One day while cleaning up at work, Hannah opens the dressing room door to a man in the middle of changing his clothes. This is the awkward beginning to a journey that will change Hannah's life forever. She is surprised to find Ethan is a new student in her school rather than a tourist. When he consistently seems to always be present to save her from harm, Hannah begins to question his motives in her life. When Ethan saves her from an attempt on her life she finds out how important she truly is in this life. While Hannah tries to piece all this crazy puzzle of her past together she struggles with accepting that she is anything more than a normal high school girl looking for her adoptive parents. Ethan struggles with discovering what makes Hannah above the other protected and why so many are hell-bent on trying to end her life.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Hleo from Rebecca Walker herself. Such an honor. It starts out as any romance novel would; girl embarasses herself in front of a hot guy (what woman hasn't done something embarrassing in front of a really hot guy??), finds out he in school with her and gets death stares from other girls when he pays her attention. BUT then things start to diverge from romantic to science-fiction, fantasy based to hot guy being a part of a super secret organization meant to protect special people like her. It takes several chapters to really pick up, but the building chapters do exactly that, it builds up the story and develops the setting and characters so that readers become attached to them. There were moments when it was hard to feel for Hannah or even Ethan because they seemed a little dense when it came to certain things.
At times there was a lot of information dump, a lot of information thrown not just at Hannah, but at the reader as well. I had hoped Hannah would have done a little bit more research after she found out the possible names of her parents or even after finding out about the Hleo. But I also understand way Rebecca Walker did things the way she did and why there was a need for a lot of information at once because it would have been difficult to get a hold of what was happening if we didn't. It does keep the reader guessing at what will happen next and where the story with turn.
Rebecca created a story that her readers rave about and demand (ok ask nicely) for more. Fans are recommending this book left and right, and I am no different. I do recommend this novel for young adult fantasy fans. It will keep you guessing, wanting more and it will not disappoint. I give Hleo a rating of 3.5 out of 5 and hope that Rebecca Walker writes more.