White Hot Kiss – Review // That Moment When Another Series Sets Your Expectations Too High

White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Book 1 in The Dark Elements trilogy
Genre: YA paranormal romance
Pages: 392
Format: paperback
Source: library
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository


plot: 20/20
characters: 15/20
setting: 20/20
relationships: 12/20
twists: 12/20
79 out of 100

I adore JLA’s Lux series, and I think that had my expectations set a bit too high for White Hot Kiss. It was good, don’t get me wrong, but not as good as I’d hoped. 😐

the plot

The plot was very unique. I’ve never heard of anything like it. Simplistically, it was a normal demon-hunting book, kind of like The Shadowhunter Chronicles. But with all of the details, it was very much its own story. The demon-hunters aren’t half-angel, but gargoyles that can change between that and a human form. First off, let’s just appreciate that GARGOYLES were incorporated into a YA story. I don’t think there are any others with them. (But let me know if you know of any!) I applaud JLA for trying something new like this, and for doing it well. The demons were a fairly common element, but their classes and ulterior motives (because come on, they’re demons after all) were something I’d never heard of. I’ll stop rambling here, but basically, I really liked this story. 😀

the characters

I have to say, though, the characters were one of the disappointments in this book. I liked them at times, but none of the main three were great enough for me to be permanently on their side. 😐

  • Layla:
    – humor like a mix of Katy’s and Daemon’s
    – very unique ability (taking souls)
    – whiny (boys’ lives don’t revolve around you)
    – immature
  • Zayne:
    – super sweet
    – understanding
    – immature (stop assuming)
    – compassionate for the wrong reasons
  • Roth:
    – caring
    – feminist
    – inappropriate (stop making jokes)
    – immature

the setting

I really liked that the story was set in D.C., because I’ve never read a book that took place there. It was described very well, and I could picture it easily even though I’ve barely seen any pictures of D.C., much less been there. I also thought it was cool that certain parts of the city were important to the story. 🙂

the relationships

I wasn’t really a fan of any of the relationships in this book. Layla’s friendship with Stacey felt one-sided, and I think that was because Stacey focused more on boys than anything else. The Wardens felt more like, well, wardens than Layla’s family, with how strict they were. The love triangle between Layla, Zayne, and Roth made me cringe just a little. All three had more than their share of immature moments (in my opinion) and I felt like neither guy really fit well with Layla, if that makes sense. Zayne came off as overly protective, and Roth as annoyingly inappropriate. I would prefer if Layla stayed alone, unless either one of those two improved or a third, better guy appeared. >.<

the twists

There were a few things I wasn’t expecting, but nothing really caught me by surprise. Not even the ending did. A friend online told me that the ending would destroy me, and it honestly felt kind of anticlimactic. It was impressive and unexpected, yes, but it didn’t flabbergast me or break my heart like I thought it would. 😐


All in all, White Hot Kiss was good, but didn’t live up to my personal expectations. I may or may not continue the trilogy, and may or may not read JLA’s other books. But, regardless, it was a mostly fun read. 🙂

my rating: 3½ out of 5 stars

Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! Tell me in the comments! 🙂

I’m off to read Last Sacrifice and Empire of Storms! Wish me luck, because they’ll both break my heart! *heart eyes* I hope you all have a fabulous day/night! ❤

Until next time…

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