Release Date: October 7th 2014
Genres: YA, Paranormal
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series: Book one of series
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Summary: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.
I tried. I really did. I even pushed through and read the entire thing but at around the 20% mark I had a pretty good idea of how this story was going to go and had to force myself to not put it down. The concept behind Lailah was pretty interesting. A girl who never ages and comes back to life after she’s been killed but doesn’t know why? Yeah, that’s pretty cool. But, unfortunately that happened to be the only cool thing in the book.
Lailah starts off with a bang. Literally, from the beginning we’re thrown into a bunch of chaos but it wasn’t the type of chaos that’s exciting enough to warrant interest, it was the type of chaos that confused me. I had to reread passages to make sense of what was happening. Everything felt disjointed and messy. Not only that, but I had no emotional connection to our main character Lailah (who at this time is going by the name Francesca) or any of the people she meets. I mean, since I had no prior knowledge to her other than her name (which is later revealed to actually be Lailah) I didn’t care about anything that was happening around her. We end up learning that one of the guys she meets, Gabriel (I will get into more detail about him later) is actually this guy she’s been dreaming about for years (which is something we learn as she meets him) and while this is a huge moment for Lailah, I wasn’t interested enough to particularly care.
Let’s talk about the cliché’s now in Lailah. Oh the cliché’s. This book was full of them. FULL OF THEM! I couldn’t get over it. I found myself wanting to hit my head against my desk a dozen different times. First there’s the infuriating love triangle (that shouldn’t even exist because both guys are terrible options) and of course one boy is good and the other is completely evil. Oh boy…I wonder who the girl chooses? And of course with this love triangle comes all the cliché’s in the history of cliché’s. The “good” guy withholds information every chance he gets which forces the girl into the “bad” boys arms. The “good” guy has another girl lusting after him and of course he doesn’t tell her to back off because he doesn’t want to hurt her feelings AND of course this leads to Lailah (with her perfect timing) seeing all sort of “misunderstandings” between the “good” guy and the creepy can’t-take-a-hint girl.
Of course, Lailah wasn’t all bad. Lailah was interesting enough (aside from her occasions random mood swings here and there) and I could appreciate the mythology behind the angels and vampires and her role in it. While some of the twists were a bit too predictable for me in regards to this I actually found myself kind of surprised by one near the end that I hadn’t expected. That being said, I feel like the whole “there can’t be both good and evil in the world or in a person. A balance doesn’t exist” was extremely underdeveloped. I mean, how many books and movies and tv shows have to exist to convince that YES, good and evil are in everyone? They’re different sides to the same coin.
While Lailah was not my type of read considering some of the stuff I’ve read on Wattpad I can see why it goes to much attention online. The story wasn’t necessarily bad per say, If anything, I feel like it had a very strong concept behind it but ultimately this one was just weighed down by too many factors.