Saturday, October 18, 2014

Lailah by Nikki Kelly

Lailah (The Styclar Saga, #1)
Source of Pic: Hypable
Lailah by Nikki Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Current Rating on Goodreads: 3.98 of 5 stars
Pages: 416
Synopsis (via Goodreads):

Over one million Wattpad readers have made Lailah a sensation!

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.
On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely Allie – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.
In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?
Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.


Lailah, the main character in this book (of the same name), doesn't know who or more importantly what she is. She has sudden flashbacks of previous lives and never ages past her 17 years. One night as she's going home from work she stumbles across a young man escaping from certain death......except Jonah isn't a young man. In fact, he's not even human. Jonah is a vampire. Lailah knows what he is, but decides to help him anyway, and is soon running for her life as well.
When Jonah and Lailah meet up with Jonah's friends, led by the mysterious Gabriel, Lailah's life turns upside down. Because she knows Gabriel, knows his smile, his laugh, his love. Just not in this life, or this century. Gabriel is an Angel and he believed Lailah to be human and dead, but she's neither.
As the secrets and revelations start to flow, and Lailah's heart gets pulled in two very different directions, how long will they be safe before the enemy strikes.....and hits their target?
Because it soon becomes clear that the creatures chasing the ragtag crew are no longer after Jonah.....they're after Lailah, and they'll do anything to get her.

So one of my long time GR besties (it's been over a year omg!), the lovely Rachel over at A Perfection Called Books, recommended Lailah to me! Rach is one of the Founders of the Styclar Street Team, so naturally she loved Lailah and ordered me to read it xD

I admit I had a few problems with Nikki's writing. For the most part it was rather good; sure it's a bit raw, but rather engaging, especially for a debut author. What irritated me was these few phrases or words she used once in a while that really rubbed me up the wrong way. Yeah I know, I can be really picky sometimes XD

“That was some good hurling, Cessie! I’ll try to make the rest of the journey a little less bumpy.”
Umm....what?!

My toes were vibrating and had swelled in my shoes. The balls of my feet sighed with relief when I took my weight off them and collapsed into the passenger seat.
o.O Vibrating......

An elated tingle raced through me as he pawed the top of my panties.
Makes 'he' (no spoilers :P) sound like a perverted creep ^^

Do you see what I mean? Those phrases and words just don't fit or meld in smoothly with the rest of the writing. For me they stick out like sore thumbs and, putting it bluntly, I think the words haven't been used correctly.
It's like when I was a kid and looked up synonyms to replace my original words with because I thought that good writing needed a lack of repetition, so I'd replace words with a synonym. And yes, to a certain extent it's true, too much repetition doesn't make for smooth and engaging writing, but trying too hard isn't good either, and randomly replacing words will disrupt the writing.
Not that I'm implying Kelly did that XD but the result is the same, and I'm just putting it out there that choosing the words you use is very important because if you don't have a clear grasp of the definition, or how the word is interpreted in society today, it creates jagged writing rather than the smoothness that surely all writers thrive for.

I adored the plotwork tho! It's pretty unique because we have an abundance of angel books and vampire books, but bringing together them is a rather new concept, and I think that Nikki Kelly did a really good job :)

Also I heard a few people say that this book was dark, but I personally didn't see that at all. Sure there was an attempted rape, but it wasn't remotely graphic so I didn't really feel the severity of the moment and for me, Lailah definitely didn't cross the border from YA into NA.

