Book Review of Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

Title: Heavenly

Author: Jennifer Laurens

Release Date: August 15, 2009

I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister’s guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoë’s sister darts in front of cars. Her brother’s a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don’t see Zoë lost in her broken life. Zoë escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoë’s autistic sister. After Zoë is convinced he’s legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can’t last forever

Summary from Goodreads.com

My Review: This is another one of those books I have had for a while and for whatever reason I have not picked up.  Well, I have been at the beach for the past week and this book kept staring up at me from my pile, so I finally picked it up.  I wish I had picked it up earlier because I really liked it.  The beginning started a little slow for me, talking mostly about Zoe’s home situation and family, but it quickly picked up and later on I understood why so much of the story was focused on Zoe’s home life.  Her family plays a very large role in this book and I ended up really liking that because this is one of the first YA books I have picked up in a while that I feel like showed how a typical family functions.  They are not perfect, but the parents are not completely absent and they do come together to try and work as a family unit.  They have problems that you could find in almost any household with teenagers and that was refreshing.

One of the big focuses in this book is Zoe’s sister, Abria, who is autistic.  I could totally relate to this issue because I have a family member who has autism.  I understand the daily struggles that come into play with this condition and how they can affect a family.  It is not easy and everyday it is an uphill struggle, but it is worth it when it is for someone you love.  In my opinion Jennifer did a great job of showing how autism can affect a family and I really appreciated that.

Many obstacles arise that sadly, families battle constantly:  alcohol, drugs and peer pressure are on the front lines.  It was interesting to watch the siblings struggle with these because both Zoe and her brother, Luke, are both looking for an escape from their home life.  They love their sister, Abria, but having a sister who has autism takes up most of her parents attention and they are left trying to pick up the pieces.  Well, Zoe is picking them up, Luke it just zoning out.

One of the things that did take me a little bit to get used to was the way that Matthias talks.  He is from a whole different era and his vocabulary reflects that.  Words like “bearcat” and “ducky” are peppered throughout his dialogue and I had to suppress a little laugh when he spoke them.  While it was a little strange, it made sense for who he was.  His vocabulary fit his character and if he spoke differently I think it would take a necessary layer of Matthias away.  Either way, I love him.  He is one of those guys with a somewhat shady past, but has redeemed himself in the best way possible, so you just swoon over him.  He is a good guy, but he still has a little edge to him, which makes him very appealing, especially to Zoe, which causes quite a few problems.

The way this book ended took me completely by surprise.  I guess I should have seen it coming, but I so did not.  I might have cried a little, I know, I am such a baby.  But, in my defense, I was caught totally off guard.  Okay, that is not really a defense, but I am going to pretend it is.  I actually texted my friend when I was done to ask if she thought it was going to happen and she said yes.  Conclusion, I might not be the best at seeing plot twists, but I am okay with that 🙂  Anyways, this book has been out since 2009, so luckily I do not have to wait for the sequel, Penitence, because I already have it, yay!

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