Saturday, 6 February 2010

Review: Heavenly - Jennifer Laurens

I met someone who changed everything.
Matthias.
My autistic sister's gurdian 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.

Zoe's sister darts in front of cars.  Her brother's a pothead.
Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe's lost in her broken life.
Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying.

Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister.  After Zoe 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.

For more information visit Jennifer Laurens' website

Review:
Zoe is 18 years old and her family life has fallen apart since her 5 year old sister Abria was diagnosed with autism.  Abria is unable to talk and has no idea of danger - she loves to run and takes off with no notice, she loves to climb and she is facinated with windows.  Keeping her out of harms way is a full time job for the whole family.  Zoe's parents spend so much time dealing with Abria that Zoe & her brother Luke feel left out.  Zoe deals with this by partying, drinking and hooking up with random guys for attention.  Luke on the other hand has started smoking weed.

Zoe has confilicting emotions about Abria, she hates the way all their lives have changed because of her but she also loves her & wants to protect her.  Jennifer Laurens' gives us a fascinating insight into life with a family member who has autism.  You can tell she has first hand experience of this (she is a mother of 6, with 1 child who has autism) from the way she writes.

Zoe also worries about Luke and his addiction to drugs.  She doesn't know how to deal with these issues and feels she has no one to talk to about them so she uses alcohol to anesthetise her pain.  When she meets Matthias she is suspicious at first but finds he has a soothing influence on both Abria and herself. 

I've been really struggling with my review for this book.  On one hand I really liked the the idea of the story and found it interesting to learn more about autism.  Heavenly is well written and it is easy to relate to Zoe's feelings about both Abria and Luke.  I quite liked Matthias although at times he drove me crazy by answering most of Zoe's questions with "what does your heart tell you" - I felt like if I read that sentence one more time I could scream.

When Zoe was in danger I found myself on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen and was disappointed to find how she escaped was completely glossed over.  There were a few interesting twists though, particularly at the end of the book - I really didn't see that coming.

At the back of the book there is a preview of a sequel to Heavenly but I can't find any more information on that so I'm not sure when it will be being published.  I thought the ending to Heavenly wrapped up well so it will be interesting to see what happens next.

Overall I found the book was easy to read but it didn't have me gripped as much as I expected it would.  I don't think it will be one I will be reading again but I'm glad I did read it.  I think perhaps it would have been better to get this one from the library though.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
Laughing Stars
Girls Without a Bookshelf
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

4 comments:

  1. I'm part intrigued by this and part indifferent. I really love bokks with angels, especially hot guardian angels but at the same time this book sounds full of sadness and anxiety. Hmmm...food for thought.

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  2. Thanks for the honest review. It does sound kind of interesting but I'll probably skip this one.

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  3. Your reaction to the book sounds very similar to mine, right down to my annoyance with Matthias answering all Zoe's questions with "what does your heart tell you." :-) I also didn't see the ending coming -- I give the author credit for that. ;-) I also respect the way she brought her experiences raising a child with autism to the table.

    Here's my review: http://starkravingbibliophile.blogspot.com/2010/01/heavenly-by-jennifer-laurens.html

    I'll link to yours too. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ Becky - I really expected to love this one & I did love bits of it but I just found that overall I was a bit disappointed. I don't want you to think that the book was sad all the way through - I thought everything to do with the family's feelings towards Abria were very realistic. I fell in love with Abria, she was so cute!

    @ Sarah - I'm glad you found the review helpful :o)

    @ Stephanie - Thanks for the link :o) I'm about to add yours now. It does sound like we had very similar feelings about this one!

    ReplyDelete

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