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Book Review: When Ash Rains Down by @authorcecelia #bookreview #YoungAdult

I read this book a while back and thought readers of my blog would like it.

She thought demons didn’t exist.

She was so, so wrong.

Julia’s hardcore. She has no time for childhood nonsense like fairytales and romance–literally. She’s too busy getting straight A’s and working two jobs to get her family out of the mess her dad left them in.

Despite the stupid necklace he gave her before he bolted–the one that supposedly contained protective powers and songs of angels–she knows the truth. He never cared about her mom, brother or her, and angels and heaven are a farce.

Besides her family, she only lets her best friend, Mitch, get close to her, and even he knows how quickly she can put up walls. She won’t even take a second (okay, maybe third) glance at the handsomely irritating guy at school who’s been lurking around. But no matter how much she’s tried to protect everyone, the life she’s so painstakingly been rebuilding is about to come crumbling down.

And that necklace might have some benefit after all.

Will Julia and her family survive an explosion, a demon invasion, or even the beautiful strangers that want her to join some demon-hunting mission?

There’s no question about it, money and good grades aren’t going to solve all her problems anymore. It turns out there may have been something more behind her dad’s disappearance…

It looks like Julia’s demon-hunting days are about to begin.

Check it out on Goodreads.

My Review

Julia’s family and town is in great danger. Though she doesn’t believe any of it’s real, she’s part angel and has to fight off the demons threatening everyone she loves.

Okay, so Julia isn’t easy to like. She has this obsession with working to better herself and her life and the lives of her family. She thinks money will solve their problems – like having to save every penny to survive. She doesn’t have time for the frivolity of High School – she works several part-time jobs to save money to go to university. Once you understand her motivations, though, Julia is quite real and endearing. She knows that the chances of her being able to go to university are slim, yet she works very hard to make that dream a reality. It’s better than giving up. I’ve read reviews going on and on about how unlikeable and un-relatable Julia is: here’s the thing, she has to work for everything she has, she has to work hard for everything she wants to have, and she has to deal with the meanness and jealousy that sometimes pops its head up when she looks at how easy others have it. It’s part of the storyline: having to overcome temptation to be a good person. It’s also a good theological discussion about what one would do to get what you think you deserve…

What I liked about this story is that Julia actually believes in the higher power she serves. So many other angel fantasy novels present characters who don’t believe in God, which is really sad if you think about it.

The way the community comes together to help one of their own teaches Julia about being truly alive and living her life, about how people aren’t all bad or out for themselves, and how perception colours the way we view the world (people see her as selfless while she’d been seeing herself as selfish).

My favourite line that conveys the discovery and journey Julia is on: “You’re very loved. Remember that. Love is a powerful thing. More powerful, even, than money.”

An enjoyable story. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

Shelves: Fantasy, Folklore, Young Adult, Angels and Demons

What do you think? Do you read books that feature angels and demons? Don’t miss my interview with the author later this month!

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: When Ash Rains Down by @authorcecelia #bookreview #YoungAdult”

  1. Thank you! Your review is so sweet and so insightful. I really appreciate you having read my book and for your wonderful understanding of my characters and the themes. I’m glad you were so patient with Julia! <3 Cecelia

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