3 of 5 stars
Arielle: Immortal Awakening is the first in the Arielle series by Lilian Roberts. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and author for an honest review- through Goodreads. Arielle and her two best friends since childhood each have paranormal gifts or leanings. Some are at peace with it and have family support, and others are more private and want to just live normally. Now in college, Arielle and her friends, Eve and Gabby, are adjusting to their new independence. They have close friends and date, but Arielle, back home after her freshman year, meets Sebastian on the beach. The instant they meet, they both know there is something special between them. But, Sebastian has a few really big secrets and right away breaks a promise he made to Arielle. Hurt and angry, yet mystified as to why Sebastian pulled a disappearing trick, Arielle begins doing a little research on Sebastian. What she discovers shocks her. Sebastian has a wife, and he's lived for centuries. Although, he is married in name only, his wife's sole purpose is to make Sebastian's life a living hell. This means Arielle is in danger. The only thing Arielle knows for sure is that she is in love with Sebastian and no matter what she has to do, she will fight to keep their relationship for all eternity. First of all, while reading a few reviews on this title on Goodreads, I never heard anything about this novel being YA. In my opinion this book fits right into that genre. So, to be honest, I don't really read a great deal of YA. I have two grown children, so I'm maybe not the best judge in this particular case. For me, the story was a bit disjointed. We move quickly through the girls' childhood, then to their lives in high school and then college. These are good girls that don't get into a lot of trouble and have good relationships with their parents. So, the first part of the book simply introduces us to the characters. Then we meet Sebastian. For me we never got much of an explanation as to how Sebastian obtained his immortality. We know his wife was believed responsible, but this part is glossed over. I did like the fact that Sebastian was not a vampire. This avoided a lot of messy details about how he manages to get blood etc. Plus, it's been done a million times over. When Arielle learns about Sebastian's immortality and the danger she may be in because of his wife, she still behaves carelessly by not taking the precautions Sebastian provided for her. Once the danger becomes real and Arielle learns her lesson, the story switches gears yet again. Sebastian's friends inform him of a work related crisis and he must leave to take care of the situation. I'm not really sure why this part was that important to the book and I sort of zoned out for some of it. The separation gives Arielle time to do some thinking and the story leaves us guessing what her big decision is, although we are pretty sure we know what it is. The romance is superb, especially for the age group the book would appeal to. There is no actual SC, just the suggestion that the lovers fool around and avoid actually having sex. So, the focus is more on romantic love. Sebastian, is absolutely dreamy. He would be every girls fantasy. Despite their trials, Arielle is a lucky girl. This book would be excellent for older teens and young adults. There is a paranormal element, but nothing too dark or violent. I liked the romance and adventure. The book was too slow in some places and too rushed in others. However, I think it was an enjoyable read and I give it B-/C+.
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