There are so many people who rave about this book.
I DNF:ed it at about 70%. That being said, however, I can absolutely see the appeal of the story, and it’s without a doubt very well-written and compelling in a removed kind of way.
Synopsis: So this is the story of Orlando, an under privileged kid growing up in Miami. He catches the attention of a supernatural being, a courier of souls, who reveals himself as Henri to Orlando at a young age. When Orlando grows into a beautiful young man, with a superior talent for ballet, the bond between Orlando and Henri grows stronger and despite the severe consequences for meddling with mortal’s lives, Henri can’t stay away. But the gods won’t accept their bond and there’s a price to pay for breaking the rules.
I thought the story premise was quite unique. Romantic love between mortal and supernatural is nothing new, but the fact that Henri had lost his physical body added an interesting layer to the plot. That you get to follow Orlando from childhood also gave a depth to his character and the growing relationship between him and Henri. Also, Orlando being a ballet dancer? Hot AF.
The lack of a body for Henri, though, did also complicate things. And even though this was actually essential to the story, I thought it strange that Henri – several millennia old as he was – didn’t actually try to find a long-term solution to this problem. Both him not having a vessel as well as an attempt at actually staying and keeping Orlando. Instead he sort of viewed his time with his lover as something temporary that the gods would take from him sooner or later.
No matter how frustrating and strange that was, what actually made me finally quit in the middle of the book was the writing style. The story is told through dual point of views, in first person. But it’s told in past tense, meaning that it’s written as an actual re-telling of past events by each of the two main characters. Like they’re both old and telling about their younger days. While this is all well and good – and I must state again that this is a beautifully written book by a very skilled writer and storyteller – this way of writing created a sense of distance between me and the story that I just couldn’t overcome. And feeling removed from the characters is hardly the way to become sucked into a book. So when I found myself wishing I’d finish so I could start in on something else, well, there was really no point in continuing.
Basically. Great book. But not for me.