I can’t say that I’ve read Lailah when it was first posted on Nikki’s Wattpad, but I’m so glad that she got a book deal(s) out of it. Lailah takes on a different spin on the vampire mythology. So the vampires in Lailah are not tiresome like the majority we read and see lately. The world-building, creatures and their history are organic, so this is a refreshing paranormal read with a plot that sticks.
Cessie (aka Lailah) is having an identity crisis of sorts becomes a journey of self-discovery for our heroine, all the while being on the run from a greater force. She knows she can’t be human. For one, she doesn’t age and she can’t stay dead. She’s also having recollections of memories that doesn’t feel like hers. Cessie seems to have a Bounty over her head. Someone(s) or something out there is out for Cessie and thus begins a series of events and an epic game of cat and mouse full of twists. Whoever wants her for reasons no one knows. A guardian of angel of some sorts that goes by the name of Gabriel, whom Cessie finds an inexplicable connection with, comes to Cessie’s rescue and runs to find protection and possibly answers, and stumble upon a wounded vampire along the way with a story of his own. They get the sense that somethings brewing and facts (or lack thereof) aren’t adding up. This journey proves difficult for Cessie due to the many layers of events and the poor decisions she makes along the way. Meanwhile there’s an ominous creature lurking in the dark in the shadows (reference intended). What’s her role in all of this? All the while everyone’s wondering what is Lailah? Who is after her and why? What do the memories mean? Is Gabriel keeping things from her? Can either of them be trusted? Does she like Gabriel and Jonah? Who will she choose?
Nikki Kelly is like the Jennifer L. Armentrout/Cassandra Clare of love triangles. I say this because they all have the knack for creating a solid love triangle that is so, so difficult to choose a boy who gets the girl in the end. And it’s hard to pull that off. So hats off, Nikki! You can see where this is going… I can’t choose between Gabriel or Jonah. They each offer something different like night and day; qualities to like in a person, and also qualities you’re not quite sure about. And then there’s the whole, which one is trustworthy ordeal. Le sigh. I’m on the fence, but I’m leaning towards team Jonah. Can’t resist a bad boy. ;)
I admit that it was a little tough for me to get into it at first because almost immediately in the prologue, we’re thrust into a sequence of events, so you’re wondering what’s going on, and I kind of got lost somewhere in there. Some creatures were introduced while all the action was happening, so we get a feel as to what we’re dealing with and what is to come. No need to worry, though, for Nikki’s rich and vivid writing it will all make sense in time. And the twists will have your mind moving in a retrograde — like, it’s hard for me to keep this review spoiler-free right now! But it’s all needed for the direction the Styclar saga is going.
The ending made feel all kinds of feels, contributed by all the feels I’ve felt throughout the whole book. But it didn’t stop there. It got even more mind-boggling after. From the bonus content from Gabriel’s POV, to the ending of chapter 1 from the second book Gabriel. Actually, that ending took the cake. It’ll make you gasp and itch for the second book. Possibly shake your e-reader or book. I know I did. There’s a lot of things yet to be revealed and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.