Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens / Reading Romances January Challenge

This post is part of the Reading Romances Challenge. For January I chose the following option:

- Read a book that is first of a series, by an author that is “new” to you or a debut novel by an author.

Heavenly (Heavenly, #1)
Heavenly (Heavenly #1)
by Jennifer Laurens 

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. 

Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe 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.



4 stars

I knew this book would be good because of all the great reviews I've read about it, but I wasn't really ready for the impact it made on me.

Jennifer Laurens was able to make me feel much of everything with Heavenly. I was surprised, then sceptic, sad, mad, scared, sad again and happy. 

Zoe is a teenager with many problems. Her sister is autistic, which brings many hardships to her family and their lives together. Her mother is very tired and looks older than she should. Her father is always trying to control her moves, but at the same time doesn't give her much attention at all. Her brother is almost never home and is involved with drugs. She feels as if their worlds all revolve around her little sister's needs, which are many.

To escape all that tension, to try to forget and relax, she drinks and parties with the wrong crowd.

One day, after taking her little sister Abria to the park, Zoe gets distracted while texting and realizes the girl is nowhere to be found. Trying not to panic, she scans the surroundings and sees nothing, no one, anywhere. She's ready to call her parents and the police when an attractive young man appears hand in hand with Abria, who is strangely calm and subdued.

Zoe is suspicious about the guy's inner motives at first, because he seems to be everywhere they are, always close to the little girl. She starts to think he could be a sex offender or something of the kind, but later on discovers he is the definition of all that is good. He is Abria's guardian angel. And, with the exception of her sister, she's the only one who can see him.

Matthias is everything the guys Zoe is used to hang out with are not. He is kind, respectful, he pays attention to her, cares about her. He really looks at her. And he doesn't look at her sister with fear or disgust like other people usually do. 

He helps Zoe see the mistakes she is making in life. She learns to not be so impulsive, to respect and try to help, but not force people to do things they should decide to do for themselves. She learns to see all the happiness, goodness and purity in the handicapped sister she used to think was empty and, therefore, unhappy. She is even able to help her brother defeat his addiction, one step at a time. (and many mistakes in the middle)

With small changes, the whole family gets more united and happy.

I have to admit I didn't see that ending coming at all, but I suppose it had to happen. Zoe became a much better person, who touched many hearts and changed many lives, all because she was first touched by an angel. Love really is a very strong weapon. :)

There were many second characters that brought life to this book. Zoe's "friends", who were always trying to hold her back and use her in any way they could, a guy from school who also knew about angels and always supported her, the suffering parents who didn't know how to handle with their problematic children, but made up for it... I liked them all.

I recommend this book to everyone with a heart. LOL. If you enjoy YA with real-life situations and a paranormal touch, or just enjoy romance and/or angels, go for it.

I have won this book from a giveaway made by the author. I'm very grateful for the opportunity, Mrs.Laurens. :)

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