I received this book for free from Edelweiss via YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?
But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.
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** Selected as featured review on Edelweiss **
I loved the show Dead Like Me featuring a snarky teenage grim reaper. So I was happily surprised that It’s a Wonderful Deathreminded me so much of it. Not so much in the story, but in the tone. RJ and Georgia are both unapologetic about not liking their post-living situations and their frankness is why I like them. RJ is a mean girl waiting for Homecoming when she is accidentally reaped at a school carnival; to say she does not care for this turn of events is putting it mildly. The interplay between a pissed-off teenager soul and the bureaucracy of the afterlife made what could have been a schmaltzy story a fun, nuanced tale. The plot was well paced and the world created was very real. I enjoyed the majority of the characters; a few seemed not as well placed in their environments but this did not detract from the overarching appeal of the book. All told this was a very solid debut novel that I truly enjoyed.
◊ Favorite lines from Chapter 38 – “So we’re just really just born to die?” I ask? Gideon shakes his head. “What’s the reason then?” “Everyone has something to learn and something to teach. Once you have done those two things, you have accomplished your life mission and it’s time to come home.”
¤ Biggest Cliché – “I’m not a mean girl, I’m just honest.”
Δ Have you read a book and been reminded of a TV show?