Existence by Abbi Glines
Reviewed by: Baby Sister Brittany
Release Date: 12/13/2011 ... that's right kids... buy away! Ebooks are just $4.99 right now!
The Sisters say: Exciting, Eerie, Entertaining
What happens when you are stalked by Death? You fall in
love with him of course. Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, instead, she falls in love with him.
Seventeen year old Pagan Moore, has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, they left her alone. Until she steps out of her car on the first day of school and sees an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead. Not only does he not go away, when she ignores him he does something none of the others have ever done; he speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What Pagan doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul. He is Death and he is about to break all the rules.
Abbi Glines has done it again! I loved both of her previous contemporary romances, Breathe and The Vincent Boys, and now she's struck out into the world of the paranormal, and I couldn't be happier! I've been dying to read this book since she first revealed the cover... I mean... just LOOK at that cover. GORGEOUS.
I know you're all drooling right now, but stick with me a little bit longer... it get's better!
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know that Greek Mythology has had a boom in YA lit, particularly modern day tales about Hades, the lord of the Underworld. I'm talking about books like The Goddess Test and Abandon.
Though Abbi's book doesn't necessarily have any real reliance on Greek Literature, it does have a similar vibe to those books. Abandon (by Meg Cabot), in particular, received a lot of hype, and while I enjoyed it, I didn't feel like it quite lived up to the excitement everyone stirred up for it.
Abbi's book comes from a small indie publisher, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Existence was all the things that Abandon should have been, but wasn't! Existence deserves just as much hype as the similar books coming out from the big publishers! Abbi didn't just rely on a cool concept to carry her book through, she had the strong characters to back it up!
Dank, despite his cringe-worthy, less than stellar name, is definitely one of Abbi's traditional swoon-worthy guys. He's death, and he has all the dark and mysterious qualities that you would expect death to have, but despite that, he manages to fall in love with Pagan. Not an unheard of storyline, I know, but I loved how even Dank seemed perplexed by the way everything went down. He has a job to do, and when that job directly goes against his feelings for Pagan, he takes a big risk and saves her. And after it's over... he keeps protecting her.
I also loved Leif, the conceited quarterback, who turns out to be not so conceited, that Pagan gets roped into tutoring. I have to say... while I loved Dank... a part of me might love Leif more. I can't wait to learn more about him in the next book!
I think this book started really strong, and I will admit, towards the middle, it started to wander for me a little bit. Not drag, persay, it was definitely still exciting and interesting, but there were some scenes that I didn't really think added to the plot that could have been edited out. And towards the middle, I started to feel that this book was going to play out in a very predictable and cliche way.
Boy am I glad I stuck it out to the end, because I was completely wrong. The last 25% of this book was filled with twists and turns that left picking my jaw up off the floor. What with the Heroine Tourney going on and all, I'd also been thinking about Pagan's character, and how she (and many females in YA Lit) seemed more like a damsel in distress than a Heroine. However, in that last part of the book, Pagan totally set me straight. She stepped out of the damsel role and made some bold, inspiring choices that were some of my favorite parts of the book.
And the ending... if you're a fan of big twists and cliff-hanger endings, you will scream for several minutes after this book is over (just like I did). Argh... THAT LAST LINE. Guys, you have no idea.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book. I still think it could have been stronger in some areas-- tighten up the middle, change poor Dank's name-- but it's a fun, fast, romantic read that's well worth your time!