11 January 2010

Review: HEAVEN CAN WAIT by Cally Taylor ****

"'What would I do without you, Lucy Brown?' he said, and kissed me softly. I held his face in my hands and kissed him back. I felt that life just couldn't get any more perfect. And I was right, it wouldn't. By the end of the next day, I'd be dead.
Lucy is about to marry the man of her dreams - kind, handsome, funny Dan - when she breaks her neck the night before their wedding. Unable to accept a lifetime's separation from her soulmate, Lucy decides to become a ghost rather than go to heaven and be parted from Dan. But it turns out things aren't quite as easy as that. When Lucy discovers that Limbo is a grotty student-style house in North London she's less than thrilled. Especially after meeting her new flatmates: grumpy, cider-swilling EMO-kid Claire; and Brian, a train-spotter with a Thomas the Tank Engine duvet and a big BO problem.
But Lucy has a more major problem on her hands - if she wants to become a ghost and be with Dan she has to complete an almost impossible task. How the hell does a girl like Lucy find a girlfriend for the dorkiest man in England? IT geek Archie's only passions are multi-player computer games and his Grandma. But Lucy only has twenty-one days to find him love. And when she discovers that her so-called friend Anna is determined to make a move on the heart-broken, vulnerable Dan, the pressure is really on..."

I must admit I wasn't really drawn to this based on the description, but the cover's lovely and after hearing so many good things about it I just decided to give it a go. It's the only book Chicklit Club have rated 10/10 and it won a whole bunch of awards (including Book of the Year) at Chick Lit Reviews so I couldn't really afford to miss out on this one, could I?

Well, let's start with the 'less great' things first ... As I predicted, the plot wasn't really my kind of thing. The whole summary is posted above and I guess I just found the whole Limbo, Wannabe Ghosts, 21 days shebang not only far fetched but also confusing and not terribly exciting either. Obviously I didn't take it seriously and once I moved past that, I was able to really enjoy the book. Luckily the plot picks up in the last few days of Lucy's assignment and just as I was ready to call this book 'oh so predictable', the author turned the tables around and slapped me in the face with the final plot twist, which I really didn't see coming, haha. I thought the ending was satisfying (my eyes may have teared up a little), but it still felt a bit rushed somehow? Anyway, don't get me wrong, the plot wasn't bad, far from it as there were really so many great scenes, it's just the whole afterlife thing I wasn't too keen on, although I admit it's a very fun and uplifting view on the afterlife, heh.

So that's my only so-called complaint; other than that, the book was great! I suppose it's quite a sad story in itself, but the author managed to turn it into a very funny one! This book is packed full with hilarious scenes and witty dialogue so I have to applaud the author for cracking me up many, many times!

The characters were delightful too! Lucy was just adorable and I really warmed up to her; at the same time, I felt sorry for her, I admired her and I was rooting for her. I thought she was really well developed and her pain and joy felt very real. On the whole, she feels just the kind of girl you'd love to know in real life, hehe. As for other characters, I can't really fault them either, they were all great and I really enjoyed the wide variety of quirkiness in this novel.

So I may have complained a bit about the plot (even though there's really not much to complain about!), but on the whole I really liked this funny yet poignant and original debut novel. And the pretty cover is just the cherry on top! It didn't quite live up to my expectations (maybe the hype was just too much), but I certainly closed this book with a smile on my face thinking, "Awww!"

overall rating: 4/5
plot: 3/5 | writing: 4/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 5/5


inthehammockblog said...

Great review! I'll keep an eye out for this one.

Lily said...

Nice review! I love books that make you feel happy and fuzzy afterwards- I must check this one out =)

Dot said...

Great review, I keep meaning to get a copy of this, I love the front cover!

Nina said...

Very nice review. The book sounds okay! :)
I love the cover of the book and the title!! :)

Becky said...

Not sure this is really my thing at all. But still a great review.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review. Sounds allot like a book I read a while back called You Had Me At Halo:

Kirthi said...

What a gorgeous cover! I love your review, I should read this :) You won an award at my blog!

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