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The Dark Divine

By Bree Despain

Reviewed by Jordan B. Nielsen

In lieu of a traditional review of The Dark Devine by Bree Despain, I thought we’d play a little game called ‘Paranormal Teen Romance Mad Libs’.

Our story features a girl named (character name, usually containing a common noun and/or adjective). She’s just your typical world weary teen, living in  (misty, woodsy, dreary weather locale), an hour outside of (major metro-area) . She isn’t one of the pretty, popular girls, she’s more on the (synonym for plain) and (synonym for clumsy) side. She has a friend who is kind of a (synonym for air-head). In her free time, she really enjoys (Photography/Drawing/Painting/Reading – circle one). In spite of the fact that she’s

(synonym for bland) and (synonym for self righteous) and (synonym for not very pretty) she has (pick a number more than 1) perfectly nice guys who are in love with her, all of whom she disdains for no good reason, when really such a (synonym for dullard) should be thrilled that anyone can even separate her from the wallpaper.

Then one day a new guy appears. She is immediately drawn to him like a (synonym for prey) to a (synonym for predator). His name is (select a name no one has given a child in the last 200 years). Not only is he (synonym for wildly attractive) he’s also got that (synonym for dark) and (synonym for brooding) thing going on. To prove it, he drives a motorcycle. While most sensible people would think he’s (Charles Manson/Ted Kaczynski/The Zodiac Killer - circle one) our narrator is completely enamored of him, though spends (pick a number more than 1) chapters stubbornly insisting that she hates his gorgeous, gorgeous guts.

But there’s more to this (jerk/loser/misanthrope/recluse –circle two) than meets the eye: he has a secret. Through (pick a number more

than 1) chapters our girl doggedly stalks this guy she claims to loathe with her head (pick a place one might shove their head if they were quite stupid). She tediously tries to figure out what the heck is going on, while it’s plainly obvious to the reader by the abundance of (werewolf claws/vampire fangs/angel feathers/unicorn horns - circle one) that keep falling out of the dude’s coat pocket.

At the point when he, and we, can’t take her imbecility anymore, this mysterious guy breaks down and overtly explains to the girl that he is a (chose a mythological creature). Rather than question weather or not she was experiencing some sort of psychotic episode upon hearing this information, as anyone else would, she responds by (biting her lip/chewing her nails/playing with her hair – circle one) and is generally (synonym for nonplused) by this improbable revelation.

Now in the honeymoon phase of their new relationship, the two take to nature and (fly/run really fast/jump really high – circle one) through some trees, saying things like “You have no idea how amazing you are.”  Neither do we. Mercifully, this gooey romp will eventually be disrupted by the symptoms of our romantic hero’s paranormal affliction, resulting in (shaking/sweating/clenching fists/clenching gorgeous square jaw/howling – pick two).  So consumed is our main character by her nauseating new relationship, that she’ll accidentally blow off her (friend/family member –circle one)’s really super important (birthday/sleepover/wedding/child birth/graduation/holiday celebration/funeral/wake – circle one) which she totally promised she would go to. But it’s ok, because all side characters in this book are purely ornamental and seldom even given names. And you shouldn’t even consider thinking of her as a completely (synonym for selfish) (word that rhymes with witch), she’s just in love and you would like, totally do the same thing if it were you.

But of course, in all this (synonym for obsessive) time they’re spending together, our young lovers won’t be consummating their towering inferno of feelings because (he’ll accidentally kill her in the process/this book is completely unrealistic/this book is full of sexist, puritanical overtones/parents will freak out and refuse to buy it for their teens, thus hurting sales – circle two). But really the thought of these two getting intimate is thoroughly (synonym for icky) anyways, as they have about as much chemistry as a wet mop and a potato.

Oh yeah. And there is some sort of trouble involving a (pick a scary monster), which, after a lot of (synonym for hand wringing) and (consulting old books/googling – pick one) will be wrapped up easily because of our guy’s (super human strength/ability to fly/general invincibility/insistence by the publishers that he not die in the first book because they want to milk a franchise out of this – circle one).

Did you get it filled out? Congratulations, you are now a writer. Go get yourself an agent because you’re going to sell a LOT of books.  If you’re into this sort of story, The Dark Devine will be right up your alley. If you feel you got enough of it out of the 1000+ pages of the Twilight Saga, I suggest you move along.

Teen Romance

© Jordan B. Nielsen, 2012