3 stars · Fantasy · fiction · paranormal · young adult

Radiance by Alyson Noel


Riley Bloom #1

Author : alyson noel [also wrote : Shadowland, Blue Moon]

pages [paperback] : 183

favorite character : buttercup


Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley . . .


I purchased this book a while ago because I was really getting into Alyson Noel’s other series and wanted to see how this spin-off, geared more toward middle grade readers, would hold up in comparison. It definitely fell short, and the only reason I ever got around to finishing it (and thus reviewing it) is because I forced myself to sit down the other day and read the rest in one go. Even if I’d read the first portion months ago.

‘Forced’ is never a word that I want to use when I come to describe my experience reading a novel. It was interesting, to be sure, but I never really liked many of the characters, especially Riley. I already had a good idea of her personality, but when she’s so completely obnoxious about each and every thing that happens to her, when no one goes up and tells her how much of a brat she’s being . . . It makes me not want to go on. At first, I was sure she was going to be like this so that we could see her progress and watch her change her personality into something much more likeable. Even tolerable! But, no. There were some parts that made no sense; she’d spend all of this time seeking praise . . . And then suddenly be embarrassed, describing herself as humbled, when she gets a simple compliment. Even though she actively seeks them out constantly.

I might continue with this series purely through wanting to see how this series will go on from here, but I’ll be getting those books from the library. I’d say this would be an okay read, but one you wouldn’t want to spend money on in case it ends up disappointing.

3/5 stars


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