Rating: 2.5/5 stars
Series: The Dark Elements (book #1)
Page Count: 384
Published: February 25th, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
"Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.
Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.
Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.
But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne… it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world."
My rating for this book changed frequently while I was reading. First I was positive I was going to give it 4 stars if not 4.5 stars because Jennifer L. Armentrout writes the best YA romances EVER. Then I started reading and I was like "Ok I'm already loving it!" I mean the first sentence is "There was a demon in McDonald's." Then I got farther into the book and I was thinking "maybe I'll mark it down to 3.5 stars?" Then I got even farther in and my rating went from 3.5 to a 2.5. But in the end I decided to give it a good, solid 3 stars.
I went into this book expecting it to be cheesy. (I mean, come on, it's JLA and I wouldn't expect anything else.) So I didn't rate this book lower because of that aspect. It was more my problem with the characters.
Yes Roth was a douche half the time but what else do you expect from a demon?! I actually really enjoyed Roth because he was kind of a smart-a**. I actually laughed at his character and he made the book a lot more enjoyable and fun for me. However, I didn't feel anything close to that with Layla's character.
Layla, Layla, Layla. Oh dear. I really didn't like Layla... at all. At times I just wanted to scream at her "stop being so pathetic!" Every single time Zayne was a complete and udder douche canoe to her she was just like "Oh Zayne I'm so sorry this is all my fault please forgive me. I LOVE YOU." The girl really could not stand up for herself 99.9% of the time. I would also describe her as whiny and annoying.
There was even a scene (don't worry this isn't a spoiler) where she thinks that Roth a, strong and COMPLETELY capable of taking care of himself, demon can't fight a few lesser demons by himself so she decides to wave the demons over (without having a plan) and is thinking "oh crap what to do?" To make matters worse she actually takes down a few and her and Roth make googly eyes at each other, too distracted to release the demon about to take Layla down.
*sigh* just had to mention my annoyance with that scene.
Her obsession with Zayne was also pretty annoying. I really just wanted her to love him as an older brother but NO she needed to have a huge crush on him. I think that I may have enjoyed the story a little more if Layla's obsession with Zayne was non-existent.
I know I just ranted a ton but there were also some things that I did enjoy about the story.
First, I really loved the demons and gargoyles aspect. It took some of the cheesy-ness out of the romance and it made the book worth reading. The action scenes were few but when they came along they were definitely worth the wait.
Of course I have to mention Bambi the anaconda and Thumper the dragon. Every time someone mentioned that they hoped Bambi wasn't out eating people I laughed really, really hard. I have to appreciate Armentrout for adding that little bit of comedy into an otherwise pretty dramatic story.
My main problem was Layla so I'm really hoping that she gets a back-bone in book #2.
(Because of course I'll have to pick book two up despite my feelings toward this one.)
Have you read WHK?
What did you think?
Thanks for reading and have a great day!