Review: Existence by Abbi Glines

Title: Existence (#1)
Author: Abbi Glines
Published: December 12, 2011
Pages: 170
Series: yes (second installment, 'Predestined' published March 29, 2012)
Source: purchased

Amazon Summary: What happens when you’re stalked by Death? You fall in love with him, of course.
Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he’s dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he’s about to break all the rules.

I’ve been on a total drought when it comes to finding interesting books (and I’ve been hunting, believe me) worth purchasing, since my wallet will only allow a real worthy book as of right now.
So I finally gave in on a Heaven/Hell storyline! It’s a big step for me, alright. I’m still a good length away from giving in on vampires, though.

I read the sample of ‘Existence’ and was immediately drawn in. It’s a fast-paced book - the story spins right into action. It’s normal to hit a rough patch in a novel and needing to put it down to re-gain interest but I can straightly say that ‘Existence’ never had a dull or exhausting moment.

I read ‘Existence’ in one sitting, finding that time flew by in the world outside the book, which raraly occurs to me. The story is original and intriguing, and even though the plot was predictable as a whole, the story will definitely serve up well-worthy twists.

The fact that it was already revealed in the description that Dank is Death - maybe didn’t ruined the book per se but took away the suspense. I wouldn’t have guessed it that easily and probably would’ve gotten a good reaction of finding out. So knowing that Dank was Death had you know what was going on when Pagan was still going around trying to figure it out for over half the book.

Glines executed it all very well, keeping the story moving and the reader entertained and interested. I liked that even though we’re dealing with a girl who sees souls, a guy who’s Death, and the Heaven/Hell deal, Glines achieved to lighten the subject. It’s definitely more about the surprising and complicated relationship between Pagan and Dank than it was about Heaven and Hell.

It didn’t mind me too badly but I would’ve appreciated more explanation to certain things that I feel went unanswered. Why this, why that.

[Spoilers ahead!] Okay, so I settled for Pagan being able to see dead people because she’s “special”
- yes, fine, I don’t really need more of an elaborate answer but it was never explained why Pagan of ALL people Dank has ever seen/met/been assigned to collect the life of, starting caring for her. I mean, he’s Death. And I can already answer my own question that it has something to do with her “specialness” but here’s when I would’ve demanded a good, satisfying dump of reasons. When Dank, early on, decided to break the almighty rules and save her they’d barely even had somewhat of a decent conversation yet. Even from Pagan’s point-of-view, it was never clear why she fell for Dank, either. I never grasped why and how she went from wanting Dank to go away, just like any other soul, to trusting him, wanting him to protect her, and falling so hard for him. [Spoilers ended!]

Pagan was a great protagonist - friendly, nice, likable. I think the fact that Glines had her already been able to see souls her whole life was a benefit for the readers and you gladly get to skip the whole super-dramatic-confused-emotional stage where the character is trying to figure everything out and coming to terms with it. Pagan was calm and collected, and knew exactly how to handle herself
when first meeting this talking soul for the first time. It was very natural.

Dank was everything I’m sure Glines intended for him to be. There were moments I got chills from him as well as moments when I had butterflies. He was sexy, all right, but hard to read otherwise. I certainly have loads of questions about him being Death. Is his name really Dank? Does he really look like that? If yes, why is Death young? And sexy? And charming? And caring? How long has he been Death? If forever, why isn’t he rock-hard, stone-cold, completely hollow, lost of emotions, super-dark, or terrifying? Etc.

As for Leif, he was a fun character in the beginning - flirty, cute and nice throughout. There was never really an ultimatum between Leif and Dank - personally, I experienced them to be very much in parallel universes, not really competing with each other or going up against each other in any way.

Even if the book left off on a perfectly shocking, cliff-hanging note, I’m still to decide if the second installment sounds promising enough to keep my interest. To be continued..


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