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The Dark Divine
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About the Author

Bree Despain rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. This is her first novel. You can visit her online at www.breedespain.com."

Reviews

Gr 9 Up-Grace, Daniel, and Jude were best friends until the night three years ago when Jude came home covered with blood and Daniel disappeared without a trace. Now mysterious happenings are taking place in the neighborhood. Daniel is back and Grace involves herself in his life again-but this time it's more than just friendship. Grace and Jude's father is a church pastor who lives his faith. Daniel had lived with the Divines for a time after being removed from an abusive father. When Daniel reveals to Grace that he is a werewolf, Grace and her father work to free him from this curse through their knowledge of a little known legend. But is Daniel or someone else responsible for those disappearances and animal mutilations? It is up to Grace and Daniel to make sense of that night three years ago and solve the new mystery. The story's saving grace is the role faith and forgiveness play in making this somewhat more than your average YA paranormal romance. Narrator Eileen Stevens provides plenty of suspense. Primary characters are well-defined and voiced, though secondary characters are fairly one dimensional. The mystery and energy of the story are heightened through Steven's use of pacing, breath, and pitch. The story drags somewhat in the middle, but builds to a conclusion that suggests a sequel.-Ann Brownson, Ballenger Teachers Center, Booth Library, Eastern Illinois University, Charleston (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

"With its eye-catching cover (pale, slender legs with purple toenails entwine with purple chiffon on a black background), intriguing title, and the hook of werewolves in love, comparisons to Meyer's Twilight series are inevitable. However, Despain roots her story firmly in the faith of her protagonist's family. Sixteen year-old Grace Divine is a pastor's daughter and has heard every joke possible about her name. But her family practices what her father preaches: community, caring, and forgiveness, including taking in a neighbor's abused child and raising him as their own. That boy, Daniel, and Grace fall in love, and when Daniel reveals that he is a werewolf, Pastor Divine searches for remedies while trying to keep his family safe. Though the romantic passages are predictable and characterization sometimes weak, Despain raises complex issues of responsibility and forgiveness and offers no easy answers. Atmospheric and compelling, Despain's first novel will be popular, and a sequel eagerly anticipated." --Booklist

--Journal

"Three years ago, Grace's brother Jude stumbled home covered in blood. The next day Grace and Jude's best friend, Daniel, disappeared without a trace. The family never spoke again of the events of that night, leaving Grace in the dark completely, but now Daniel is back, suddenly showing up in Grace's art class and putting the whole family, particularly Jude, on edge. Stranger still are the mysterious disappearances and animal maulings that have started back up again with Daniel's return. Unable to resist her attraction to her long-lost friend and convinced only she can put the broken pieces of her family back together, Grace embarks on a search for the truth, discovering a centuries-old secret that threatens to make her choose between love and loyalty. An intriguing mystery, a rather little-known legend, and some serious chemistry between the two main characters make this an innovative and satisfying addition to the paranormal romance shelf. Grace's narration rings true with a simple eloquence, and her retellings of events past provide a believable motive for her connection to Daniel and her obsession with the truth. While some of the secondary players are essentially stock characters, Jude is compelling both in his role as the supposed 'good son' and his complicated relationship with Grace. The final scene in which Jude and Daniel finally have it out is as heart-pounding as any action scene and the bittersweet conclusion is satisfying and uncontrived. Hand this to fans of Stiefvater's Shiver (BCCB 10/09) or Alyson Noel's Immortals series." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

--Journal

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