08 August 2011

Title: In the Arms of Stone Angels
Author: Jordan Dane
Publisher: Harlequin, 320 Pages (April 1st 2011)
From: the Publisher, Thank You!

Synopsis: Two years ago, Brenna did the unthinkable. She witnessed the aftermath of a murder and accused her only true friend--the first boy she ever loved--of being a killer.

Now sixteen, Brenna returns to Oklahoma only to discover that Isaac "White Bird" Henry isn't in juvie. The half-breed outcast is in a mental hospital, frozen in time, locked in his mind at the worst moment of his life. And when Brenna touches him, she's pulled into his hellish vision quest, seeing terrifying demons and illusions she doesn't understand.

Feeling isolated and alone, she's up against the whole town, targeted by bullying former classmates, a bigoted small town sheriff, and a tribe who refuses to help one of their own. But when Brenna realizes she's as trapped by the past as White Bird is, this time she won't turn her back on him. She's the only one who can free them both.

Even if she has to expose her secret--a "gift" she's kept hidden her whole life.

Review: 4 Stars - Author Jordan Danes’ In the Arms of Stone Angels was intensely emotional. With shocking characters and strong personalities, Native American traditions and a teen girl who can see spirits, Dane has written a story that I felt engaged in from the start.

Our main character is Brenna. She’s scarred in more ways then one. She can see ghosts and feels more at home in the graveyard behind her house. She also had to do something that has been eating away at her for two years, turning in her best friend White Bird for the death of true life “mean girl” Heather. She has to deal with some pretty shocking things throughout the book that made me want to scream. It’s pretty sad how kids today can be cruel but some of these teens within this story take the cake! I was cheering for Brenna throughout the whole story, I wanted nothing more then for her to come out of things with a chance to heal from such traumatic events she faces.

And then we have White Bird. His struggles to belong to the local Native Americans in the area were so deep that the more I read the more it broke my heart. It wasn’t until late into the book that we learn more about who he was, what he wanted and how he felt about his roots. White Bird is a character that we get little peeks of while reading and yet the bigger picture to the actual plot is all about him and the incident that forever changes so many lives. I found myself wanting to know more about this boy and to find out the truth for him, Brenna and the whole town.

The memories of the relationship between Breena and White Bird, prior to the incident were few but perfect and how a budding teen relationship should be. Their relationship was fed to me in bread crumbs, letting me see them at a different place and time from who each were at the root of the story, before the tragic event takes place.

They both have to put up with so much from others and it’s without a doubt, heart breaking and shocking. While reading I often wondered how Brenna would come out after and just how much further emotionally scarred she would be.

In the Arms of Stone Angels might have a touch of paranormal aspect in it with the fact that the main female narrator can see ghosts, but please know that’s not the main part of the plot at all. The key part to the story is the mystery surrounding what happened to White Bird. It’s that bigger mystery at the core of the story and the characters that’ll have you hooked. And that ending – which I thought I had figured out right away, boy, was I wrong. I didn’t see that ending coming at all.

I would without a doubt recommend this title to anyone who is ready for a great mystery, with strong characters and some shocking sub plots which surround and interweave nicely with the main plot. It’s emotionally driven and often shocking, but was still, none the less, a great story. In the Arms of Stone Angels is one of those books that I’m thrilled to have had the chance to read and I hope you will be thrilled and find much to love about the book too. It’s one that’ll stick with you… enjoy!

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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