Review of Lailah by Nikki Kelly

Lailah (The Styclar Saga, #1)Lailah (The Styclar Saga #1)
By: Nikki Kelly
Release Date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

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.

My Thoughts:
This is such a difficult review to write. I went into this fully knowing it was going to be a paranormal romance and I was excited for vampires and angels and positive I’d love this book. Well, the sad truth is…I didn’t love it. There was something about the writing that kept me coming back to read but the overall story and characters fell a bit flat for me.

There were aspects of the story that I found to be interesting and like I said above something ab0ut the story kept me coming back for more. I enjoyed that Kelly combined angels with vampires and also created her own mythology to explain them. I was able to visualize the locations and characters and I felt that the action scenes were done rather well.

One thing that irked me was I couldn’t help but see some similarities with another well known vampire book…you might know it…Twilight.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t cry Twilight with every vampire book and I know that mythologies cross, etc. The aspects that seemed familiar was that the group of vampires were reformed and living together as a family. They also happened to be rich (ok, I’ll let that slide since in almost every book vamps are well to do). There was also a bit of shimmering/glimmering in the moonlight and there was a scene where Lailah hitches a ride on a vamp’s back and runs through the woods. How could I not see Twilight there?

The love triangle! Ugh, this one was bad. I couldn’t get behind either relationship. I did prefer one of the guys over the other but I still didn’t like him with Lailah. She mistreats people and uses one against the other when she gets upset about something.

In general the character descriptions were clichéd. Phrases such as, “cascading waves of hair” “pearly white teeth” were used to describe them which did make it easy to visualize everyone but I was sad to only have a ‘beautiful’ cast of characters that were all perfect.

Lailah, our main character, I wasn’t keen on her at all. I never connected and found her to be annoying more often than not. She threw a lot of fits and acted out of anger by running away or endangering other people. I felt constantly annoyed with her and wanted to throttle her at times. The MC also has low self esteem but for no reason. She’s beautiful and everyone has pet names for her like: love and beautiful. Just sort of grating and felt very done before.

Final Thoughts:
Though I was disappointed by Lailah I could see the appeal and felt the urge to read it because it was entertaining. I had moments of rolling my eyes and felt distracted by the similarities I saw with Twilight. I think that if I could have connected with Lailah and shipped one of her relationships I’d have been a much bigger fan of the books. Sadly, that was not the case. Will I read the next book? I’m really not sure.


  1. says

    Great review, Kristen! I’ve been hearing a lot of mixed reviews surrounding this one. I’ve got friends who love the love triangle element, and others who absolutely cannot stand Lailah herself. I’m apprehensive about this, but I’ll admit, the whole ambivalent idea proposed does have me intrigued. I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy this one.

    • says

      I really thought I’d love it since a few of my bloggy friends adored it. I was primed and excited about a PNR but sadly it didn’t hit the mark for me 🙁 You might really like it…I think it depends on if you can tolerate Lailah herself.

  2. says

    Oh nooooo. I’ve heard a few good things about this book, but I was REALLY worried about the love triangle as well, as I’ve already seen “Team X” stuff around, which just makes me cringe. Sounds like my fears are justified. =/

  3. says

    Uh-oh, I was really looking forward to it too. 🙁 I could probably tolerate the Twilight similarities (though a lot of eye rolling would ensue), and I could probably tolerate the horrible love triangle, used to them by now, but ugh, a horrible main character. I could probably also deal with that, if any of the previous aspects were a good distraction, which sounds like it wasn’t. So nope, but at least you finished it!

    • says

      There was a quality that kept me reading. I do admit that fairly close to the ending I was super close to DNFing but I decided to push through. I really wish this had worked better for me. And yep, one or two of those things would be ok if there was something stellar going on to distract. But, all of them layered like that? Nope.

  4. says

    Bummer! Thanks for your honesty and taking one for the team! Since I don’t think I would enjoy this one either, I think I”ll make space for a different review book.

  5. says

    I was really excited about this one, but you’re the second person today who didn’t really like the book. I’m even dreading reading it now. Love triangle always puts me off a little bit, and knowing there is one, I’m not so sure if I’d be reading it now. Great review!

  6. says

    Aw, sorry you didn’t love this. I do think that between Twilight and Buffy and True Blood etc. it’s hard to make a vampire story feel fresh right now. It sounds like there were just too many things about the story that didn’t work for you. Hope your next read is a better fit 🙂
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    • says

      I tend to enjoy vampire stories and love The Immortal Rules, etc those felt different. This had some interesting bits to it but that MC. I couldn’t get behind her at all. Did you read it?

  7. says

    Awwww, I’m so sorry to hear this one didn’t work for you at all!
    I was surprised that the love triangle didn’t bother me at all, to be honest and I found myself unsure of which guy I’d root for but not annoyed at Lailah for not choosing.
    Thank you for your very honest review, Kristen!

  8. says

    HAH! There is no way in hell I will read this book, lol 🙂 Amazing review Kristen. <3 I wish I could say sorry that you didn't like it, but I'm glad you didn't like it :p I think it sounds awful 🙁 and love triangle sounds THE WORST. I have heard bad things, lol. So yeah. Not a book for me either. Sigh. But aw. It sucks that so many Macmillan books these days are awful 🙁 Thank you for sharing sweetie. <3

    • says

      Yeah, Carina I can not fathom this being a book you’d enjoy. I’m pretty certain you’d really hate the MC. I am very sad by the disappointments lately. Hopefully the next wave is amazing and blows us away.

  9. says

    Ha, yeah, this book DIDN”T have me at “love triangle” lol. This one sounds particularly bad, as I’ve heard there’s lots of waffling and the heroine basically jumps back and forth based on illogical conclusions.
    Hope your next read is better, lady.

    • says

      Yeah, this book is not for someone that dislikes love triangles especially if the MC flip flops often. I’m not super against them myself (I’d prefer there’s not one but I can like a book regardless) but this book…I couldn’t get past it at all. I was not a fan of the character interactions and the MC was horrible to me.

  10. says

    Oh, no! I was really looking forward to this one! 🙁 I have it on my Spooky TBR and all! I’m not opposed to love triangles, so maybe that won’t bother me so much? The cliched descriptors, though…that might be a bit off-putting. Sigh. I guess I’ll just have to see for myself.

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