Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly

Posted October 15, 2014 by Jessica in Jessica, Reviews, Young Adult / 56 Comments

Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly
Lailah by Nikki Kelly
Series: The Styclar Saga #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Published on: October 7 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 414
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
One Star
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Over one million Wattpad readers have made Lailah a sensation!

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely Allie – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

traingle ISNTAhotmess fail

Anytime a Big Bad vamp bites through a pregnant angel’s stomach, and infects the baby with its venom in the first few pages of a book, it’s a pretty clear indicator of what you’re in for. If that sounds awesome to you, then hey, you might love this book.

BUT . . . if you’re like me, and think that’s just about as cornball as it can get . . . you are not wrong.

Francesca doesn’t know what she is. She only knows that she cannot die. But if she’s injured badly enough, she can appear to be dead while her body shuts down to repair itself. When this happens, she wakes up with incomplete memories from her prior life that come to her in fits and starts, and sometimes while she sleeps. She has no idea how old she is, but she knows she’s much older than her seventeen year old appearance.

The only thing she’s sure about is the man whose face she’s been seeing in her dreams throughout all her lives. The man who radiates light, the man whose beauty makes her heart ache, the man with a golden halo of blond curly hair . . . Gabriel. *rolls eyes*

But while Gabriel is the man of her dreams (HA), Jonah is the injured vamp in her backyard. And even though her last life ended when she came face-to-face with the darker nature of vampires (the more recent the past life, the more vivid the memories), Francesca has a “hunch” that Jonah is different, so despite knowing that he’s been tortured, starved, and is grievously injured, she ignores his warnings to keep her distance, lest he drink her down, and cuts her own wrist, forcing him to drink.<——TSTL female alert.

The only reason she survives this idiocy is b/c Jonah’s captors show up, distracting him from her blood, and then—OMG!—freshly fed, he somehow manages to take out ALL the bad guys.

Hmmm . . . I wonder if there’s something different about Francesca’s blood?

But while Jonah is busy with the vamps, Francesca hears/sees a silver bullet racing straight towards Jonah’s heart, so she jumps in front of it, getting hit in the shoulder, and passes out.

When she comes to, none other then Gabriel himself is leaning over her. And not only is her dream man there—in the flesh—but would you believe that he’s also the angelic leader of the motley band of good(ish) vamps that Jonah belongs to?

SMALL world.

And what a cruel twist of fate. After spending countless lives alone, she had just found Jonah, with whom she shared an instant connection. Jonah, who bares a remarkable resemblance to Damon Salvatore, both in appearance and temperament.


But then there’s Gabriel. Gabriel who she’s longed for in all of her lives . . . it’s just SO confusing. What’s a girl to do?<——W-A-F-F-L-E.

So the plot’s ridiculous. How about the writing?

He wasted no time scooping me up off the bark and thrusting my body against his. He clung to me, allowing no space between us, pushing his hand into my soaking hair. Eventually I removed my face from his chest and stared up into his eyes; they were enlarged with worry and brimming over with sadness.

He didn’t hug or embrace her, he thrust her body against his. She didn’t look up, she removed . . . her face . . . from his chest. *headdesk* His eyes weren’t wide, they were . . . enlarged.

Then there was the single page in which Francesca was, “utterly perplexed,” “bewildered,” and “completely dumbfounded,” in quick succession.

I also have this peeve about people using the word “literally” for emphasis: I literally walked out, he literally ignored her, she literally just got here, etc. STAHP. It’s bad enough when I have endure its overuse by my sister, but in a book? NO.

And let’s not forget about all the random and bizarre, yet technically correct, words that can be found on nearly every page. Like when the monster vamp slices off a lock of Francesca’s hair, and instead of smelling it, or lifting it to his nose, he raised it to his “orifices.”

*sing songs* Someone literally needs to have their thesaurus confiscated.

And that’s all I got. There were moments that were relatively painless, but overall . . . Lailah by Nikki Kelly was not for me. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes the sound of a Fallen + Twilight + Vampire Diaries mashup + a surplus of adverbs, and a questionable use of adjectives.

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Jessica Signature

One Star

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.


