Radiance held high hopes for me. With its stunning cover and provoking plot I was eager to begin reading it and to loose myself in the fascination I love with the spirit world. Sadly this book not only fell short of a good plot, but I could barely make myself finish it, eager to complete it and put it aside.
Being my first Alyson Noel book I pray that her writing style is nothing compared to what it is in Radiance. I wouldn't go as far to say as I hate it, but I dislike the redundancy of words used to make her point and the repetition of ideas that seemed to solely revolve around the main character and her childish behaviour.
I will admit the only thing that kept me reading was the concept of sole catchers and the idea that spirits have a place in a heaven or 'here' as the novel explains. One of my favourite parts about the novel was that everyone had their own destiny beyond death and it reminded me much of the faith of many physics I know and their beliefs and faith about the world beyond death. However the sub-plots weren't enough for me to enjoy this book thoroughly.
Riley, our main character frustrated me to no lengths. I couldn't find a moment when I actually felt for her and my emotions towards her death and dullness made me want to tear out the pages and demand a character worth my time and feelings. She was stuck up, judgemental and juvenile. As for the minor characters, they evoked much the same response.
The crisis and resolution was to easy. There was barely any struggle and I was unsatisfied with the results. It begs me to ask the question of who would I recommend it to. Surely no one older than twelve would be interested in the lightness of this book and while I feel rather negative towards it I think it would be better suited towards a younger age range rather than young adults.
** Two Stars
P.S I would like to mention I did a little research after I wrote this review and it is a series for middle-graders. However my feelings and opinions still stand regardless. But for someone wanting to try out this novel for younger readers I would actually recommend it. Also it is a spin-off from her immortal-series.