Review: Every Last Breath by J.L. Armentrout

Title: Every Last Breath
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: The Dark Elements (#3)
Genre(s): Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, YA
Publication Date: July 28, 2015
Publisher: Harlequinn Teen
Some loves will last ’til your dying breath

Every choice has consequences—but seventeen-year-old Layla faces tougher choices than most. Light or darkness. Wickedly sexy demon prince Roth, or Zayne, the gorgeous, protective Warden she never thought could be hers. Hardest of all, Layla has to decide which side of herself to trust.

Layla has a new problem, too. A Lilin—the deadliest of demons—has been unleashed, wreaking havoc on those around her…including her best friend. To keep Sam from a fate much, much worse than death, Layla must strike a deal with the enemy while saving her city—and her race—from destruction.

Torn between two worlds and two different boys, Layla has no certainties, least of all survival, especially when an old bargain comes back to haunt them all. But sometimes, when secrets are everywhere and the truth seems unknowable, you have to listen to your heart, pick a side—and then fight like hell…

I've read the first two books of the Dark Elements about a year ago, and this was perhaps the book I was most anticipating to be release. It's only when I went to about the halfway point that I realized I was only really in it for the romance, and the love triangle to be solved. Demons? Gargoyles? A lovely addition to make the book more interesting, but I've come to recognize that the main focus of the novel was romance. And when the romantic tension was over...we weren't left with much but a weak storyline that had to be wrapped up. I finished this book a while ago, but it was only when my insides calmed down about the steamy romance that I could actually put my honest thoughts on paper. 

It's not a bad romance, to be honest. White Hot Kiss focused on Roth, Stone Cold Touch focused on Zayne, and Every Last Breath focused on Layla and her decision of which guy to choose. But the main problem I had was that other than the romance, there was not much to admire about the series. If there was a spectacular plot in addition to the romance, I would say that the romance took over the entire series, and plot-readers weren't left with much. But as predictable as plots can get, there was not really one I was hanging onto. 

I'll admit that JLA has created a wonderful setting, and not only is setting important, but books need a great plot with a great setting to have an amazing read. The first two books introduced the hot guys and addressed problems that Layla had to solve, the last book was used to solve all the problems. It solved our love triangle issue, and it "solved" the threat of the demon, Lilin, and Layla's mother--the strongest demon alive--Lilith. But how was she realistically supposed to solve that? What other option did she have than kill the Lilin? And what was she to do when she wasn't trying to kill the Lilin? 

Solve her boy problem, of course. But she only solved it when Cayman told her to do so. It took less than a page to have our Layla make up her mind. I wonder how long it would take her little innocent self to decide if Cayman (thank gods, Cayman) told her that she couldn't let her boy problem drag on. She had to break one heart or another. 

"There was only one set of eyes I saw when I closed mine at night and when I reopened them in the morning.”
There really isn't much happening before she chooses her guy, the guy that we've been dying to see her choose. And she does. I sort of predicted who she would end up with from the start, but with Stone Cold Touch, it made me reconsider, and my prediction wavered a bit. If you were looking for a romance read, this is it, and this is the only thing that will keep you hooked to find out who she chooses.

Layla was bland and sometimes I wonder what the boys saw in this girl. She's your typical high school girl who is so special because she is the child of a Warden and a gargoyle, the first one in history. She freaks out about her feathered wings and makes a huge deal about it to Roth and Zayne during a few chapters (I just wanted to throw that out there) and we all definitely feel bad for her because mommy dearest didn't want her and her daddy didn't love her for what she was. I don't know what it was, but I found her to be a frequently appearing typical girl in the YA genre. (I've read a lot of books in between reading White Hot Kiss and Stone Cold Touch)

What happened after Layla solved her boy problem? She started her journey to stop the Lilin from taking over the world. There isn't much to do at this point until she faces him again, or until the Lilin finds her. In the meantime, she decides to spend a lot of time with her hot boyfriend, and I did end up blushing during some really steamy scenes. When it was time to face the Lilin after solving a few complications, I was disappointed on how easily it ended, even though there wasn't any other ending than what I expected to happen. Although, I was surprised at a really bullshit move, when she is SOMEHOW IS MAGICALLY REVIVED by an undisclosed character. It was actually so bullshit and we could see clearly how badly JLA wanted to give us a perfect ending, and while some of us liked it, it was pretty damn predictable. 

But JLA isn't to blame. The book is solely a romance novel, definitely not one you would read for plot. The plot is merely a filler that you could practically see through.  And I'll admit that I did enjoy the romance aspect of the book, it was cute. I did love the boys, and I did love the concept of the demons and gargoyles. But the plot didn't happen, and I really should have seen earlier that it wasn't going to happen and it was not going to be very grand with a lot of plot twists. I didn't love it as much as I thought I would, and the only thing I did really love was the romance. If you love a book with cute romance though, I'd definitely recommend the Dark Elements. 

*SPOILER BELOW*


The romance in this series is adorable though. Roth is a sexy bad boy who's soft on the inside, and I'll guarantee a lot of us will fall for him. Zayne was a lovely character as well, but we did not see his presence too much in Every Last Breath. What disappointed me about their relationship was not that Layla didn't choose Zayne over Roth, but that they were not as close to each other before Layla fell in love with the new attraction. After Zayne got denied, there was a huge rift that settled between them, and it frustrates me that because of a little romance gone wrong, their friendship just got thrown out of the window. Of course Zayne still cares for Layla's well-being, but seriously, can't Zayne just be happy for Layla instead of holding a foolish grudge?? And at the same time, because Layla is so obsessed with Roth, she doesn't seem to care much about her "gorgeous best friend that she loves and could never forget".

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Olivia

Olivia is a fangirl from Canada with too many book boyfriends who also adores sweets, drawing, and watching anime. She started off trying to write a full length novel, but some things are just easier said than done, so Olivia spends her days writing blog posts instead. That is, when she's not spending her free nights playing League.

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5 comments :

  1. Wowwww, I don't think I would touch this series with a ten point pole because love triangles are SO not my thing. Add to it a weak plot and I'm out, lol. Nice review, though! Now I know what series to stay away from. Pity, because I enjoyed Armentrout's Lux series to a degree. Layla just does not seem like my type of character. :)

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    1. I've heard from a lot of other reviewers that her characters follow somewhat of a template, but I haven't read her other books so I wouldn't know yet. I do plan on reading Lux though :)

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  2. Hm... sometimes you do get books like these where after a while you realise that although there is a lot more happening, the main core is a romance. I think that happens with a lot of JLA books? I don't want to be too judgey because I have only read one myself xD But it's a shame that the world doesn't have a stronger role in the storytelling or focus. But at least the romance - once it is the focus - is really good!

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    1. This is my first JLA series I've read, and as much as I like romance, there was just too much of it in this series :( Which JLA book have you read?

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