The Grace Series by S.L. Naeole
(Falling From Grace, Birdsong, Black Halo, Grace of Day)
***Before you get to read my first review, I want to give you a little preview on how I plan to approach some of my reviews, such as this one. I’m not into giving a bunch of spoilers about a book because basically, there is no point in reading the book then. Part of the magic is seeing how it all unfolds. That being said, you can’t exactly review a book without some references to actual events or situations in the book. Lastly, because this is our blog, I am going to be giving you a lot of points that are exactly what a review should be, my opinion! Granted, I think my opinion is worth something when it comes to books especially when it comes to Young Adult Fiction. So here goes…
Falling From Grace is the first of a four book series by author S.L. Naeole and believe me when I say, you are immediately hooked. Naeole paints such vivid imagery with her words that you are instantly living Grace Shelley’s life. This may seem like an obvious statement, that all authors should write with such panache or there would be no point in writing. If you have read much at all you’ll know that this isn’t always the case.
To give you a basic explanation of the series, Grace Shelley is a social outcast at her high-school and has even lost her best friend, Graham. Graham chooses to reject Grace in favor of the popular crowd. Grace is left broken and this is where Robert enters and the story truly begins. The attraction between Grace and Robert, whom we find out is an angel, is instant and compelling. Enough so that the reader is quickly convinced Robert and Grace must be together. Naeole creates such a great chemistry between these two that you don’t need a superfluous number of encounters between them to need them together. Naeole does this with such talent that it is enough to sustain the drive to read all four books in the series- not that Naeole doesn’t fuel that fire even more throughout the rest of the books.
As much as it pains me to point out any negatives that could make someone opt to not read these books, I have to be fair and point out some obvious criticism. First off, the numerous grammatical/spelling errors can be distracting to some readers. Although it didn’t bother me much, plenty of friends that have read this were definitely annoyed enough to comment to me about it. I don’t want to argue against every negative in this book but I must say this- the power and force of Naeole’s talent makes me question how there aren’t more mistakes as small as spelling. You read the book and the passion in which the author wrote the story line almost gives me the impression that she was so into her work that anything that took time away from telling the story sometimes got left behind. I can appreciate that. Clearly this is not a book put out by a big publishing firm with tons of editors and the means to get a book out in the most clean manner possible. To be honest, the little errors make me feel a little more connected to the author. That could sound weird but as someone who adores reading, any connection to the person behind the story makes me love it even more.
While I know that this review is turning into more of an essay, I have a few small points left to make. Some of the issues in the books are repeated a few too many times and can be frustrating when the redundancy takes focus away from the story. We get it, Graham and Grace have been best friends since birth, they love each other, he is sorry for hurting Grace. It doesn’t need to be said at almost every interaction between the two of them. Also, the wording of several key passages that explain pivotal plot points can be a bit confusing and need to be reread several times. It isn’t that the subject matter is that hard, it is the actual wording. In the end you get the point and is why I tended to overlook that problem.
So the general idea of my review should seem pretty obvious. The story itself takes care of any small and rather fixable flaws. S.L. Naeole is clearly an author that we will be hearing more about in the future and I eagerly await her future work. Go read this series and let me know what you think. Falling From Grace is available on most e-readers as well as at amazon.com in paperback.