Last Chance Angel by Alex Gutteridge
|Last Chance Angel by Alex Gutteridge
|Reviewer: Robert James
|Summary: This emotional read doesn't quite live up to the excellent start, but may still be of interest thanks to a strong narrator.
|Date: June 2013
|Publisher: Templar Publishing
|External links: Author's website
Shortlisted for Romantic Novelist Association Young Adult Romantic Novel 2014
Jess turns up at the gates of Heaven a few days early, causing a major headache for Darren the Angel of Death. To keep her quiet, he agrees that she can go back to Earth in an invisible form to see her friends and family and say goodbye. Can she find closure, or even a way to stay alive?
I really liked the first third or so of this, because Jess herself is a brilliant narrator - by far the best thing about the book. She's funny, forceful, and Gutteridge really captures the pathos of her situation brilliantly as she resigns herself to trying to say goodbye to her friend without them actually being aware she's there. It's a tearjerker which made me feel sorry for Jess, especially in the first half.
The problem is, as good as Jess is, the rest of the characters - her family and friends - are underdeveloped. (An exception to this, to be fair, is Darren, who's definitely intriguing.) As the book went on, I found myself wanting to know more about them, and not really getting anything except one defining characteristic each and little else to add to their personality. In addition, while it's difficult to go into details without getting far too far into spoiler territory, the ending did little for me and was nowhere near as emotionally affecting as I was expecting it to be given the great promise the book showed early on.
On a positive note, despite the sad subject, it's a really easy book to read. Gutteridge has an engaging writing style and Jess's voice is so good that I got through it in just a couple of hours.
Mild recommendation, especially if you're looking for an emotional read - despite the ending not working too well for me the book succeeded in bringing me close to tears several times early on. While it's a shame the second half isn't stronger, it's still worth looking at.
You can read more book reviews or buy Last Chance Angel by Alex Gutteridge at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Last Chance Angel by Alex Gutteridge at Amazon.com.
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