Dark Angel by L.J. Smith

November 3, 2011
By 2015ELN BRONZE, Birmingham, Alabama
2015ELN BRONZE, Birmingham, Alabama
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Dark Angel

When I picked up Dark Angel by L.J. Smith, I expected another ordinary novel on a forbidden romance, but when I started reading I knew I had judged the book by its cover- or in this case, title. This fantasy book was full of humorous moments and plot twists that I definitely did not see coming. Through the eyes of Gillian and the whispered thoughts of Angel you learn that there is more to life than hiding in your own little shell and hoping to pass through life with out being noticed, and sometimes mistakes are out of your control and there is nothing you can do but move on when you make one. Dark Angel is a fast paced novel that never has a dull moment which makes it very hard to put down. Hands down this was probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.

This book begin with the shy, nobody main character Gillian Lennox getting left by her carpool and being forced to walk home on a freezing cold, snowy winter afternoon. As she is walking along the road she notices she is passing by the woods a little girl had disappeared in a few months earlier. She begins to think about what happened to the little girl when she hears crying coming from the woods. Even though the little voice inside her head is screaming, “DO NOT GO IN THERE. DO NOT GO IN THERE!!!” She decides to go in anyway. She hears the crying coming from a river farther back in the woods so she continues walking to inspect. When she reaches the river, she notices it is iced over. As she begins looking for a head or any sign of a child, she falls in. She is sucked down stream in the frigid water but somehow manages to make it out without drowning. As she crawls out of the water, she can barely move due to violent shivers so she decides to wait for them to stop. When they subsided Gillian realizes she needed to get help quickly but the road was on the other side of the river. When she tries to move she realizes that she is too cold to move. In a few minutes, Gillian died. Her soul goes up to what she thinks is heaven, but as it turns out it’s the in between land. She is told this by a beautiful boy with golden hair who looked to be around her age. He asks her if she wanted to live again and basically turn her whole life as a loser around or go to heaven; she decided to live again. She goes back to earth and instead of being frozen to death, it only looks like she fell in the snow and got a little wet. Angel (the boy sheets meets in the in between land) comes back down to earth with her claiming that he is her guardian angel and he begins to tell help her out. They have discovered they can communicate by thinking thoughts in their heads to each other. He helps her become popular and get the boy of her dreams, David. David’s ex-girlfriend, Tanya, becomes jealous and plots revenge. So in order to stop Tanya, Angel devises a plan. In a huge plot twist, he reveals that Gillian is a witch, not just any witch, but a Harmon witch. The Harmon witches are the most powerful in the night world, the land where everything we believe is made up, like vampires and werewolves, lives. He convinces her to cast spells on Tanya and her accomplice, which he promises are only temporary and not harmful. When it turns out the spells are harmful, Gillian has to seek David’s help to reverse them. Angel begins to seem more and more evil, especially when he almost kills David. Gillian soon realizes that he is an earthbound spirit who can’t move on to heaven because of unfinished business he left on earth. She and David help Angel finish his business so he can move on, and along the way they discover his real name is Gary and they also find out two of the biggest plot twists of all, which you will have to read to find out about.

This book reminds me of a TV show that I used to watch. Towards the end of the book when David and Gillian are trying to cross Angel over into the light, (AKA heaven) it is exactly like a TV show called Ghost Whisperer. In this show, a lady named Melinda Gordon has the power to see and speak to the dead. In every episode she has to help the ghost with his or her unfinished business and help cross them into the light, just like Gillian had to do for Angel. Even though Angel didn’t have the right intentions throughout this book, I did find him to be my favorite character. One of the moments that made me love him so much is a scene when he is telling Gillian what to say when David walked in on a conversation between Tanya and Gillian, revealing how Tanya had cheated on David. Since Gillian was repeating after him, Angel decided to say “These are not the droids that you are looking for,” to see if Gillian would repeat it. She only repeated part of it but I remember I laughed out loud. Another one of my favorite parts is when Gillian asked Angel what heaven is like and he replied, “Heaven- well, it’s hard to explain. It’s all in the oscillation of the spatial- temporal harmonics, you know- what you’d call the inherent vibration of the plane. At a higher vibration everything assumes a much more complicated harmonic theme….” I liked this because Angel was being random and spontaneously came up with answer to Gillian’s question like my dad sometimes does to me. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I would greatly encourage this book to anyone who likes a book with romance, fantasy and suspense all packed in one book. In fact, I already have recommended Dark Angel to a friend who took my suggestion and read it in two days. We both loved Angel and have had several discussions about how we both didn’t see any of the plot twists coming. I know that if anyone else were to read this book, he or she will not be able to put it down.

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