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I Belong

Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly

LailahTitle: Lailah

Author: Nikki Kelly

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: The Styclar Saga (Book #1)

Publication Date: October 7, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 416 Pages

ISBN-10: 1250051517 (MacTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-1250051516 (MacTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

Quick & Dirty:  Interesting YA paranormal featuring vampires. While I didn’t love everything about it, I still ended up really enjoying this unique story!

Opening Sentence: Lightening streaked and forked into three, the thunder pounded in wave of two, and the silence fell at once.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Francesca or better known as Cessie knows two things — that for some reason she can’t die and she is not human.  For over two hundred years she has traveled the earth trying to figure out who and what she is. She has no family and doesn’t usually have the luxury of making many friends. She has died too many times to count and while she can remember small glimpses of her past, most of it is just a blur. The only thing that is a constant memory is the name and face of, Gabriel, a man that fills her dreams.

Then one night on the way home from work she runs into a stranger that is in dire need of help. She is the type of person that just can’t walk away from someone in need, even if that person is a vampire. Jonah has gotten himself into a bind and with the help of Cessie, he is able to escape and in return he promises to protect her. Jonah is unlike most vampires and he belongs to a group that is lead by a strange rogue Angel named, Gabriel.

Soon Cessie is emerged into a war she didn’t know existed between good and evil. She learns that her true name is Lailah and she will have to make some difficult choices in the future.  Not only does her life depend on it, but so does all of mankind!

For the most part, I really liked Lailah. She is a strong and caring person that has been through a lot in her life. Never knowing who you are or what you are would be really difficult, but she hasn’t let her hardships destroy her good heart. I loved that she is always trying to do the right thing, even if it isn’t easy. You can see her beautiful soul shine throughout the pages in her actions and that made it really easy to like her. But she isn’t a pushover and I loved that she would stand up for herself. The only thing that irritated me was how indecisive she was, especially when it came to the boys. One minute she would be all about one boy and literally the next page she would be all about the other boy. I can understand being confused about your feelings, but I felt that she was really immature at times, but only when it came to her love life. But I loved everything else about her.

At first I liked Gabriel. He was mysterious and crazy hot, but as time went on my feelings for him slowly turned negative. Basically, the more I got to know him the less I liked him. I get that in his own mind he was trying to protect Lailah, but I feel like he is trying to mold her into someone that she’s not. It felt like he was always telling Lailah what to do which made him come across as kind of a overbearing jerk at times. The one thing he does have going for him is that he and Lailah do have great chemistry. I do think that he has some redeeming qualities and I have hope that my feeling for him will improve in the next book.

I freaking loved everything about Jonah! He is a crazy hot vampire with a tainted soul but a good heart. He is all bad boy which I am a total sucker for. But the best thing about him was that he loved Lailah for who she was. He didn’t want her to change and he never made her feel like she was anything less than beautiful. The only thing not in Jonah’s favor was that I felt he brought out the darker side of Lailah. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t know if in the long run they could really work. Also, he doesn’t have the same type of connection with Lailah as Gabriel does. Yes, there is steamy chemistry, but not a whole lot else between them.

Lailah was an intense story brimming with romance and magic! I will admit that it had some serious flaws that I will mention in a minute, but it was still a great read. So let’s start with the things I liked. First off, I loved the background story she created, it was fascinating and very different from other vampire books I have read. Another thing I loved about it was that it was a memorable story even though it was a vampire/angel story, which has been told many times in the YA world, this one still stood out to me. The pacing was spot on and I never felt that there was any moment that dragged or felt rushed. Also, there were some great plot twists that took me completely by surprise but in a good way. Ok, now let’s talk about the things I wasn’t a huge fan of. First off, there is a love triangle and it is a huge part of the story, so if you don’t like triangles I would recommend you steer clear of this one. I actually generally like love triangles, but this one just didn’t quite do it for me. I think the reason why was because I wasn’t really sold on either guy, I kind of don’t want her to end up with either of them. The other thing that I had a hard time with was that at times I felt a disconnect with the story. I can’t really pinpoint why, but there were just times where I didn’t feel like reading it. These moments were short and there were only a few but it did happen a couple times. With that all being said, I ended up really enjoying this book and I am really looking forward to the next book, especially after the ending! I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a fresh and different young adult paranormal read.

Notable Scene:

“What are you doing!” I stepped away from him, irritated.

“Let me see it. I’ve been feeling guilty about it since it happened.”

“No.” I turned on my heel and started to make for the door. Gabriel has been quite adamant that I shouldn’t reveal my particular gift to anyone, least of all a Vampire.

I was reaching for the handle when he spun me around, pressing me up against the wall so that I was forced to face him. Jonah was tugging his jacket and the cardigan off from around me, holding me by the waist, restraining me.


The Styclar Saga:

1. Lailah

FTC Advisory: Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Lailah.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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One Response to “Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly

  1. kim { Book Swoon }No Gravatar

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Lailah as well! The cover was so stunning that it completely caught my attention-then of course an angel and vampire love interest did as well, lol. I thought the series was off to a good start, with a few things I did not care for, but overall fun.
    Great review! :)

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