which is also an angel book, needless to say I was excited to find another angel book! I’m kind of obsessed with angels at the moment. There are elements of angel stories that I love but there are certainly elements that I hate; we can get to all of that later. For now, let’s just talk the cover, okay? The cover very accurately portrays the book and I love it! You see the water? The raindrops in the body of water beneath the title? Gorgeous, right? Yeah, I thought so, too. And I’m such a cover-judger. How could I not fall in love with this book? After I saw the cover of the book, I was like, “Oh okay… I think I need to read this. But I have so many other books to review and … Okay just one page.” The first chapter drew me in. Ms. Dawn’s writing throughout the first chapter was brilliant, and I loved how long the chapters were! I love reading long chapters. I don’t know why but it just feels like the book is more of a chapter book, you know? Has more substance, I guess. Totally untrue, since the End of Days book was absolutely enthralling and had two- and three-page chapters! Even still, the book’s long chapters made me happy. I didn’t intend to read the rest of the book so soon. I prepared the publisher that I might not even get it read by its release date, June 9th. I thought, I have plenty of other great books to read right now. I should focus on those. I mean … let’s spread out the angel books, right? Don’t want to read Saving London and then go right on to Hush, Hush afterward! Oh, how my plan failed. I was up all night last night, up all night the night before, reading Saving London every chance I could get. By the end of it all, when I finished it somewhere around four o’clock this morning, I emerged from my room telling my family: Well done, Ms. Taylor Dawn. *Insert Slow Clap* Well done.
So, London Patterson is a young woman, something like twenty-three years old if I remember correctly. She has her whole life ahead of her! She has a pretty good job, has worked so hard to buy a home and car of her own, and is finally getting her life started. Then she comes down with a cold. And while she’s in the hospital, the doctors find something suspicious in London Patterson.
At age twenty-three, with everything going for her, London Patterson is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Given only a year to live, London creates a bucket list of everything she wants to do in life, and she embraces her last year. But when she’s ready to begin her final year, a charming, charismatic man shows up and offers to help her. Weird, but this guy knows everybody! And he can help her accomplish her mission: to make her last year the best of her short life.
London and the charming Adam leave for their one year trip, but the further down the list they get, the stranger things become. London begins to find feathers on the floor, in the bed where Adam sleeps. Could it be goose down from the pillows? London’s allergic to goose down so that can’t be it …. right?
On top of all of that, a mysterious Caine shows up, a man who seems to know a little too much about London’s new companion, Adam. But Caine isn’t anything like the goodnatured Adam. Caine seems to bring destruction wherever he goes, and pain follows him like a cloud. And he seems to have a particular interest in dying London.
As Adam and London struggle to continue their list, Adam’s secret is revealed and London is forced to go along with it, because everything London knows is at an end, and if she wants to have any semblance of a future, she has to just go with it.
So, I’m sort of in a love-hate relationship with angel books right now. There are so many things in the angel books that I love ― like the fact that generally the love interest or best friend turns out to be an angel and what’s more attractive than an angel? ― and there are so many elements that I am a little wary of, some even that I hate.
I’ve read all kinds of angel books. I’ve read the Fallen series, I’ve read The Watchers series (both of which I will review soon), and then I’ve read Penryn and the End of Days, I’ve read The Infernal Devices series, and so many other angel books that have different sorts of angel characters. Obviously, Fallen and Cursed, the first book of The Watchers trilogy, have to do with fallen angels, but Penryn and the End of Days and Saving London? No, these are true, good angels, which I appreciate.
Even though I enjoyed the Fallen series, I could never jump on board with the whole fallen angel thing. Being a Christian, I see Fallen angels as evil! They fell with Satan because of their pride! I’m not the biggest fan of Fallen angels, needless to say. Which is why I appreciated Adam, an angel who tries desperately hard not to become a Fallen, because he knows what that means for him.
Another thing I don’t like in most angel books it how difficult it is to explain that they’re an angel. You know? You are teetering on a very thin line between creative and cheesy. It’s difficult to portray realism in these moments because we’ve never experienced something like this! Personally, I think Saving London could have done better in this department.
Adam’s great reveal is … not great. It falls short of the expectations I’d set up in my mind for it. But I get it. It’s hard to make it look realistic. But I think what bothered me most was London’s reaction to it. She just shrugs it off and is like, “Yeah, but you still owe me a dance.”
In general, I loved London’s character. I thought she was hilarious. She seemed like someone who knew they were dying and it was all going to be pointless if she didn’t have fun on this adventure, but when it came to Adam, her gullibility, and, quite honestly, her stupidity, I was almost embarrassed for her.
