White Hot Kiss

Book review by
Julie A. Carlson, Common Sense Media
White Hot Kiss Book Poster Image
Gargoyles-vs.-demons tale a fast read for paranormal fans.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 15+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Religion and Christianity are discussed. 

Positive Messages

Strong messages about friendship, love, trusting your instincts, believing in yourself and others, family unity, helping those in need, and being open-minded. Good vs. evil is not always so clear-cut or black and white. If you think someone might be doing something wrong, don't jump to conclusions without thinking things through. Profiling other people by their actions or appearances is not using good judgment. Use common sense. Don't do things that might be dangerous on your own -- find someone to help you. Spreading rumors and gossip and bullying are hurtful.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Layla's a strong heroine. She's gutsy and doesn't back down. Even though she's part-demon, part-gargoyle, she's still a teen. Layla attends school to try to fit in and have a normal life. But when she learns some mean kids are spreading rumors about her, she wants to stop them. Her friends, Sam and Stacey, are always by her side. They are caring and funny but don't know what she really is. Layla's afraid to tell them for fear they won't like her anymore. Layla lives with a group of gargoyles known as Wardens. Gargoyles are similar to guardian angels. The head of the Wardens, Abbot, acts as a father figure toward Layla. She listens to him...most of the time. Same goes for Zayne, Abbot's son. Layla is very attracted to Zayne, who is kind, sweet, and overprotective. Roth, a demon, is also kind, loyal, protective, heroic, and sexy. He helps Layla in times of need. 

Violence

Car chases, car accidents, demons and gargoyles fighting with each other and other monsters, hand-to-hand combat, killing monsters, attempted murder, scratching, clawing, hair grabbing, kicking, blood, gore, and gun shooting.

Sex

Kissing, flirting, caressing, lying together, snuggling. 

Language

"Chissake," "idiot," "a--," "hoebag," "whore," "b----," "piss off," "crap," "christ" (used as a swear word), "dammnit," "sh--." 

Consumerism

McDonald's, Verizon, BMW, Porsche, Yukon, Chevy.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that White Hot Kiss is the first book in New York Times-bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout's new series, Dark Elements. This twist on the angels-vs.-demons fantasy motif centers on a teen girl who's half-demon, half-gargoyle (gargoyles are sort of like guardian angels). There's romance, kissing, and strong language ("ass," "bitch," "whore,"piss off," "crap," "dammit," "bullsh--t," "s--t"). White Hot Kiss also has a lot of violence, including hand-to-hand combat, car accidents, gun shooting, and the killing of gargoyles, demons, and other monsters, with some blood and gore. 

User Reviews

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  • Kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bySlendyDaMan April 23, 2017

Amazing

K, for an age rating I think CSM messed up. they fail to mention the sex scene between Layla and Roth. of course, it isnt graphic at all, but rather in metaphor... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bythePrettyDead February 6, 2018

What's the story?

Layla is happy being a normal teen and enjoys her afterschool job, tagging demons for the gargoyles to kill. She's half-demon, half-gargoyle, and doesn't quite fit in with the gargoyles, aka the Wardens, she lives with (the gargoyles are similar to angels). She has friends at school and crushes on fellow Warden Zayne. But something is missing from her life, and now dangerous incidents are happening around her. Layla craves love and being in a relationship, which she hasn't experienced yet. Because she's a half-demon, she also has the desire to take people's souls, and every day she fights the urge to hurt innocent people -- and taking a demon's soul is definitely against the rules. When she meets Roth, an upper-level demon from hell, her world turns upside-down. She finally finds love, even though she's repulsed by being with a demon; she's been trained to be a Warden since she was young and to fight the bad guys. But Roth shows her that good vs. evil is not always so black and white -- sometimes the people she thinks are good are bad and vice versa. Shortly after she meets Roth, she learns of a violent uprising of the demons against the Wardens, and she must decide whether to stick by her Warden family or follow her heart and soul, as a demon, and stand by Roth's side.

Is it any good?

WHITE HOT KISS is a really fun and fast read, especially for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout's other novels, such as those in her Lux and Covenent series. Sometimes the book has a bit of a Twilight feel, but White Hot Kiss is definitely a great pick for YA paranormal and fantasy fans. The story's an exciting twist on the angels-vs.-demons concept -- this time around it's gargoyles-vs.-demons. The world is well-developed and takes place in Washington, D.C. The romance between Layla and Roth is very sexy, and their quick banter is top-notch dialogue. However, the dialogue between demons during fights can be a little cheesy.

The relationship between Layla and Roth oozes with chemistry. But Zayne also is a likable character and a solid adversary to Roth. Readers will find it hard to choose which guy they like best. Finally, White Hot Kiss has a lot of interesting side characters and some super creepy villains. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fantasy novels and paranormal romances. What's so fascinating about gargoyles and demons? 

  • What do you think about the love triangle among Layla, Zayne, and Roth? Why are love triangles a common device in fantasy novels? 

  • Were you surprised how things turned out? What do you think of the ending? Does it make you want to read the next in the series? 

Book details

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