ARC REVIEW: It’s A Wonderful Death by Sara J. Schmitt
Expected publication: October 6th 2015 by Sky Pony Press
YA > Fantasy | Paranormal
BLURB FROM GOODREADS:
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.
RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.
“Don‘t discount your importance to the world. Each moment of your life has a purpose, even the ones you think don’t matter. And don’t forget to make the unexpected choice. You never know how that one moment can transform your life”
Wow! Reading It’s a Wonderful Death is such an adventure! And adventure that I know I’ll remember forever. There’s a lot in this book that I didn’t expect but that turned out to be such a good thing. This better have a sequel because I’m so not ready to let go yet.
I’m not even gonna bother doing a recap because I admit, I cant. The blurb pretty much tell you about the gist anyway. What it didn’t tell you though is that this novel is crazy. Crazy good! Crazy brilliant! Crazy memorable. RJ is such a riot. I’m no mean girl but for some reason, I see myself in her. Maybe because I also don’t know when to shut up and I like asking ALLLL of the questions. You know what’s the best about RJ? She was not made to be LIKED (HELLO, MEAN GIRL, REMEMBER?) And yet, you can’t help but admire her. She’s funny, a little annoying and a lot real. This girl has made a gazillion mistakes but her self growth is just enormous. RJ is pretty much 50% of the teenagers nowadays. She’s the kind of character you’ll hate to love.
The plot of IAWD reminded me so much of The Catastrophic History of You and Me but with less romance. I don’t think it has any at all. At least, not the romantic kind. ANYWAY, Sarah J. Schmitt is just…. asdfghjkl, I just really want to visit her mind. I don’t even know how she came up with such wonderful and vibrant characters but they’re all winners! Everyone is fleshed out even though they only appeared for like, two pages! If there’s one thing I wish (okay there’s two) its these: a sequel and more romance. I already picked a guy for RJ. Please author, make it happen?
This novel is so meaningful. It will surprise you and make you think. Sarah Schmitt just wrote a beautiful novel that will make you laugh and will bring you to tears as well. Full of colorful and memorable characters and written in a brilliant and humorous way, I can absolutely say that… Its a wonderful book! (see what I did there?)
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Sarah J. Schmitt is a K-8 school librarian and Youth Service Professional for Teens at a public library who, in addition to planning a variety of events, enjoys opening up the world of books to reluctant readers. She runs a teen writing program that combines Skype visits from well-known authors and screenwriters and critique group style feedback.
Prior to immersing herself in the world of the written word, Sarah earned her Masters of Science in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs from Indiana University where she worked with first year college students as they acclimated to college life. Sarah lives outside of Indianapolis with her husband, two kidlets and a cat who might actually be a secret agent. She is an active member of SCBWI, ALA and the Indiana Library Federation and is a regular participant at the Midwest Writer’s Workshop. Her debut novel, IT’S A WONDERFUL DEATH, comes out Fall 2015 from Sky Pony Press.