The Dark Divine

A book by Bree Despain

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Book with fangs and claws

  • May 12, 2010
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This was one of the better reads in my latest batch of young adult fiction, not perfect by any means but a smooth and speedy ride compared to many other books that are out these days. Nothing new here when it comes to the great mystery, the story involved werewolves, who in the past have gotten somehow entwined into young romance stories, I'm used to this ferocious giant who has no enemies and chomps his way through people, who knew they were such little romantics deep down? I have to admit that I miss the nasty beast, but this tale was cute enough to be enjoyable.

The story revolves around Grace, her brother Jude and Daniel Kalbi, who was taken in by her family when he was young. An incident between the brothers forces Daniel to run away, and when Jude shows up at the house cowered in blood he starts carrying a torch of hate for his step brother, a torch that has been burning all these years. Suddenly Daniel is back in the town and ready to start over, unfortunately for him Jude hasn't forgotten his deep dislike for Daniel and he will do whatever necessary to get between him and Grace, who seems to be smitten with Daniel. As young love develops Grace realizes that Daniel isn't what she thought, he has secrets and Jude claims that he's a liar, on top of it all girls from their class start disappearing, some are even discovered mauled to death. Jude blames Daniel and it doesn't help Graces' confusion that her own father seems to keep his own secrets. Her adolescent life is hard enough to deal with as her mind and body changes, but adding boys and danger to the mix seems to push her over the edge. Grace feels forced to decide between her brother and the guy she loves, both seems sure they are right, but there can only be one winner of this contest. I have really enjoyed the character of Daniel, he was a really nice guy but realistic enough, Grace was pretty good and open minded, her best friend however was kind of annoying, how come main girls in these books surround themselves with such empty minds, it boggles my own mind, I wish they weren't so cookie cutter and obnoxious and easy to disregard because they are so unlikable.

I had a nice time reading it, it's something that can be finished in one day, and I just wish that these stories were little more modern and truly different. How many of them can use a high school as a backdrop until it gets old? And I didn't really understand the correlation between the cover and the story until the very ending. One thing I didn't like was the hideous feet the model was sporting, if you are going to put feet on the cover, at least I would appreciate if they didn't look like creature features.

- Kasia S.

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More The Dark Divine reviews
review by . April 19, 2010
Grace Divine always knew that something horrible had happened the night that Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in blood--his own. The problem is that she doesn't know what, and now that Daniel's back, years later, she doesn't know how to act or who to listen to. Jude makes her promise to stay away from Daniel because he's convinced Daniel is some kind of monster. Grace can't bring herself to believe that, though. How could her childhood crush be monstrous? But the closer …
review by . April 03, 2010
The cover of this novel was very compelling and had me drooling even before I read the synopsis. After reading the back and review tid-bits, the cover was still the main draw and I was a bit leery because of the usual YA hype that surrounded it. (Don't like to be disappointed) So, I painted my toenails, with my Dark Divine nail polish and put on the Soundtrack and settled in to read this book - and was totally surprised. The Dark Divine was highly entertaining, yet it possessed a very rich and romanticized …
review by . February 06, 2010
Bree Despain's debut novel is stunning and mysterious.    The novel starts off quickly with some intrigue, as Daniel Kalbi comes back into town. I've never quite read a novel that hooked me by the third page, but The Dark Divine did just that. Despain's writing has an addictive quality to it, and she seemed to effortlessly pull everything together in just the right way, with just enough mystery to keep you guessing.    The characters are drawn up perfectly …
About the reviewer
Kasia S. ()
Ranked #8
   I’m a total book lover; it eclipses all other hobbies, mainly of the horror genre that embraces all the things that make one sleep with their back to the wall. Horror is a lush terrain … more
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About this book


Grade 9 Up—Grace Divine, a pastor's daughter, doesn't think she lives up to the name that her father tells her means "heavenly help." Her brother, Jude, a church volunteer whose faith seems unshakable, has always seemed to be the more "graceful" Divine. When his friend Daniel returns to town after a long and mysterious absence, Jude recognizes Grace's attraction to him but urges her to stay away with unusual vehemence. Against his advice, Grace begins a relationship with Daniel, whose reluctance to discuss his disappearance piques her curiosity. As she attempts to uncover the mystery of Daniel's past, Jude discourages her investigations with oblique references to an ancient evil and a transforming curse. The novel builds to a dramatic climax involving the surprise revelation of a Divine family secret and a violent confrontation that suggests a possible sequel. Despain's first novel mixes romance and the supernatural and offers true love as the ultimate defense against lycanthropes. This long novel is a slow starter, but as Grace discovers unexpected local connections to the mystery of Daniel's absence, the pace picks up and the suspense builds. Although not a novel of Christian fiction, the book's thematic investment in faith and sacrifice distinguishes it from traditional supernatural romances.—Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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ISBN-10: 1606840576
ISBN-13: 978-1606840573
Author: Bree Despain
Publisher: EgmontUSA

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