Shadows by Paula Weston

It’s almost a year since Gaby Winters was in the car crash that killed her twin brother, Jude. Her body has healed in the sunshine of Pandanus Beach, but her grief is raw and constant. It doesn’t help that every night in her dreams she kills demons and other hell-spawn.

And then Rafa comes to town. Not only does he look exactly like the guy who’s been appearing in Gaby’s dreams—he claims a history with her brother that makes no sense. Gaby is forced to accept that what she thought she knew about herself and her life is only a shadow of the truth—and that the truth is more likely to be found in the shadows of her nightmares.

Who is Rafa? Who are the Rephaim? And most importantly, who can she trust?

Fast-paced and gripping, Shadows, the first book in the Rephaim series, is a standout paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Cassandra Clare.

                                                              Rating:  4.5 of 5 stars
                                                              Series book: Yes
                                                      Will I read the next book: Yes

Shadows went by so fast. One minute I'm starting the book and Rafa is just introduced and the next it's arse-kicking fight scenes and just-barely-there romance. 388 pages have never gone by faster. But before the review, let me tell you something. The book is told by Gaby, the memory missing version of Gabriella. But everyone keeps calling her Gabe because that was her nickname pre-amnesia. Don't get confused. 

So angel-books are my thing. Admittedly, most aren't very original, but I'm still obsessed. I can't say I've read one with amnesia and fallen angels and fight scenes and Romance.  It would be accurate to say the plot had some originality. So first you just see this regular girl mourning her brother. Then Bam! Up pops this totally swoon-worthy guy telling you you're like, a billion years old. That's pretty new, right? Usually a girl meets a guy and he's a billion years old. This time their both a billion years old. And it had good story progression, like things actually happened. Stuff was actually revealed. That's a change of pace from other YA book....*Cough* Twilight *Cough* No hate to Twilight,  though. I still love it. I think I have Stockholm syndrome.

The writing. I loved how Australian it was. Tire is spelled with a y there. Like no joke. Tyre, like, on a car. And then there was the constant use of arse-hole. So it was just really fun to read, seeing all the differences ("tyres" instead of "tire", "arse-hole" instead of "ass-hole", "your shout" instead of-- I don't know.. Americans might say it. It means "I'll pay" or "I'll get it") I would probably have kept  reading the book, regardless of the plot.. It was that good.

There weren't very many characters to choose from..but I have to say Rafa is still my favorite. He was like arse-hole extraordinaire sometimes, he was still swoon-worthy in a tall-dark-and-calculating kind of way. Like, he was kick-ass! And Gaby was kick ass too...she just didn't remember it. But you could totally tell. For the most part, all the characters were kick-ass in their own unique ways. Rafa, Zak, and Ez were fighters. Maggie stayed cool. All the time. Gaby was hardcore hey-I-can't-fight-but-I-still-don't-take-any-BS. Daniel had pretty boy swag. Nathaniel had bleeping wing. 'Nuff said.

The romance was understated. There was some tension sure. But nothing happened. The relationship only slightly progressed. Rafa was scared that Gabe's (as opposed to Gaby-who totally wants him) memories would come back and she would and kill him There's nothing to complain about, and also nothing to fan-girl about.

Favorite Quotes:

“I hear you've been with every Rephaite in a skirt.'
Crap. Where did that come from?
'Who told you that?' HIs smile shifts into something less amused. 'Daniel. Who else? The prick.'
'Is he a liar?'
Rafa leans against the pale wall. 'I haven't been with everyone.'
'What about Taya?'
'Hell, no. I'm no monk, but I have standards.'
I wonder what else Daniel was wrong about. 'What about me?'
Rafa's teasing smile doesn't quite reach his eyes. 'You had standards too.”

“We're quiet for a moment. And then: 'Why did you call me Matt?'
'It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now that I know you, I realize I should have called that character Dick.'
He laughs, and then the couch shakes. 'Honestly, Gabe, I forgot you could be this much fun.”

SUMMARY OF REVIEW(In case you don't actually feel like reading the review):
Plot: 5 out of 5 Original. Especially for an angel book.
Characters: 5  out of 5   So kick-arse
Romance: 4 out of 5 Nothing to say. Super understated
Writing: 5 out of 5 Tire! With a Y! Tyre! Australian!
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Rated PG Cussing. Arse-Kicking. Almost sex scene.

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