For starters, London runs off into the sunset with this guy she doesn’t know. He offers to get her into a NASCAR and she’s like, “Heck yeah, buddy! When do we leave! Just to make sure, you don’t expect any payout from this do you? Cause I’m not a slut.”
London leaves with Adam nonetheless but I sort of understand this because he’s an angel (SPOILER: he’s her Guardian angel basically) and he has a sort of calm around him. I get that. I get that she felt comfortable around him, so I can sort of understand her leaving with him, but then her gullibility the rest of the time, and just little things she doesn’t put together and the reader is like, “You idiot! LOOK! How do you not see how the dots connect?”
For instance, London takes a necklace from Caine, after he’s already proven to be a shifty character and, get this, has followed them around the world!!
LONDON ACTUALLY TAKES A NECKLACE FROM HIM!
Evil villain is like, “Here, my pretty. Take this necklace…”
London: “I shouldn’t …”
Villain: “Oh but it would look so beautiful!”
London: “Really? Okay, I’ll take it! Yeah, you’re right! I do look beautiful!”
London even reads in a book that there are certain angels who can hide their wings but only as long as the elements don’t touch them. If they touch water or fire, their wings reappear. And then Adam won’t get in the rain. She notices that he hates water and yet she doesn’t connect the dots. Keep in mind this is after she found the feathers, after she noticed that he pays some weird homage to the angel statues he sees, after he steps in water, demands that she turns around, and then when she looks back, he’s disappeared!
LONDON! I LOVE YOU, BUT YOU’RE KIND OF DULL! PUT THE FREAKIN’ PIECES TOGETHER! A SQUIRREL ON ACID COULD PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER!
Anyway, now that my rant is over, let’s talk about the positive parts of the book, because London’s stupidity is really all I can complain about! Save for one other disappointing detail but I’m in a love-hate relationship with that detail too so just wait and see…
The plot in Saving London was actually extremely clever! Even though it’s unbiblical, I really liked the way Ms. Dawn creates angels. I love Adam’s reason for needing to be with London. I love Caine’s quest for London, though it can seem a bit cliché and been-there-done-that at times.
I especially loved Ms. Dawn’s ability to describe certain scenes. I didn’t love that she wasn’t descriptive in all scenes and sort of skipped through things so it felt rushed but I loved the way she described the Great Barrier Reef, the Grand Canyon, and other areas that are truly breathtaking. I loved London’s and Adam’s banter and their witty remarks! I loved certain scenes that were just brilliantly crafted!
I could go on and on about London’s and Adam’s banter, though.
That was good. Laugh out loud moments, good.
The last disappointing thing about Saving London was the lack of romance. I have come to find that romance is a necessity for books. Unless your storyline is totally captivating and one of the best storylines ever written, you need romance. It’s not anything against any authors, even the greats, Marie Lu and Susan Ee, had to use romance in their books. It’s just something that’s needed. I think most readers would agree.
Saving London had no romance. I feel like Ms. Dawn did a good job of making sure you didn’t really expect romance but no matter what you wanted it. At the same time, I’m glad she didn’t. Because a human/angel relationship is frowned upon (obviously) biblically. But at the end of the book, I’m sitting back hoping, praying really, that Adam and London will find each other in book two! If there is going to be a book two … I hope there will be.
PLEASE LET THERE BE A BOOK TWO!
If there is, I’ll definitely be reading it. Up all night again, people.
Taylor Dawn has been kind enough to allow me to interview her so I’ll be doing that soon. I’ve got plenty of good questions to ask her but if you have any questions you’d like to ask her yourself, email them to me and I’ll be sure to give you credit for them.
I’ve also been given the opportunity to do another giveaway! So the day before Saving London is released (June 8th), get your butts back here to participate and possibly win an ebook copy of Saving London! You’ll enjoy it. If you’re anything like me, I’m positive it’ll be a book you can’t set down. I don’t know what it is … it’s just impossible to set it down and be like, “I’ll come back to it later.”
Well, guys, I’m off to read The Mine by John A. Heldt! Looks like a good read! Sounds intriguing … And it has a killer cover and synopsis! Score! So chances are, the next time you hear from me I’ll be reviewing The Mine. Or maybe I’ll be reviewing the other books from the Selection series. Or I’ll be reviewing Hush, Hush, because a Goodreads friend piqued my interest.
Whatever I’m reviewing, I’ll no doubt see you soon!
What’s on your bookshelf?