Publication date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Category: Young Adult - Paranormal
Summary: Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust. Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction. Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell. (greads.com)
The goodIt’s always tough to review the last book in a series but I really wanted to talk about this one because Jennifer L. Armentrout did something totally cool: she let us, the readers, decide who Layla would end up with.
The Dark Elements series is one that’s slowly gotten under my skin. In White Hot Kiss we’re introduced to the heroine Layla, a seventeen year old half demon, half gargoyle, whose kiss can kill anything with a soul. This isn’t exactly a recipe for normal even though that’s what she desperately craves. She was raised among the Wardens (a race of gargoyles who hunt demons and protect humans) but she’s never truly fit in with them. Except for Zayne — the boy she’s known all her life and secretly had feelings for, for just as long. Then she meets Roth, a gorgeous demon who not only seems to understand Layla but she can actually touch him, because he doesn’t have a soul.
Say hello to the love triangle.
As much as I liked White Hot Kiss, it was the second book, Stone Cold Touch that hooked me. It delved further into Layla’s origins, her relationships with Zayne and Roth and the gargoyle mythology. When I reached the last page, I was more than ready for Every Last Breath and then the author dropped the whole "you get to vote" bomb and I was even more curious to see how things would play out.
Even though I remember voting, I don’t 100% remember who I voted on and I didn’t even care. I was more than willing to be along for the ride because I trusted JLA to do her thing. I won’t tell you who won obviously but upon reading, a part of me wonders if this was always going to be the endgame. It worked seamlessly into the story and made sense to me. I felt like this was the big question on everyone’s minds, mine included, but it’s not all there is to Every Last Breath. It’s just one important (swoony) part. Almost immediately, we learn more about the mythology, everyone is a part of the fight and there are plenty of reveals along the way to raise the stakes.
(Minor) ReservationsI did find the resolution of the villain to be slightly anti-climactic. This is the third paranormal series of JLA’s that I’ve completed so it’s hard not to compare it to the endings of Covenant and Lux which were pretty heart-stopping. Also, the love triangle. I personally didn’t have strong feelings towards who Layla ended up with so I was very happy with how it played out but I don’t doubt there are those who are staunchly Team Roth or Team Zayne. If you’re one of those people, just be prepared for slight disappointment if your guy wasn’t picked. But I really did feel this was done well!
Do I recommend?I do! It’s a really entertaining series and if you enjoy paranormal, you should add this to your list.