The De-Coding of Jo – Reviews

The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance is wholly original, different from anything I’ve ever read, yet at the same time familiar and welcoming. There is a wisdom, a power, in Love’s words the likes of which I have never seen before. She awakens in you a renaissance of self, triggered by love and healing and acceptance.

With impeccable prose, a ravishing plot, and bewitching concepts, Love articulates a mesmerizing, incandescent world. She does a brilliant job of blending the scientific and the spiritual, the mathematical and the magical, in a beautiful, balanced whole. This book is fulfilling on so many levels. The writing is poetry. The message is powerful, resonant. The characters are rich, vivid souls clawing their way out of the dark. The story inspires us to be more than we are, to light the world, to erase our shadows with our truth. In a word, it’s spellbinding.

As a member of the LGBTQ+ community and as a sufferer of mental illness, I completely related to her beautiful, vulnerable cast. Love does an excellent job portraying her characters with such sensitivity and respect. There is a wonderful, passive diversity that is inclusive across the board. My only complaint is that I didn’t have this book when I was a teenager. I have no doubt it will fast become a hallmark of YA queer literature.”

                                                                                                  —Halo Scot, Author of Edge of the Breach


The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance was so much more than I’d been expecting with a YA read. Not only was it captivating and smart, the characters and social situations were real, and it was told in a way that each character’s motivations were clear and explained.

Within Jo’s social group, each character had a vice or personal issue that was explained and highlighted in a way that was sensitive to the reader, but still conveying the impact it can have on a young adult. I found myself relating to each and every person in some way, bringing me closer to the story and rooting for the characters.

It was beautifully written, remarkably well researched, and fun to read. I found myself wanting more!”

                                                                                                                                 —Ash Knight, Author of Stay


“You know that feeling when you completely devour a book and then, when finished, you have to sit there for a moment in awe? That is what author Lali A. Love’s young adult fantasy, The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance will do to you. This is one of those rare gems that truly transcend the cover—readers will be left contemplating this imaginary world.

Beautifully written, this novel extends far beyond the usual realm of young adult fiction. Lali is the Maestro and her pen is the baton as she conducts her story like a symphony, mixed with fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, with a spattering of realistic life struggles that is so relatable to today’s youth. From struggles with body dysphoria, gender identity, to coping with tragedy, to standing up for oneself with kindness and compassion, each of the author’s characters has a profound storyline that is deeply moving.

This book is like no other, the story will linger with you long after you’ve turned the last page, it is life changing, it will expand your mindset and impact the way you think! I can’t wait to read Lali A. Love’s next book in the Ascending Angel Academy trilogy!”

                                                                             —Medea Kalantar, Author of Honeycake Book Series for Children



“With a tender, forthright, luxuriously deft mien, and with a loving insightful ease, Lali A. Love gifts us a poignant tale. The multi-identity cast are crafted in multi-layer dimension, so real, they stand next to you as you read. I was enthralled by the stitching of our world to other worlds and reminded never to underestimate growth and understanding. Unputdownable, timely, breaching often sidestepped issues, and most importantly, inclusive. An important book. A must read.”

                                                                                           —Evan Knapp, Founding Member of Queer Indie



The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance by Lali A. Love is a delightful read, a well-written meld of fantasy, paranormal and science fiction, with a strong appeal to young adult readers. Sixteen-year-old Jo attends Forest Hill Academy, a preppy co-ed private school for privileged scholars, but she has huge problems to handle. Since the night her mother, Lilac, was taken hostage by a homicidal maniac, she’s been plagued by nightmares. But things escalate when a sinister parasite attacks her classmates, turning them into sleepwalkers, imprisoned in their own bodies. Primed by the Council and Ascending Angel Academy, Jo must accept a difficult mission to embrace her celestial being and unlock the power of creation in order to fight the encroaching darkness. With friends by her side and the Galactic Compass, does she stand a chance against the powers of darkness?

This is a well-plotted and beautifully narrated story. The use of journal entries adds depth to the story and allows readers to understand the emotional turmoil taking place in Jo’s world. It is one of those stories that brilliantly showcase the primordial struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, and I found it interesting to follow the protagonist as she evolves under the watchful gaze of the council that speaks the codes wordlessly to her. The character cast is impressive, and the author provides a clear background to each of them: Nisha, Rey, Daphne, Flynn, and Zaxden. Lali A. Love’s story stands out in its originality, with themes of science and spirituality, and a conflict that is strongly and intelligently articulated. The De-Coding of Jo: Hall of Ignorance is a wonderful, 5 stars recommended read.”

                                                                                                        —Christian Sia, Readers Favorite Editorial Review


The De-Coding of Jo goes deeper than your average fantasy and sci-fi themed book by exploring profound concepts related to celestials, astral travel, the different states of consciousness, and more. Sixteen-year-old Jo’s life is changed forever when she uncovers the existence of a Blackhole with her friends. Demons escape from the Blackhole and begin taking control of Jo’s schoolmates under the orders of their master, the Lord of Darkness. The characters in this book are diverse and well fleshed out. The immaculate prose is filled with ample descriptions and very well researched content that keeps readers captivated, the whole way through. Overall, author, Lali A. Love, has crafted an absolutely spellbinding book that is both entertaining, deep and intriguing.”

—Editorial Review, Elite Choice Awards


“A high school student must fulfill her destiny to prevent the powers of darkness from enslaving humanity in this YA paranormal novel. In this first installment of her Ascending Angel Academy series, Love offers an up-to-the-minute portrait of Jo and her friends, including their compassionate approaches to issues like gender identity, body dysmorphia, and bisexuality. An intriguing warrior tale…”

—Kirkus Review