Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

heavenly

Synopsis from FantasticFiction:

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.

This book is released in August 2009, and well worth reading. Zoe is an 18-year with the weight of the world on her shoulders. Ever since her younger sister was diagnosed with autism her life started to go downhill. Her parents became wrapped up in their concerns for her sister, her brother has turned to drugs and Zoe has begun to party and seek out boys. Until one day when she is out at the park and her sister runs off. After frantic searching she finds her, with Matthais. A few days later she runs off again, and again Matthais finds her. Who is this guy? Her sister’s guardian angel. With him around life changes for Zoe. She starts to grow up and she falls in love, but how can love survive between a human and a heavenly being?

This is a younger adult book, but I recommend it for everyone. Laurens is an amazing writing. I read this book in a day – the story just flowed off the pages, drawing you in. Laurens explores many difficult issues, from autism, to drugs, and she started to explore the idea of Heaven and God. All of which were done sensitively and well.

The characters were lovely. Abria, the autistic sister, sounded lovely, even if she was hard work. And I too fell in love with Matthais. Calm, sensitive and caring, he sounded perfect.

And of course, there was a bit of a cliff hanger at the end of the book, which I didn’t anticipate. And it has made me eager for the next installment.

I cannot fault this book. It was a gripping, enjoyable, great read, and I highly recommend it.

10/10

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Entertaining Angels by Joanna Bell

Synopsis:

Joshua Gilfoyle has decided there are two things he wants from life before he dies: to find his lost son and to commission an artist to produce his lasting legacy – a new angel for Foxbarton church. His family can’t understand why he’s already bidding his life farewell, but Joshua is not a man used to opposition. However Julia, the artist he’s employed, doesn’t believe in angels – unlike her daughter Hebe. Although she’s desperate for the commission, she’s frightened her artistic inspiration has run dry and is beginning to wonder whether making the angel is beyond her ability. But as Hebe’s extraordinary gift begins to affect everyone around her, including even irascible old Joshua himself, there seems to be more than a touch of magic in the air as the mysteries of the past finally begin to reveal themselves…

This is a lovely book. I loved it. Bell addresses the issues of angels, autism and family. She wrote so well, the issues were all delicately dealt with, even the old-fashioned view of mental health. To write about autism and the different views people have on it was brave, but done so well. There are so many stereotypes surrending autism, and Bell raises them and deals with them, setting the record straight.

I loved Julia and Hebe. Julia’s passion and firey character were well written and I felt I connected with her. When she was betrayed and angry, I felt those emotions as well. Hebe I just wanted to hug. She was an angel, I loved her.

There was comedy in this book too, and I often found myself laughing out loud.

My only problem with this book was the emphasis on sex. There was a lot of sex in this book, I didn’t like that.

The story was great and easy to read. I did see the twist coming but that didn’t upset me. I really enjoyed this book.

8/10

The Curious Incident…by Mark Haddon

Amazon synopsis:

The title The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (or the curious incident of the dog in the night-time as it appears within the book) is an appropriate one for Mark Haddon’s ingenious novel both because of its reference to that most obsessive and fact-obsessed of detectives, Sherlock Holmes, and because its lower-case letters indicate something important about its narrator.

Christopher is an intelligent youth who lives in the functional hinterland of autism–every day is an investigation for him because of all the aspects of human life that he does not quite get. When the dog next door is killed with a garden fork, Christopher becomes quietly persistent in his desire to find out what has happened and tugs away at the world around him until a lot of secrets unravel messily.

Haddon makes an intelligent stab at how it feels to, for example, not know how to read the faces of the people around you, to be perpetually spooked by certain colours and certain levels of noise, to hate being touched to the point of violent reaction. Life is difficult for the difficult and prickly Christopher in ways that he only partly understands; this avoids most of the obvious pitfalls of novels about disability because it demands that we respect–perhaps admire–him rather than pity him. —Roz Kaveney

What an incredible book! Haddon has done himself proud. This is a very good representation of a boy how suffers with autism. I think it is great that this has been written, showing how life is for people with this kind of disability. Everything has to be ordered and logical for Christopher to feel comfortable and if it isn’t, he screams and hides and tries to block out noise. I have contact with people with autism and this is very true and I think it is great that this has been brought to our attention so we can understand a little bit of how life is for other people.

My favourite character was Christopher. He took risks, he was humorous when he did not mean to be and he was honest, and I just loved him. Haddon wrote his character very well.

The book was easy and quick to read. It was gripping as there was always a new adventure and it made me laugh in several places. My only complaints are there was a lot of bad language used and lots of maths problems which I didn’t understand – but the latter was part of what made Christopher’s character so unique and realistic.

This is a really good book. Go read it!!

9/10