Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Adornetto, A. (2010). Halo. New York, NY: Square Fish.

ISBN-13: 978-0312674366

Genre: Romance, Angels, Demons, Fantasy

Reading level/ interest age: 15+

Plot summary:

Three angels, Gabriel, Ivy, and Bethany, are sent to a small town named Venus Cove to combat recent demonic activity. Ivy and Gabriel have several thousand years of experience under their belts but this is Bethany’s first time traveling to Earth. She is constantly patronized by her brother and sister that she is unable to handle the job as Bethany’s experiences are all so overwhelming. Gabriel becomes a teacher at the local high school and encourages Bethany to focus on their mission by becoming a student. She bumps into Xavier, a boy with a troubled past, and is unable to resist her urge to help him heal. Bethany and Xavier quickly fall in love which puts a strain on Bethany’s relationship with her siblings. It is against the rules to become so close with humans and Bethany’s interaction could compromise their mission. To top it off, Jake, a demon plaguing the school, has also taken an interest in Bethany. Can Bethany and Xavier hope to defy the laws of heaven or is their relationship doomed from the start?

Reader’s annotation:

Bethany is literally a fallen angel on a mission from God. But even angels can get sidetracked. Is true love worth defying the will of the almighty?

Information about the author:

“Alexandra Adornetto (born April 18, 1992) was originally born Alexandra Grace. She lives in Victoria, Australia. Her parents were English teachers, so she inherited her love of reading and writing at a young age. Actually, her mother is ‘excellent for bouncing ideas off of’ because her mother isn’t afraid to tell her the harsh truth and her family is very supportive. Her books are (I quote from her HarperCollins biography) ‘stacked in wobbly piles on her bedroom floor’.

“Alexandra was actually on school holidays when she decided to write The Shadow Thief. She actually said that she was bored, with her friends out on vacation or doing something else, so she decided to sit down and write. Her mother would beg her to socialize or do something other than camp out in front of her computer, but Alexandra was determined.

“Determination is actually the key point of writing a book. You could be the most amazing writer in the world, and it wouldn’t make a difference if you didn’t try your hardest and put your all into it. This – in part – is why Alexandra is so successful” (WordsLikeSilver.com, 2014).

Curriculum ties: N/A

Booktalking ideas:

1.       What would your reaction have been if you found out that the person you were dating was an angel?
2.       Would it cross your mind that if angels exist, so too must demons?

Critical evaluation:
Halo is, in essence, a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. Instead of coming from very different households, Xavier is human and Bethany is an angel from heaven. The two constantly battle their feelings for one another just as Romeo and Juliet did and, as with Juliet, Bethany has already been claimed by the demon named Jake. Though the impending fight does not come to a head in this book, it is implied that there will be a showdown in later sequels. Bethany and Xavier also appear more than willing to die for their love which could actually happen as sleeping with an angel, so the author tells readers, can actually kill a human.

Halo is partially dyadic as it has many allusions to the Bible and God Himself. Halo preaches good morals as Bethany is conflicted with her decision to become closer to Xavier despite possible complications to her mission. She begins to believe that God wants her to fix Xavier and that she has a duty to protect Xavier from the wrongs he has experienced early in life. Her siblings, Gabriel and Ivy are both angels mentioned in the Bible and they far surpass Bethany’s ability to help others. The two serve as a constant reminder to Bethany to be a better, less selfish person, and she feels resentful towards them as she deviates farther and farther away from her holy quest.

As the book has a mostly high school setting, drama runs rampant. Bethany’s other suitor, Jake, enjoys stirring things up quite a bit which causes Bethany to confront him publically. She makes herself look bad which is a recurring motif in the book. The more Bethany tries to fit in and complete her mission, the farther away she gets from God. Readers are taken on a self-loathing journey through her point of view.

Challenge issues: N/A

Why included:

Halo is an easy read that is part of a series of books that could inspire teens to check out and finish the other books. It is a fantasy book about angels which could appeal to people interested in the genre.


WordsLikeSilver.com. (2014). Alexandra Adornetto Biography. Retrieved August 23, 2014 from

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