darkdevineThe Dark Divine (The Dark Divine #1) by Bree Despain
Release Date: December 22, 2009
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Source: Audio Copy
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared–the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood–but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held.

The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude’s high school. Despite promising Jude she’ll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel’s shocking artistic abilities, his way of getting her to look at the world from new angles, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes.

The closer Grace gets to Daniel, the more she jeopardizes her life, as her actions stir resentment in Jude and drive him to embrace the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind the boy’s dark secret…and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it–her soul. – Goodreads

This is the story of Grace Divine. Yes, that is her name. Her father is a preacher who named his eldest son Jude. Jude, who happens to be the perfect child. But we’ll get more into that later. Grace Divine lives a fairly normal life. She has a loving family, goes to school, volunteers. She is a completely normal teenager. Until the day her brother comes home after a night out with his friend Daniel, who Grace happens to be in love with. Jude and Daniel’s friendship was forever changed that night and no one talks about it again. That was over three years ago and that night is still not discussed in the Divine household.

Until Daniel comes back. Grace didn’t know how much she missed or how much she was drawn to Daniel until he comes back. They are drawn to each other like two magnets. Daniel is artistic and makes Grace want to be a better artist and makes her look at things in a way she never truly did before. Of course this is problematic because Grace promised Jude that she would stay away from Daniel and she doesn’t lie to anyone, family or not. She takes that very seriously. She also turns many shades of red which make it next to impossible to lie, but that’s not the point. When she promises something to her family it’s important to her to stay truthful and honest.

Of course she doesn’t stay away from Daniel. She can’t. The magnets! The more she stays near Daniel and talks to him, the more she comes to find out what happened that night with Jude three years ago. This is where the mysterious element comes into play which I will not ruin for you. I will state that Despain handles it in an interesting way and with this being a series, I will be interested to see how it continues.

I wanted to like this book, and I did. Don’t get me wrong, I totally liked this book, I just expected more from it in the end. Thankfully it is a series and more is coming. Despain has a very interesting writing style and while I enjoy it, I often found it a tad too preachy for me. The fact that Grace’s father is a preacher, Jude is perfect, Grace often makes sure her point gets across in a childish way while continuing to be the good girl. I have no problem with the good girl character. However this version of the good girl was so sickeningly sweet it often hurt to read in parts. That is honestly another reason it didn’t get another star from me. I hate when books get preachy with me. You can get your point across without repeating it over and over again.

Alas, I will be reading the rest of the series because well, I am hooked