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56 responses to “Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly

  1. Jessica, this review is made of win!! And sadly, I think I’d have the same reaction to Lailah as you did… What’s up with wanting to be so original words that are not used in everyday language is added to just make it sound weird instead of good? And I literally hate it when literally is too liberally used, too 😛
    And I’m so sick of love triangles these days – it’s not even funny. I think I might write my masters thesis on love triangles in contemporary dystopia novels, just so I can complain away, and at the same time compare it to the romance genre of the middle ages…*sighs*
    You need a good story as a pick-me-up now, Jessica. I hope your next read will be amazing!
    Lexxie recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #17 – Dead Heat

    • Thanks, Lexxie! And I have no idea. I had to stop highlighting on my kindle, b/c TOO MANY weird words. And even after reining myself in, it was still almost impossible to pick which examples to use. *snickers* And don’t even get me started on the misuse of “literally.” Have you seen the Weird Al video, “Word Crimes”? It’s HILARIOUS.

      I think that would make an excellent thesis. If you do, you have to let me read it. I’m sure your professors will appreciate it too, but not like a fellow blogger can 😉

      I do need a good one. I’m going adult UF, b/c it’s my safest bet, but a Gilmore Girls binge is definitely taking the edge off.

  2. to say this one doesn’t catch my interest at all is a euphemism….biting a pregnant woman stomac? really? at the beginning of a book erk( and just what a female angel, pregnant! was doing near vamps in teh first place?)

    when you add how stupid teh heroine act and the writing style, it’s definitively a book i would avoid ( too many books out there that are calling to me to loose tiome on one like this)
    miki recently posted…La Malédiction de l’Aube (Negociator T.1) par C. E. Murphy

    • The vampire killed a priest (b/c any old person off the street wouldn’t do), and then waited for the angel to show up and collect the soul. Lucky coincidence that the angel happened to be both female AND pregnant, don’t you think?

      Good call. For sure 😉

    • B/c you have to have Captain America AND Ironman. That way you have a legitimate excuse to kill someone. Unless you’re spineless, and have not-the-guy act like a gentleman and disappear (to wallow in his heartbroken misery).

      Okay, I don’t know why. This one was particularly bad.

  3. Okay, I could not stop laughing during your review. I had no desire to read this before your review but I was curious about what you had to say and I was not disappointed! Great review – laugh out loud funny. It’s interesting all the Wattpad stories that are being published…it seems like publishers have not totally figured out how to pick the ones that are popular and appealing to an audience beyond that site.
    Jessica Cooley recently posted…Rump and Mercy Reviews

  4. Nicole from Feed Your Fiction  

    Funny – I actually really liked this one, though I definitely did think it had some flaws. I went into it knowing it was going to be a love triangle, so that didn’t bother me too much – and somehow insta-love didn’t ruin the book for me. Though, now that I think about it, I’m not exactly sure why – usually I can’t STAND insta-love (though the Jonah side of the equation did bother me some, I was fine with Gabriel/Lailah).

    Oh well – sorry you hated it. Hope you have happier reading for the rest of the month to make up for it! 🙂
    Nicole recently posted…Excerpt & Giveaway – Follow Me Home by Monica Goulet

  5. This might “literally” be my favorite review of the entire month! lol While I love Damon Salvatore and that picture of him you threw in there for good measure had me drooling over him like a love sick teenager, I do not however like the Twilight books or books written like them. Don’t get me wrong I thought the movies were great and I love The Vampire Diaries but the books, meh at best. So I won’t be reading this one. Thanks for the awesome review.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…How to Train a Rabbit to Come when Called

  6. Well shoot. I had high hopes for this one, and while I was willing to stick it out through vampires biting pregnant angels and TSTL moments, you lost me completely at the word “waffle”. I cannot deal with heroines who waffle between two guys. JUST MAKE A CHOICE!!! I’m good with love triangles if the heroine makes a clear decision, but if we’re dragged along as she hems and haws then I get really frustrated. Clearly 😉

  7. I knew this wasn’t for me once I got to the angelic Gabriel part. I’ve read that type of story one too many times and somehow it always involves a love triangle. It never ends well and is most likely cheesy so I’ll pass but great review!

  8. I’m pretty adventurous and open-minded but I actually cringed just reading that concept. I’ve seen lots of raves but this was the first time someone gave me a review that fit my taste enough to know it’s not for me.
    Rhianna recently posted…OUTLANDER GIVEAWAY!!!