Lailah wasn't the worst protagonist, but I didn't like her that much because too much emphasis in this book was put on the romance rather than the action and mystery of the situation.
She spent most of her time daydreaming about either Gabriel or Jonah and acting like a pining teenager, and an insecure one at that. Her thoughts literally do this:
I love Gabriel!
Oh no I'm too plain and Gabriel's gorgeous....he'll never love me *wail*
But I know Gabriel loves me!
Noooooo Gabriel doesn't love me!
Errmegoshh Jonah is sooo haawt! *fans face*
I shouldn't want Jonah, but I do. But I must save myself for Gabriel!
What should I do?! *distressed look*

Me:

Isn't she meant to be two hundred years old? I know she doesn't remember a quarter of her previous lives as a source of wisdom but *sigh* xD

Gabriel is an Angel, and Lailah's lover back in her first life. Of course, being a classic vision of an angel, he's all blonde hair and vivid blue eyes ;) I liked Gabriel, I did, but I didn't understand why he didn't just tell Lailah everything from the start. His secrecy seemed kind of pointless to me, as if it was only there to create tension and drama ^^
Plus he's too nice to Hanora aka the vampire he saved years and years ago.....but more importantly the vampire who has the hots for him.
I get it, okay? He saved her, and she's been with him for a 100 years *rolls eyes* But. I. Don't. Care. *huffs*
I hate her, and I certainly don't understand why he lets her just strut around and plaster herself on him! If it's true that he's a light soul, and she's a dark soul, which means he could never like her that way, why doesn't he seem totally disgusted by her antics? It makes no sense >.<
I am leaning towards Team Gabriel tho......I just hope he'll stop being an idiot XD

Jonah. Hmm. At first he got on my nerves because I didn't understand his stalkerish behaviour. I mean, sneaking into Lailah's room when it's locked and she's having a shower? o.O #creepalert Plus at one point he physically restrains her and tries to forcibly make her show him her injured shoulder! #controlfreak
But as it turns out, there's a reason for it. One, because he managed to fall in love with her *whispers* whyyy her Jonah? You could do so much better XDD And two, because he drank her blood (vampire remember?) and that means he became connected to her in a sense.
He's also a self proclaimed bad boy, and by bad boy I mean, he totally rocks the hot jerk role :P But he's a good guy at heart and also has a sweet side *flutters eyelashes* Yup I'm officially a sucker for rude hot fictional characters!

With JLA's The Dark Elements at the forefront of my mind because of Stone Cold Touch's impending release (I'm counting the days!), the love triangle in Lailah suddenly reminded me of the love triangle in TDE! In both series, one love interest in a 'light, pure soul' while the other is the 'dark soul' (bad boys alert ;P), and the protagonist is a 'hybrid' of sorts in both series! :D Coincidence whoa!

And now it's time to discuss the two other female characters......who have both caused a certain level of grief for Lailah with their attachments *cough*obsessions*cough* with the two love interests -___-
Hanora majorly pissed me off because she seemed like one of those characters that have no purpose other than to get in the way of a relationship! You know the type that causes a lot of drama and misconceptions and has a total lack of genuine character personality or arc? Yup, that's Hanora with her ridiculous century-friggin-long obsession for Gabriel. It's soooo annoying! What will it take for her to grasp the concept that he's not into her??
At least with Brooke there was a reason for her possessiveness over Jonah! (view spoiler)
So while Brooke did get on my nerves a couple of times, I couldn't stay resentful because it's not her fault. Hanora on the other hand......well.....let's just say, she's on my hit list for fictional characters ;)

The revelations near the end and Lailah's sudden 180ยบ decision (view spoiler) seemed really rushed and poorly thought through, but once we got past that stage everything seemed to fall into place. And that ending.....ohh that ending!

The very end was so epic I almost forgot about all my earlier misgivings. I got the same feeling I did when I was watching Breaking Dawn Part 1 for the first time, and I hated most of that movie! But the end where Bella is just lying there then her eyes snap open.....yeaaaahh same feeling at the end of Lailah ;)


So yes, while I see substantial room to improve in Lailah, there is certainly great potential, and I can't wait to read the second instalment of the Styclar Saga, Gabriel (maybe it'll be in his pov *fingers crossed*), when it is published :) I'll be on the lookout!

3.5 stars

—MissBloodsucker™ All Sucked Out!

View this review on Goodreads