We are so excited to introduce a new series on the blog called Then and Now! For this series, we will re-read our old favorites to see if they still live up to our expectations. Every review will include a blurb on our recollections from when we first read the book as well as our reactions now after re-reading. We can’t wait to revisit our old favorites to see if they live up to the hype!
First up is the book Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton. Angelfire was first released in February 2011, so it’s an oldie for sure. This is the first book in a three-installment series, and we accredit Moulton’s writing for getting us into YA. We absolutely loved the romance in this book and its definitely one of the first romances we hard core shipped back in the day— but more on that later! Claire first read the book in February 2013 and Christy read it in May 2014. We ultimately rated the book ⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ on Goodreads.
Here’s a brief overview of the book’s plot:
Seventeen year old Ellie is tormented by dreams of murderous creatures hunting and killing her over and over again. She can’t help but feel that these dreams are a reality. After her high school teacher is brutally murdered under mysterious circumstances, she cannot shake the feeling that something is off. When she meets Will, she experiences flashes of memories that she cannot place— she feels like she has known him for centuries. On her seventeenth birthday, Ellie is attacked by a mysterious creature and saved by Will, who awakens her power.
As it turns out, the dreams and flashes were clues about her former life. Ellie is the Preliator, an angelic being that hunts Vir, descendants of the Fallen angels that haunt the grim— the dimension between the human and demonic realms— and feed on human souls. Will is her Guardian, sent to protect the Preliator by the archangel, Michael. Will has protected Ellie for centuries, but his position is complicated by his deep love for Ellie, which he has secretly harbored for centuries. When an ancient Vir named Bastian arrives looking for the Enshe, Death itself, Ellie and Will know they must keep him from awakening the force before war breaks out between angels and the Fallen. As Ellie struggles to regain her memories and understanding of her past lives, she also must come to terms with the fact that being a teenage Preliator is not as easy as it seems.
When we first read this book we were obsessed with Will. We thought he was charming, brooding, and handsome. His chemistry with Ellie was off the charts, and we loved their banter. Ellie had some iconic one-liners that made the Goodreads quote sections (who else remembers reading those back in the day when they couldn’t stop thinking about a book they had just finished?!?!). Ellie was strong and tough as nails, and we really appreciated how she took control of her situation despite the memory loss.
She dove head in to her new Preliator responsibilities, and we related to her desire to be a normal seventeen year old in the early 2010’s. We vaguely remembered this book being fast paced. There were lots of battles that kept us on the edge of our seats. Most importantly, we really appreciated that Moulton tackled the fallen angel storyline in such a unique way. After experiencing the gigantic mess that was the Fallen series in the early 2010’s, this was a much better executed and intriguing take on the same plot. The side characters, Nathaniel, another Guardian, and Kate, Ellie’s human best friend, were also extremely lovable from what we recall. We are excited to re-read this book!
Okay, first— we really loved the throwback to the early 2010’s. The pop culture references were on point and made us nostalgic for our high school days. Even though there were cultural things that were kind of cringe, we still really enjoyed this book today! The romance is just as swoon-worthy as we remembered, and Will actually was much more stoic than we originally thought. He kind of reminds us of our beloved Aiden from the Half-Blood series (which now explains why Claire would come to be obsessed with Aiden about three years later…). We actually forgot that Will and Ellie had so much chemistry at the end of the book (if you re-read, you will now what we’re talking about). The romance is definitely slow burn, but we forgot about the swoon-worthy kisses.
Ellie was also super bad ass, which is on par with our previous perception of her. The only thing that bothered us a bit now was that we wanted to shake her for whining about how she couldn’t be a “normal” teenager anymore. *Like, GIRL, you are an angelic being, of course you cannot just go to Halloween parties anymore when you are constantly being attacked by Vir!!!* Anyway, rant over. When we first read the book we did not fully tap into the strong female friendship between Ellie and Kate. When we read this book in 2013, strong female friendships were not always as common in YA books, so we appreciate that Moulton was ahead of her time in that regard. Also, we now think that Ellie’s mom was extremely lax for the parent of a teenager. She basically let her get away with going on a secret trip to Puerto Rico with her “tutor” (Will) and crashing her car…multiple times (collateral damage from Vir attacks).
We definitely would still give this book ⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ stars. It was light, entertaining, and had a unique plot line for its time. Not to mention that the romance was still as swoon worthy as we remembered. There were some great one-liners that we may need to add to our repertoire 🙂 We are tempted to re-read the rest of the series for old time’s sake.
If you take a trip down memory lane with us and re-read Angelfire too, let us know if it still holds up in the comments below!