No Angel


Rafael Angelos just got handed the greatest gift any teenage boy could ever dream of. Upon arriving at his new boarding school for senior year, he discovered that he is the ONLY male student. But what should have been a godsend isn’t exactly heaven on Earth.
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 a glowing circle around his head.
Helen Keeble’s debut novel, Fang Girl, has been praised for its pitch-perfect teen voice, and VOYA called it “refreshing and reminiscent of Louise Rennison’s Confessions of Georgia Nicolson series.” No Angel brings you angels and demons like you’ve never seen them-complete with the wry humor of Vladimir Tod, sinfully irreverent romance, and some hilariously demonic teenage dilemmas.

No Angel by Helen Keeble

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My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Need I say more?
I suppose. 😦

Here are some facts:
1. Angel lore has been re-written to everything short of ‘abcd…’ in contemporary literature, be it YA or adult.
2. Angels are the more hotter versions of Vampires, who are cold because they are dead. Duh.
3. I like angels.
4. I like angel tropes.
5. Phrases like ‘laugh out loud funny’ have become banal enough to have their meaning vacuumed out, so the only way to describe the hilariosity of No Angel is through the following not-really-onomatopoeic phrase-

Agwup munkh brrr-ahaha!

And before you ask it: no, that is NOT the sound of me trying to get a suction pump off my face.

6. St Mary’s is the school[actually a demon hub] where Rafael, an angel, is sent to study. There’s a St Mary’s right here in my city, and my esteemed powers of perception have revealed that it just might be a demon hub as well.

7. Paranormal books need to loosen up and STOP offing characters; they’re always getting their panties in wads over the littlest problem in the universe.

The strongest aspect of Keeble’s novel is her play on the traditional image of angels. Well, traditional in our sense, not the biblical sense, in which case, this book follows the norms to a T. Even with all that, Keeble novelty in her mythos and gives a new spin to it all. With demon hunters; demonic teachers and pedophilic ones; creepy- flying-appendages angels, constantly in the fear of sprouting multiple bestial heads and anecdotes like this:

I broke off from my hummed rendition of “U Can’t Touch This.””I’m a seraph,” I reminded her happily.”I’m supposed to sing constant praises.”
“Not about yourself!”
“Doo be do do- demons can’t touch this!” I sang again.

No Angel does a fantastic job of maintaining the plot and not going over the top with her humor.

The characters are diverse and likable, with their own quirks and dispositions. Rafael himself is a great character- a funny, relatable narrator. There’s not much character development and frankly, there isn’t any need for it. The side characters themselves make up for a huge part of the entertainment. Krystal, the human who summons an angel with a computer-guided laser-etching machine; Faith, the sweet girl who just can’t get anything through her head; Michaela, the demon[ 😉 that’s winking face, btw, you’ll know why when you read the book] with a fetish for pentagram flashcards and more girls, girl, girls…

Not adhering to the stereotypes and people’s preconceptions of an only boy’s stipulation in an all-girls’ school, this book doesn’t turn into an all out pillow-fight and pajama nights, with the protagonist’s bewildered yet content face smushed between two pairs(or more) of cans. Because, err… demons? Plot? Which is a bit confusing and involves true love and kisses, and sacrifices and seduction of demons(horrible plan). It’s engaging and droll, albeit it comes second to the witty dialogue among the characters as they sit around and craft appalling plans, in terms of entertainment.

The ending left me a bit confused; I still have a few questions(with emphasis on few), the most pressing of which (view spoiler)[why did his power’s disappear? (hide spoiler)]. I wish the ending had been a bit more clear as to what happened.

All in all, Keeble has an amazing sense of humor and she pertinently incorporates that in her novel. Her hilarious writing is refreshing and her characters definitely need a bit more of the limelight, I mean, look at that

What the hell did angels talk about? “I come bearing Good News! For unto you a child shall be born!”
The girl stared at me. She did not look like she considered this to be bad tidings.
“Hey, I just deliver the news, I don’t write it,” I snapped.

A review copy was provided by the publishers.