Title: Always Kiss Me Goodnight
Author: Megan Gaudino
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Sophia Destino is supposed to die.
All seventeen-year-old Sophia wants is to coast through her junior year. But with her parents obsessed with her Olympic-swimming-hopeful brother, a psychic best friend with a penchant for reading tarot cards, and prophetic dreams that predict her death—that won’t be easy.
As her nightmares begin to come true, Sophia finds herself dodging death and longing for the time when getting over her ex-boyfriend was her biggest problem. Until she meets Leo Knight. The mysterious stranger seems determined to keep her alive—and steal her heart. But Leo has a secret that is about to change everything and Sophia is about to learn that sometimes…your number is up.
I received a digital ARC of this book (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Megan Gaudino, Evernight Teen and Xpresso Book Tours!
Always Kiss Me Goodnight left me undecided with a lot of mixed feelings. On one hand, I can’t possibly deny that I enjoyed reading the story Gaudino has weaved. Despite the book’s title, Always Kiss Me Goodnight offers more than an unlikely love story; its pages hold a fascinating, fantastical, supernatural realm that readers will definitely eat up. On the other hand, however, the book did not quite keep me as engaged as I hoped it would.
Sophia Destino was all right, I guess; but for the most part, she lacked appeal as a female lead character. While I did sympathize with her every now and then, I felt that she needed more personality to further strengthen her character. Still, I haven’t given up on her and I can only hope that she will be given the opportunity to really grow as a strong, dimensional heroine in the next book.
As for her love interest, Leo Knight, I had a lot of mixed feelings about him as well. I mean, technically, Leo was a stalker. He literally followed Sophia around, without her knowledge, to keep tabs on her. I get that it was all part of his duty and all, but it’s kind of hard to imagine myself falling for someone who knows too many intimate moments in my life without needing me to open up about them. Aside from that, Leo was very likable and I would really love to read more about him.
“After a while I got used to having you in my head.” He turned around to fully face me. I smiled back. It was contagious. “You’re exactly my kind of entertainment.”
The relationship between Sophia and Leo was great, in my opinion. I really think that the two balance each other out. And I definitely prefer Leo over Aiden any day, any time of the week. However, the element of forbidden romance was not played out well. I would have appreciated a lot more struggle. It seemed to me that Sophia and Leo almost easily overcame all the obstacles that threatened their relationship. Aside from that, I was also slightly disheartened by the presence of overused YA literary tropes such as the lack of familial presence, guy saving the girl’s life, and other whatnot.
Seriously, guys, what is up with these trends? Enough is enough.
On a more positive note, I really loved how Gaudino expertly put a twist in the idea of Fate. In her book, Fate appears to be an actual entity, and there actually exists a divine order that carries out Fate’s will. I found this concept to be incredibly imaginative and refreshing. I don’t think I’ve encountered anything quite like it in any of the books I’ve ever read. Plus, Gaudino’s execution was totally on point!
“Let me get this right.” I pulled back a bit. “Tera’s part of the lowest order?” He nodded. “So the lowest job you can have is saving humans’ lives?”
“We don’t exactly look at it that way. I know I don’t. We look at it more as moving closer to Fate and further away from earthly ties. The people who get saved by guardians in the first order aren’t supposed to pass away. It’s not part of Fate’s plan.”
Overall, despite the book’s shortcomings and flaws, I had a good time reading the story. I am very much interested in reading the next book.
What makes this different:
In Always Kiss Me Goodnight, Gaudino plays around the traditional ideas of angels and grim reapers, consequently introducing a supernatural twist that is unparalleled to anything I’ve ever read: Guardians of Fate whose primary role is to protect the ways of Fate and to ensure the execution of Fate’s plan. I found this highly intriguing as it challenges our current perception of the ethereal and the divine. This is definitely something worth looking into!
Guest review contributed by That Bookshelf Bitch. Aside from discussing books and sharing her personal insights, Shealea hopes to use her blog as an avenue to celebrate underappreciated and promising authors.