Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review: On the Bright Side

On the Bright Side

by S.R.Johannes
Release date: 31st January, 2012
Publisher: Coleman & Stott
Pages: 446 (eARC thanks to author in exchange for an honest review)

Summary from Goodreads:

As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, SkyFones and InnerNets are all the rage. At her first Bright ceremony, G.O.D., the automated assignment system, spits out Angela Black, Gabby’s arch nemesis and longtime fencing rival. As a Bright, Gabby has to protect Angela, her assigned mortal, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven.

Back on earth, Angela starts hitting on Michael, Gabby’s crush and should-have-been boyfriend. Gabby’s pranks to quell the love are harmless at first until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, Celestial Sky Agent, Lawrence, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, steps into reveal that Angela has big problems, and what she really needs is Gabby’s help.

Determined to right her wrong and ease her mother’s grief, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to earth for just one day. But if Gabby’s not careful, her well-meaning mission just might shift the very foundation of Heaven, Earth, and every place in between, causing the danger of the dark side to roam free.

Review By Alaiel Kreuz:

After dying (a death by text, yeah, I'm being serious here) she finds out that heaven is, actually, very different of what we imagine here on Earth. In Cirrus (heaven) Gabrielle becomes a guardian-angel in training ad her first assignment is Angela.
And who is Angela? Well, somehow she is the reason Angela is dead, you see. Why? Because both girls were fighting over Michael (Gabrielle's secret crush and best friend) and while Gabby was out with him Angela texted her letting her know that she had invited Michael to the dance their high school was having soon.

Poor Gabby realizes two things after dying: she died at 14 with no first kiss and she never told Michael she loved him. And now she has to protect Angela?! The main reason she is dead (besides texting, that is)?! Gabrielle is not going to do it. Nu-uh.

But soon she will realize that there are more important things to do, that she has to learn to forgive, to let things go and to understand that lives goes on... Even hers.

Personal opinion:
A book where the main character is already dead is going to catch anyone attention for sure, right? To that I have to add the fact that S.R. Johannes managed to create a wonderful-new-improved-cool heaven called Cirrus full of new and amazing gadgets that will make you smile (is it me or I seriously need a SKYfone?!)(Yes, you will want one too, trust me!).

The transition between dying and forgiving we see in Gabby is so touching that I found myself cheering for her all the way long. And not only Gabby but also Michael, you know? It's so sad to loose someone you love and the way the author describes his feelings and his actions felt so real that I wanted to hug him a lot.

Other characters like Jessica will make you laugh and want such a wonderful friend like her. And Angela, sweet sweet Angela, I'm sure will create a mix of feelings that, at the end, will be sorted out. Plus, who doesn't like to love and hate a character at the same time?!
But I sure didn't love Malum who turns out to be... Gotcha! No spoilers, you know me, but I can say that he is important, very important.

The plot is well developed, the characters have defined personalities and the supernatural/adventure side of the story will keep you turning pages no-stop!
Overall, a fabulous book for tweens and no-so-tweens too :D

For my interview with the author click HERE.

Alaiel's Rating:

If you really liked it, you can buy it here:

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