Miranda is an ordinary enough shy teen struggling with belonging, cliques and all of that high school stuff that means nothing once you graduate. She humiliates herself by trying out of for the school theater group and plans to spend yet another Valentine's Day watching movies with her best friend because neither have a boyfriend. But their plans change and she ends up in a cemetery where she is accosted by a vampire who makes her one too . . . Yikes. She also has a guardian angel named Zackary who loses his wings when he exposes himself while trying to change the path of Miranda's life (or death).
Fast forward a year or so and Miranda is now a vampire. This whole thing was bothersome in the fact that so many events and feelings were just skipped and it seemed like lazy writing to me. She's a vampire but we don't get to experience how she adjusts with the angst of it all. We're just told that she's finished up with her soul sickness time or some such nonsense and she's now a gorgeous bloodthirsty beast of a princess. She calls her maker "Daddy" and seems to love him dearly simply because he lavishes her with $1000.00 t-shirts and custom made gowns and of course plenty of fresh bodies to torture and slaughter. Shallow much? Her complete character turn-around didn't work for me because her year of "soul-sickness" was glossed over. I needed some genuine, gut-wrenching sorrow to buy this but didn't get it. In fact, she didn't seem to miss her previous life at all.
Meanwhile, Zackary sans wings is given a new assignment involving Miranda though he doesn't know it. Somehow they fall in love but I never bought it because neither character was developed well and their love story thus was not believable. The ending did work for me. Sadly, this could have been a deep, emotional five star read but fell flat due to the shallow character building and the lack of any real chemistry and bond between the characters.
Reviewed by LadyJay for TeensReadToo.com
Angels are everywhere, especially those who guard human beings.
Zachary is Miranda's guardian angel, or GA within the heavenly realm. He has watched and protected Miranda since she was a child. He is forbidden from revealing his heavenly presence to Miranda, but can secretly guide, suggest, and influence the course of her life.
Zach thought he was doing a great job, until Miranda falls into the hands of an eternal - or vampire, as they are more commonly known. Zachary is immediately stripped of his wings and powers, and is forced to find redemption on terra firma.
Zach may not have been able to save Miranda from a vampire, but there may be a chance of saving her soul from eternal damnation.
ETERNAL was an excellent read! I enjoyed how Cynthia Leitich Smith alternated the narrative between Zachary and Miranda. It was refreshing to see and hear the perspectives of both characters. Smith has also cleverly woven bits of Stoker's Dracula, Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet into the plot. As an English teacher, it thrills me to see contemporary authors alluding to classic pieces of literature.
This novel is definitely a page-turner. It is filled with danger, deception, humor, love, sadness, and hope. I think that I was most surprised with the ending. Readers, including myself, will be saddened by what happens between Zachary and Miranda, but Smith also leaves us with a glimmer of hope.
That idea of hope is what will bring readers back again and again to Smith's work.