Author: Alyson Noel
Grade Level Equivalent: 10.6
Lexile® measure: 1120L

My Recommended Age: I want to say 12 and up, but I just can't.  Hold off until atleast 13 or 14 years old.

If someone recommends a book to me, chances are, I am going to bump it up to the top of my "must read" list...a list that is growing rapidly. Anyway, Radiance sold like "hotcakes off the grill" at the book fair, and so of course, I had to find out what everyone was so excited about.

A companion to the best-selling series, The Immortals, Radiance is about Riley, a twelve year old girl who dies in a car accident with her family and chooses to enter the after-life. Although she has not totally accepted her fate, Riley eventually chooses to accept her destiny as a soul-catcher, and embarks on her first assignment with a dorky, yet seemingly cute boy named Bodhi. Together they set off to convince a menacing ghost to accept his death and cross the bridge into the afterlife.

Riley is not a new character to anyone who has read Alyson Noel's YA series, The Immortals. As I opted out of that series based on my dislike of harsh R-Rated language, underage drinking, immorality, drug use, and murder, I was totally new to her character, and even the premise of the story. At first glance, one might think that I would have had a hard time just picking up Radiance on a whim, however, it was completely capable of standing on its own.

In the story, Riley is twelve years old, and as such is obviously written for a younger crowd. However, there is a definite maturity level that needs to be reached before a young child reads it. It does contain some mild language, including references to Deity. There is also a tense moment regarding a mother that could cause some discomfort in younger audiences.

Overall, I felt like this book was just down right strange and almost a little morbid. Not to mention all of the unanswered questions that left me, the reader, disappointed rather than excited for the next book.  So with all the great books on my to-read list, I am sure that I can find LOTS OF BOOKS which are better than this one.

Happy Reading

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