I found that the character development in this book was great; we really get to intimately know each and every character... But I felt like things were way too overdramaticized (a la Romeo and Juliet). Take for instance this little snippet from the book:
"You know," Xavier said, "not speaking to you for a few days was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life."
"I know what you mean," I said softy. "I just wanted to die."
"Never think that Beth, I'm not worth that."
"I think you are," I said and he sighed.
"I can't say I don't know what you mean," he admitted. "It feels like the end of the world, doesn't it?"
"Like the end of all happiness"... (p.411)
I don't know if I am turning into an unemotional cat-lady-in-the-making, but a few years ago had I read this, I know that I would have been falling head over heels for this book and its characters (like I was with the "Twilight" series- or at least with the first three books, "Breaking Dawn" is terrible), but I just can't seem to connect with this sort of stuff nowadays. Maybe it is because I am growing up and just realizing that these are books and not real life, or if I have just read so much of this sort of dealio and because so, I am just becoming desensitized to it...
I just can't see how two people can fall in love with someone within a matter of days of knowing one another, one reveals something major to the other that should completely change the way the other views them (as in, "Oh, BTdubs, I am an angel sent by God to look after the earth"), and the other (and normal person) just looks at them and says something along the lines of "I love you so much, and nothing can, nor ever will change that ". And then they go on to profess to one another that they will do everything they can to protect the other one... Blah, blah, blah, even if it kills them... Blah, blah, blah.
And then as I was reading this book I thought to myself, "who in the world wrote this? Do they really know anything about how relationships work?" And when I look at the back cover I discover that Alexandra Adornetto is only 18 years old (and that she wrote her first book when she was 14)! Well, that might explain it and why the feelings in these book seem quite childish... I mean, on the one hand, it is great that she is such an accomplished young woman and that she clearly is talented, but on the other hand, the majority of my favourite books (that seem more realistic in their plotlines- well except for shifting into cats or whatnot) are a bit older, you know, late twenties, early thirties, plus- you know, people who have actually experienced the world, relationships and whatnot to a higher degree than an 18 year old.
I am not saying that young people of her age do not know what love it or anything at such a young age and it would make sense for an actual young adult to be writing young adult novels, since they are currently undergoing such experiences, feelings, thought processes and whatnot... But I just feel like from what I have read, people out of the young adult age range can just do it better (even if you wouldn't think that they wouldn't be able to, since it could have been quite a while since they were young adults and they have experienced quite a bit in their adulthood lives and whatnot- much more than their young adult characters will have experienced).
So anyways, enough ranting and back to this book... Character development? Good. Storyline? Overplayed, somewhat childish (but then again, it is a young adult book, so I was warned). Characters? Well, some of them I really loved, like Gabriel and Jake, other ones kinda got my nerves a bit like Taylah and Molly, but overall, I think that the reader will really enjoy them. And what is nice about this book is that because it is a cliff-hanger, you can pretty much assume that there will be another book in this series, so you will be able to follow the characters in their future adventures and whatnot. If there is another book in this series am I going to go to the store on its release date and buy it? Nope, I will get it from my dear old friend, the library. Would I recommend this book to others? Yeah, as mentioned, it's storyline is okay, somewhat overplayed, so if you are looking for a light-hearted (slightly mindless) YA paranormal romance, this is just the thing for you, however if you are sick of that sort of genre/ theme, that nope, not for you at all- skip it.