Monday, 7 January 2013

Review of After Angels Fall by Jo Cattell

Author: Jo Cattell
Publication Date: January 1st 2013
Source: e-copy from author for review

"In Book One, When Angels Fall, we met Nick and Chloe. We cared for them, hoped for them and worried about them. Their young love seemed so fragile at times, when up against the world which thought they were too young, too foolish or too naive to follow their own hearts. We witnessed their growing relationship and remembered when we were in love for the very first time.

After many trials and obstacles, our young couple finally got their night. They sealed their love with a powerful, loving coupling, despite all who conspired against it happening.

In this installment of Book Two, After Angels Fall; we will find out what it means to be young, in love and up against a heartlessly cruel world. 

Chloe fights the darkness of her childhood and the cruelty of her senior year, while living with people who wish to destroy her. Nick fights to hang onto their love to keep Chloe safe and whole.

Many happenings will conspire to separate them. Will love win out? Will they be able to stay together and beat the odds?

…Only the ‘Angels’ really know"

*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings*

After Angels Fall is book 2 in the series and it picks up from where When Angels Fall ended. For my review of When Angels Fall, please click here.

So, what to say about After Angels Fall? Well, it touched my heart just as much if not more than book one. I found it to be emotionally fraught and I fell more in love with the characters than I had previously.
My favourite character is Kevin, one of Nick's brothers. Whilst it may be unusual to have a secondary character as my favourite, you only need to read this book to find out why. He is a complete star, he's Chloe's rock and I will always, always love Kevin.

Nick and Chloe are still very much in love but things are unfortunately pretty much the same with regards to Chloe's horrid parents.  Her only escape comes in the form of Nick's family. Gina and Mark have become like the parents she never had, although she deserved them. Much like Mark, Kevin and Max have become like the brothers she never had. They are such a close knit family and they take her in as one of their own.

Things get worse for Chloe on the home front. Her father is one of the most despicable people ever, only slightly pipped to the post on that one by his wife Shelly. It's hard to find anything worth saying about them as there certainly isn't anything nice. The Gardner's are the kind of couple that couldn't care less about anybody other than themselves. We found out in book one that they were always travelling and leaving Chloe home alone. Chloe hates them, she hates the way her father has never been a father to her. He's always seen Chloe as a weight around his neck and Shelly (the most wicked step-mother of them all) is forever belittling her,  making sure she knows that the baby they are trying for will be all the family they need. Their baby will be Thomas' second chance at being a father, so they say. The thing is, he never really tried with Chloe. He hated her mother in the end and despises that Chloe is her mothers' daughter.

The pit of resentment grows in this book. It opens up a chasm that cannot be closed by words or by actions. There is nothing that could bring them together as a family. So it's a good job Chloe has the Allen's.They love her and respect her so much. Nick loves her more than life itself. It's only with Nick that Chloe really opens up and shines like the beautiful star she is. 

One day, during a camping trip, Nick and Chloe get carried away with their want and need for each other. So much so that they forget to use protection. Thankfully the test they do shortly afterwards is negative and so life can resume as normal.
Chloe has plans to go to Art College in New York and Nick plans to get into a college in NY too so that they can find a little apartment and be together.

The two plan to take a trip before college can start. Trouble is, Mark Allen couldn't keep his promise about them not leaving. It's not for good, they just have to go away for a few short months. Mark junior manages to get out of it due to having a job and a fiancee. Kevin also gets out of it as he's old enough to stay behind and he point blank refuses to go. But Mark Allen senior is Hell-bent on making Nick go. He won't take no for an answer. He doesn't see that it will put a gaping whole in Nick and Chloe's relationship. He says they can write and email and see each other on web-cam, but he will not take no for an answer and forces Nick on that plane with him, Gina and Max.

Nick and Chloe promise each other that there is no-one else for them and that their relationship will work out because they will do everything in their power to keep it together. 

The time away is hard on both Nick and Chloe. But at least Chloe can still go to the Allen's house if things get tough with the Gardner's. At least she will have Kevin, Mark and Mark's fiancee Claire. 

Events seem to conspire to keep Nick and Chloe apart and even when they do manage to have web-chats, it's for a limited amount of time only. What doesn't help is that Nick has a girl that seems to have latched onto him and wants to make things tougher for him and Chloe. 
Let me tell you if I could reach into a book and slap someone, she wouldn't be first on my list because of Thomas and Shelly, but she would be third.

Chloe has been ill recently. She's suffered dizzy spells and bouts of sickness. She doesn't know what's wrong with her but she doesn't want to confide in anyone. 

A twist in the story occurs which sees Chloe being comforted by Kevin because he was the only one she felt she could tell what happened. Another twist has her running away and living in a boarding house.
I won't tell you either of these things or anything about any of the other shocks Jo has in store for you. All I can tell you is just when you think you have something figured out, something comes along and blows your mind.

I absolutely adore Jo's writing style. She pours her heart into every sentence she writes. There is a little piece of her soul embedded in each book. She dedicates her books to the memory of Chloe, her inspiration behind these beautiful books. 
I cannot wait until Fall this year when the third book comes out. The trouble is, we've been given a great treat by books 1 & 2 being released so close together but now Jo has another book in the works for another series and that means we won't see book 3 until Fall. I can only pray she gets done sooner than she thinks and gets it published earlier.

My favourite moment in this book is when they are camping and Chloe asks Nick to dance in the rain with her. It was such a touching scene. 
There are some beautiful moments to experience, yet there are also some that are quite tragic to witness. 
I hope you will read this book and come to the same conclusion I did. Nick and Chloe are meant to be together and the things that happen to keep them apart are just God's way of testing them and the strength of their love for each other, ultimately making them see they are soul mates. 

Thank you Jo for sharing your words with me. For making me fall in love with your characters so hard that you nearly had my heart broken beyond repair. I say nearly because you came along and fixed it in the end.

Thank you everyone who came by to read my review. I hope to see you again soon!

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