Book Review: Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

Heavenly is the first book in the Heavenly series by Jennifer Laurens. It was published in 2009 (US) with the second and third books in the series being released in 2010. Heavenly is 280 pages long. Thanks to the author for sending me a copy for review.

Zoe’s home life is a nightmare. Having an autistic sister means never having any real time for herself and always having to help out. Her brother is a drug addict, which doesn’t help any. The only way Zoe knows how to cope is by extreme partying. Drinking, out all night and random boys is a recipe for disaster but her parents don’t even notice. They never even see that something is wrong.

When Zoe thinks things are never going to get better, she meets Mathias, her sister’s guardian angel. To begin with, she thinks all of the drinking and no sleep is playing tricks on her mind but Mathias is real and he isn’t going anywhere. Will this angel sent from Heaven be able to save Zoe and her disaster of a life before she goes too far?

What I thought
After hearing really good things about this series from a blogger friend, I was really excited to read it. We usually have very similar tastes in books so I was all ready for a book I was going to love. Unfortunately, this is one book that we don’t have the same opinion on.

One thing that I did love about this book was the idea behind the plot. Angels are really big in YA books at the minute but the idea of Zoe’s sister being autistic and her having the guardian angel instead was something new and different. Usually, the angel has more to do with the MC so it was nice to see this changed up a little bit. I am really liking YA novels which really try to break away from the norm of what is out there at the minute and Jennifer Laurens certainly does try with Heavenly.

Siblings Zoe and Luke are very easy to relate to. Both have their problems and try to sort them out in different ways. I was quite the rebellious teenager myself so I could certainly relate to them both. I went out all of the time and did crazy things to take my mind off my home life so these parts of the story brought back some of my own memories. Laurens writes teenagers extremely well and I felt like these were two of the most real teenagers (for the most part) that I had read about for a while.

The dialogue was what bugged me about this book. It was very unbelievable at times, especially from Zoe and Mathias. Mathias’ background dated back to the ‘20s and he didn’t really understand too much about pop culture. I would have understood this a lot more if this had been more consistent. Sometimes, Mathias would appear to be quite current but then he would go back to speaking like someone in the ‘20s would have. Also, there was a part of the book where Mathias explains about other angels bringing each other up to date with what is happening in the world but if this were the case, surely his language and knowledge would have been better? He also said ‘I’m blown away by that’ WAY too much and in the end, I wanted to take these words out of his vocabulary just so he couldn’t say it anymore.

Heavenly did have some great plot twists though and I didn’t see them coming at all. Everything was built up nicely from the very start and had a lovely mixture of tender moments between Zoe and Mathias as well as some excitement. Overall, Heavenly just didn’t live up to my expectations. It has quite a lot of good things going for it but there were also some things that I hated which makes me unsure about whether or not I want to read the next instalment in the series.

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