READ THE ORIGINAL AND COMPLETE REVIEW (AND MANY MORE) AT WORD SPELUNKING I’ll admit that I was a bit wary when I read the synopsis to Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout. I’m not usually a big fan of alien stories, but I think Arementrout’s book has converted me! Obsidian is an enticing, gripping read that held me captivated from beginning to end and has one of the best written female YA characters that I’ve come across in a long while. MY BRIEF SUMMARYWhen Katy moves to WV with her mom, she doesn’t expect her life to take any surprising or exciting turns. In fact, she expects the complete opposite. But what she gets is something she could never imagine possible. The boy next door, Daemon, is HOT…too bad he’s also a jerky asshat. Daemon’s assitude only gets worse after Katy develops a friendship with his twin sister Dee. Katy soon finds herself on the receiving end of one cold hatred from Daemon and his friends. But after Daemon saves Katy’s life twice, and uses his alien (yes alien!) powers to do so, she is forced to remain close to him for her own protection. With dangerous alien enemies all around, Katy must face her fear and her feelings for Dameon-equal parts attraction and repulsion. STORYArementrout’s Obsidian is hip, fun, and so very refreshing. I was completely engrossed the whole read through. The sci-fi elements are original, imaginative, and best of all, not too heavy; they don’t dominate the whole story. Yet, the romantic aspects don’t dominate the story either. There’s a really nice balance between all the elements, which creates a very well developed and interesting story.The story paces nicely, nothing is ever rushed nor drags. The story itself takes place over about 5-6 months, which I really liked. This timeframe allowed me to really get to know the characters and allowed the story to build organically. Arementrout’s writing is superbly witty, sharp, and entertaining. The dialogue and the teenage voice in this book are spot on realistic; the teenagers actually sound and think like teenagers.I was really intrigued by the backstory and history of the aliens-the Luxen and the Arum. Armentrout develops and offers this backstory without ever overwhelming or confusing readers. And the alien abilities are pretty cool, original, and fun to explore! There are a few action packed, fighting scenes that are expertly executed and left me breathless.I really enjoyed “watching” Katy’s story unfold. Katy’s story is an easy one to fall into and to feel a part of. Throughout the book I felt more like a participant than a simple reader; the story really pulled me in.The ending is climatic, exciting, a bit surprising, and sets up the next book nicely. CHARACTERSThis is very much a character driven story and the characters are excellent! Arementrout offers readers three engaging, compelling main characters, a slew of fabulous minor characters, and a wonderfully evil antagonist.Katy is, of course, the main character and I just LOVE her. She really is one of the most refreshing, likable, and relatable YA characters I’ve come across all year! What I love about Katy is that her character’s likability and relatability is effortless. Armentrout didn’t go over the top trying to make Katy super unique or different, but she also didn’t make her terribly clichéd or stereotypical. Katy is wonderfully and refreshingly normal and average. But that’s not to say that she isn’t awesome, because she is. She’s smart, funny, sharp, loyal, and courageous. But she also has her insecurities and issues, making her so easy to connect with...yeah, I'm kind of crushing on Katy ;) And I just loved the fact that Katy is a book review blogger! The amount of book blogger love and appreciation in this book is too awesome.Daemon is equal parts infuriating and swoon-worthy. I really like the way that Armentrout doesn’t expect readers to find his arrogance, jerkiness, and overall assitude charming. Armentrout makes it ok for readers to hate him sometimes right along with Katy. And his less than appealing at times personality, actions, and words make sense and aren’t just there for the shock value or for the sake of adding snark and wit. Yet, he is a very layered character and his goodness, sweetness, and compassion do shine through. Overall, Daemon is a love interest for our MC that readers will root for and be comfortable with.Dee, Daemon’s sister, adds a lot of humor and bubbliness to the story. She’s a very sweet, fun, likable character. I love her friendship with Katy and her relationship with her brother.The Arum make for satisfying and intriguing “bad guys”. ROMANCEKaty and Daemon never actual date in this book, but the romantic chemistry between these two is off the charts undeniable and hot! There’s something very electric about the way these two interact, especially when they’re at each other’s throats. Even when they’re fighting and insulting one another, the air around them seems to sizzle and spark. They are a few physical scenes between the two that left me with a pounding heart and in need of a cold shower *fans self*.Despite the intense nature between these two, I really love the fact that this relationship doesn’t turn Katy into a weak, lovesick, whiny girl like so many female YA characters. Yes, Katy does often think about Daemon’s hotness and fantasizes about him, but she isn’t simply spellbound by him. Her feelings for him don’t blind her to his flaws or his habit of being a jerk. And most importantly, she doesn’t allow Daemon to walk all over her. Katy isn’t afraid to stand up to him and demand to be treated with respect. I really love and admire Katy’s strength and refusal to allow Daemon to call all the shots.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Obsidian turned out to be such a spectacular surprise. I’ve totally fallen in love with this book and with Armentrout’s characters. This is an awesome first volume in what is sure to be a phenomenal series. This is a MUST read book!