The Undelightened by Bentz Deyo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Leam just wishes he’d delightened on his 17th birthday like the rest of the darkness. Then he’d have magic, and maybe his step mom would stop hating him, his dad would still be talking to him, and his brother wouldn’t be such an ungrateful prick. But all he has from that day is the memories of pain and the scars on his hands. And now it’s his brothers turn to delighten.
Eloa’s father is missing, and she just wants him back. It’s almost time for her lightenment, but she’s not sure she’s cut out for the war between light and dark. She just wants to be like the Unknowings, with their normal, nonmagical lives, and the cute boy, Leam, may be the perfect distraction, especially if he’s as crazy as the rumors make him out to be.
But Leam and Eloa are doomed from the beginning, because Dark and Light can’t be together. It’s magically impossible… or is it?
I had some difficulty rating this. I’m not much for horror, and the dark side is truly, grotesquely evil. But I knew that might be the case when I picked the book up. I mean, just look at the cover. But I was drawn to it anyway.
Although there are some graphic violence/gore bits, the author didn’t seem to push things too far (most of the time). And for as dark as things went, it seemed to make the bright bits brighter. Except maybe the end, where I got frustrated with Ella and her selfishness and naiveté.
Overall, though, an excellent read. Great story, great stakes, and much more to come. A great story for those who enjoy darkness, magic, and a little bit of hope.
**There was a fair bit of swearing, sexual situations but nothing too graphic (no lingering on body parts) and sex is off screen, and some violence/gore that took me to the edge of my limits.