Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick
Finale is the end of the Hush, Hush saga, a love story concerning fallen angels and their human descendents/vassals, the Nephilim. Nora, normal teen girl, and Patch, bad boy fallen angel, fell in love in the first book even though he was kind of bound to kill her. In this final installment, Nora has become Nephilim and is supposed to lead an army of Nephilim against the fallen angels. But she’s also promised the archangels not to start a war. So she has to balance these competing interests, while also hiding her relationship with Patch because it makes the Nephilim question her leadership. There’s also a mystery to solve, an addiction subplot, blackmail, betrayal, cheating, and lots of steamy kisses.
This series is superior to Twilight because Nora is a power player in the unfolding drama, rather than a pawn or a helpless girl who needs protection. Both alone and together with Patch, and sometimes behind his back, she makes and breaks alliances, plans ambushes, escapes attackers, and fights in a battle. She still makes extreme teen girl statements about how she’ll die without Patch and that kind of thing. She’s a drama queen prone to starting fights with Patch over nothing. In the beginning of the book her language and tone was annoying, but that got mitigated as the book’s action became more urgent. I have some of the same concerns with this series that I had with the Fallen series, which was also about fallen angels. This book doesn’t get as deep into theology as Passion did–God never appears in person–but the odd religous and ontological implications are still there. Similar to Luce in the Fallen series, Nora achieves her most significant victories through self-annhiliation, through suicidal gestures that redeem her. This series is about half a step above Fallen because the language is a bit less cliched, the religous stuff is not as weird, and the heroine has more power sooner. But there are tons of YA romances I’d recommend over both of these.