Title: No Angel
Author: Helen Keeble
Published by: HarperTeen
Publication date: October 8th 2013
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
From the publisher—
Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for his senior year, he discovered that he is the only male student there. But Raffi’s about to learn that St. Mary’s is actually a hub for demons—and that he was summoned to the school by someone expecting him to save the day. Raffi knows he’s no angel—but it’s pretty hard to deny that there’s some higher plan at work when he wakes up one morning to discover he’s sprouted wings and a glowing circle around his head. . . .
Be honest now. Can you resist a book tag like this?
He fights demons.
He’s looking down your shirt.
I admit it, I couldn’t resist ;-). Angels and demons with a splash of humor seemed to be just the ticket for me in my mood at the moment and what I found was a rollicking parody of all the usual angel vs. demon novels out there, chockful of LOLs and a touch of potential romance and a whole lot of fun.
Ms. Keeble has a masterful voice with all of her characters, whether they be self-satisfied teens or love-struck tweens or overbearing teachers and, dare I say, Raffi aka Raf is perhaps the most appealing teenaged boy I’ve come across in a long, long time. I love the way he is first thrilled and then very quickly scared out the wazoo when he finds out he’s not just the first boy to enroll at this previously all-girls academy, he is the ONLY boy. That rings so true, doesn’t it? I can see a cocky kid who swims in popularity thinking this situation would be the most glorious opportunity ever but Raf’s reaction is what I think 99% of the teen male population would have.
So, off he goes to his lonely room in the boys’ dorm and he very quickly finds that loneliness won’t be a problem. The parade of young girls that come knocking at his door, flowers in hand, is hilarious and Raffi (he apparently can’t make the preferred “Raf” stick) shows what he’s made of by being kind to these kids. Unfortunately, that good deed does not go unpunished.
Then, Raffi finds out, in a most alarming way, that there’s much more to him than meets the eye—although the eye can’t help being drawn to the halo that has suddenly appeared and the best he can come up with to hide it is a My Little Pony hat. It seems that his new self-appointed best buddy, Krystal, did a little conjuring and called him to the school to help Faith, one of the most down-trodden pretty girls ever, fight the demons back before they can escape the local Hellgate. Somehow, Raffi never saw himself as an angel but it is what it is.
Can the trio defeat the demons and can Raffi fend off the deadly attentions—and intentions—of Michaela, a girl who drips smoldering beauty and menace? Will those nasty demon tentacles succeed in knocking him into the hereafter?
In a final scene of good versus evil at the annual Masked Ball, Raffi spends just as much time defending the honor of some of his classmates who would like to give up said honor to their dates from the neighboring boys’ school as he does confronting the Demon Prince. Raffi and friends discover too late that they just may have been outmaneuvered and more than one huge secret comes to light.
I so enjoyed this story and I hope that, someday, Ms. Keeble will bring us another adventure with Raffi and his friends. In the meantime, I’ll have to get my Keeble-fix with her previous book, Fang Girl.
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, September 2013.
About the Author
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