Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{January 26, 2012}   {Review} Radiance by Alyson Noel (Riley Bloom #1)

From Goodreads: 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 was really excited to begin this series but, unfortunately, this novel turned out to be much different than I was expecting.  Noel is an amazing author, and I absolutely loved  her Immortals series, so I think I was expecting something along those lines.  If you’ve read the Immortals series, then you are no stranger to Riley, and in this series, we get to know Riley a lot more, which I thought was a really cool concept.  Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of who she is turning out to be. 

Riley is a 12 year old girl stuck in Here, and she’s not happy about it.  I guess I probably wouldn’t be either if my life had been cut short, but Riley’s behavior and attitude really put me off, making me feel little sympathy for her at all.  Her immaturity is extremely evident, and her interactions with many of the other characters really rubbed me the wrong way.  I think part of this is because I’m an adult, whereas a MG reader may be able to identify more so with Riley and her thought process than I was able.  The same goes for Bodhi, I’m afraid.  While I found him to be an interesting character, he also seemed extremely immature at times and I had a hard time coming to like him as I read.   

But, characterization aside, I also felt like this story was too short.  Much of the story was spent leading up to meeting the Radiant boy, but then the scene is over in just a few pages and I was expecting much more.  I know that Noel had to set everything up for this series in this first book, but I would have much rather had more meat in the story and less explanation of school Riley attends for a day, etc.  While Noel is a fabulous writer, and I am interested to know what happens to Riley as the series progresses, I unfortunately didn’t care for this novel. Two stars.


tnx 4 reviewing
was not really interested in this1
bummr it felt flat 4u

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