Teen Tuesday – Angels Watching Over Me…

Romances with angels, seraphim, and a heavenly host of other celestial beings have overpopulated YA fiction so much that, judging the book by its cover, it would be easy to overlook Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough.  And what a loss that would be, because this book is wicked funny, with strong characterizations, expressive writing—and surprise, no romance!  A quick plot summary: Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine’s guardian angel, only she doesn’t know that.   Heidi thinks Jerome is an auditory illusion until the day he accidentally separates her soul from her body while attempting to save her life.  Now, Jerome has to find a way to save Heidi’s soul, because thanks to him, Heidi has less than 24 hours before she vaporizes into nonexistence.

Ah, Jerome.  Eternally seventeen, he cares deeply for Heidi despite his devil-may-care attitude in the afterlife.  His clearly drawn character and charmingly snarky narrative make him easy to like in spite of his poor judgment.  In fact, Jerome’s creative cursing substitutions alone are reason enough to read the book.  Heidi, meanwhile, is an insecure and awkward teenage girl passively living the life others set for her.  An obedient daughter, accommodating friend and likeable human under Jerome’s questionable care, Heidi finally learns to trust herself as she frantically races against time in order to say a last goodbye to her family and best friend.

Martha Brockenbrough has crafted an original and clever story that takes the religion out of Heaven and instead, makes it a relatable teen setting, with soul rehab rooms, Guardian Angel handbooks, and classic rock songs sung by the heavenly choir.   Amidst the trauma and hilarity of Jerome and Heidi’s predicament is a heartfelt message of love: for our family, our friends, and most importantly, for ourselves.

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