  9. Amber Elise  

    So I think it’s safe to say that I’m going to pass on this one. I don’t think I can get past the imagery of a vamp biting a pregnant woman’s stomach. It’s gross. And if vamps weren’t enough, we have to add angels too? And of course insta-love, we forget we’re dealing with YA. Yuck.

    Amber Elise @Du Livre

  10. Umm WTF?! LOL That’s all I can say to the premise of this book. All the reasons you listed for not loving this book would be reasons I’d put it down. There’s a lot going on in this story and I’m not sure I could deal with the teenage angst or similarities to VD/Twilight. The cover drew me in but I might just pass on this one after reading your highly entertaining review Jessica 😉
    Lori recently posted…Book Spotlight: Desert Bound by Elizabeth Hunter + Giveaway

  11. Berls from Fantasy is Morw  

    Well crap! I just went to the Fierce Reads tour last week – because of Marissa Meyer of course! – but Nikki was one of the other authors and she was so damn sweet and funny that I bought her book without even reading the blurb. Someday I will learn that nice people don’t necessarily equal good books 🙁 I may still try it, since I have a signed copy and all…
    Berls recently posted…Trapped by Revenge by Colleen Helme| Audio Review

  12. Roro  

    I’m done with insta love since ’12 . I just can’t handle them anymore.i can stomach most love triangles though . I would have needed breaks when reading this . TNX for the review , jessica

    And loving the new buttons

  13. Oh that’s sad… I understand too. I was so curious about this one because of the cover (yeah I’m such a superficial girl lol) but denied my request so I finally didn’t read it but it looks like it’s a good thing in the end.

  14. LOL “enlarged with worry.” Is it wrong that I associate that kind of writing with platforms like Wattpad? Obviously there are exceptions but I’ve seen a few too many people use phrases like “his glowing green orbs” to describe a guy’s eyes. Hell no! I’m not a fall angel/pregnant angel gets her belly bitten (WTF) at the best of times so there is no way I’m going in for this one. Hopefully your next read is more satisfactory, Jessica!
    Danya recently posted…ARC Review: Black Dog by Caitlin Kittredge

  15. Bahaha this review is made of win! Literally! 😛 I didn’t much like this one ether, sadly. I was really looking forward to it, too. The romance is one big reason why I disliked it. Jonah creeped me the hell out – like what’s with breaking into her room while she’s changing? WTF? And I hadn’t noticed the similarities with Damon until now lol! But yeah this was a very cliché read and I was bored through most of it 🙁
    Giselle recently posted…Review: Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle

  16. Well, the review was entertaining even if the book was not. The cover of this one was off putting to me(the colored in A’s look like a bored school kids notebook) so I was not interested in reading it and now I’m glad.
    Kristina D recently posted…Some Thursday Randomness

  17. Why was I so unlucky to read your review AFTER I finished this book? *sigh* I could have saved myself so much time and much of my sanity. I ended up giving this one two stars like you and I felt overly gracouis. I was not a fan of this one and believe me, that opening chapter should have definitely clued me in to the mess that this book would be. I mean…the love triangle (can we call it that?) had so many cliché’s and bang-head-on-desk-worthy moments that I wanted to do just that. The boys were both HORRIBLE people and shouldn’t have been considered love interests. Lailah was just a mess and I can’t even begin to explain her. That leave’s the writing…OH MY GOD. No just no. *shakes head*
    AND I just remembered–what was up with that good and evil thing? “The world can’t exist with good and evil”—-YES IT CAN! IT DOES! Why was that a plot? No just no!
    Lily recently posted…STALKING–Hot or Not in YA?

  18. “Anytime a Big Bad vamp bites through a pregnant angel’s stomach, and infects the baby with its venom” Waaaaa? I’m not sure if I should laugh or be horrified. I feel like a lot of paranormal YA books take on “The Damon” as a love interest. The Vampire Diaries show isn’t too bad but I’ll definitely be avoiding this book, I’ve read too many Fallen/Twilight mashups.
    Alise recently posted…ARC Review: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

  19. Leila from LeilaReads  

    This is the review I would have written if short reviews weren’t my “thing.” And Nikki is super nice, so I’m glad that another “thing” is the Take It or Leave It review system. It’s a danger of talking to authors prior to a book’s publication. I did, however, add a little disclaimer to my review. So thanks for writing the review I couldn’t (feeling sheepish).
    Leila recently posted…Hot Scot Saturday #8