Even the Devil was once an Angel!
The following ratings are out of 5:
World building: 🌏🪐🌍🌕🌎
Character development: 👩🏼🦰👱🏼♂🧑🏻👩🏽
The setting: Sun Valley High School
The Hero: Roman Valdez, high school senior. He and his two friends are known as the Devils. They are the kings of the school, on track to the NFL after college. Football is their focus.
The Heroine: Alejandra (Allie) Ramirez, recently lost her mother and was sent to live with the wealthy father she never met.
I was immersed in this from the start. The characters were latino which was a nice change of pace. Though I hated the fact that Roman’s car is an El Camino. Just a bit too over the top, plus they are so ugly. I know Jesse Pinkman drove away in one at the end of Breaking Bad, but that doesn’t up the cool factor of those things in my book!
Aside from the the ugly truck/car issue, this book was terrific. I thought it was going to be pretty standard high school bully hate to love fare, but it ended up being so much more. Allie suffers through the loss of her mother and having to leave everything she knows, not to mention the same day that her Mom dies, she finds out her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend. However, she perseveres and knows she just has to get through the school year.
I liked Roman despite the fact that he was a jerk for a large part of the book. He is one of those guys who is really only that way when he feels threatened or when he is trying to save face, and don’t we all do that a bit. He hurts Allie when he thinks she is only with him for a fun time. He can’t figure out his attraction to her but knows that it is different that anything he has felt before.
He wants her to want to be with him and to show that by doing things like attending his football game. When her actions hurt him, he lashes out before finding out the real story. However, beneath the bravado and the things he does to hurt her back, he really cares. He (and his friends) do what they can to protect her and he notices everything about her, like the fact that she doesn’t eat enough.
I feel for Allie as well when one tragedy after another seems to befall her. I was glad she had her best friend Julio and that Aaron also turned out to be a true friend to her so that she had them to lean on when she needed. There were a few scenes in this book that were difficult to read, the book gets so much deeper than your standard high school bully romance. I don’t want to give away any spoilers but this book has some very timely storylines with regards to race and brutality, which were handled perfectly.
I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts & opinions are my own.
View all my reviews