Title: Bent Heavens
Author: Daniel Kraus
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Release date: February 25, 2020
My rating: ★★
Synopsis via Goodreads:
Liv Fleming’s father went missing more than two years ago, not long after he claimed to have been abducted by aliens. Liv has long accepted that he’s dead, though that doesn’t mean she has given up their traditions. Every Sunday, she and her lifelong friend Doug Monk trudge through the woods to check the traps Lee left behind, traps he set to catch the aliens he so desperately believed were after him.
But Liv is done with childhood fantasies. Done pretending she believes her father’s absurd theories. Done going through the motions for Doug’s sake. However, on the very day she chooses to destroy the traps, she discovers in one of them a creature so inhuman it can only be one thing. In that moment, she’s faced with a painful realization: her dad was telling the truth. And no one believed him.
Now, she and Doug have a choice to make. They can turn the alien over to the authorities…or they can take matters into their own hands.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a finished copy.
Unfortunately Bent Heavens just wasn’t for me. I went into this thinking it was going to be a really cool alien science fiction, but what I got was something completely different. I’m really bummed out honestly.
I am going to start with the one thing that I did really like about the book. There were quite a few twists and turns at the end that I was not at all expecting. They definitely kept me on he edge of my seat. The stakes were so high so I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know how things were going to end up.
Okay now for the things that didn’t work for me. This book is Young Adult, but I think it reads more as an Adult. While the characters in this story are teenagers, I feel like the content is better suited for a more mature audience.
I didn’t really care for any of the characters. Liv was so unlikeable.. She had such a bad attitude and with that came random bursts of anger. She was also very disrespectful especially to her teachers, who literally did nothing to deserve it. In the begging, I liked Doug. He was misunderstood and I felt really bad for him because Liv was such a terrible friend. As the story unfolded, his character went in a direction that I didn’t like whatsoever. Bruno was another character that I could have really liked, but sadly he was so underdeveloped. There were other side characters that we could have done without. We learned nothing about them except for their name and relationship to Liv.
Liv’s home life hasn’t been the same since her father’s disappearance. Her mom works two jobs to pay the bills and when she comes home she drinks pretty heavily. There is a point in the book where Liv pushes her mom to drink even after seeing that she was trying to make the better choice of drinking water. Not only that, but Liv mixes some pills into the drink. There’s a reason why Liv thought she had to get her mom drunk, but I didn’t care. That whole scene was not okay and definitely not needed. It left a really bad taste in my mouth.
Bent Heavens has a massive amount of torture scenes. I mean, it’s a lot and it’s brutal. I’m not usually one to get triggered by anything, but I honestly couldn’t read certain parts. It was just way too much. I ended up scimming through those sections. I also couldn’t get over the fact that teenagers were performing some of the torture. Like they literally had a book of the ways to torture someone and just went down the list. I was so uncomfortable reading this.
I really am sad that Bent Heavens didn’t work out for me. It had so much potential in the beginning, but wow did things go south very quickly.