A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- Author: Jennifer Armentrout
- Genre: Fantasy
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, High School, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Harlequin Teen
- Publication date: February 25, 2014
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, iBooks, Kindle
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