What a sweet joy of a surprise this book was! (No pun intended *grin*) What we have here is a young adult paranormal book about angels, that has NO instaluv romance in it!! Instead we have a young girl, struggling with a mysterious illness and trying to cope with her severely depressed mother and the disappearance of her father years before. In fact, the only instaluv crush romance going on is with Jenna and her Ariat cowboy boots.
A few years ago, Jenna and Casey’s father walked out on them. Since then, neither they nor their mother has heard anything from him. Their mother slowly sank into a deep depression, spending most of her time in bed, and almost forgetting she even has children. Jenna’s brother, 16 year old Casey, takes on two jobs to help out as well as go to school. And when he’s not doing that, he’s sitting around getting stoned. Jenna’s illness is getting more and more worse, and it’s while Casey is making a mad dash to take her to hospital that they crash. When Jenna awakens in the hospital, Casey is with her…and he’s different. Zits are gone, flabby stomach is gone, and he looks…glowy. Together with the mysterious Amber, the EMT that helped at the accident, Jenna and Casey try to unravel the disappearance of their father, help their mother come back to them, work out who’s poisoning Jenna and deal with the fact that Casey died in the accident and was sent back as an angel.
Told in Jenna’s wonderfully funny & snarky voice, the characters really come to life. There’s not a lot of doom & gloom, and while it hits Jenna that Casey is not just an angel, he’s also dead, it’s not a depressing book. I chuckled a few times at Jenna’s habit of nicknaming everyone and the names she calls her illness. It’s just such a fun story, a sweet story, that you can overlook the fairly “out there” plot and just go along for the ride.