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Devine Interventionby Martha Brockenbrough
Synopses & Reviews
There is a great legend of the guardian angel who traveled across time and space for the human girl he loved, slaying those who would threaten her with a gleaming sword made of heavenly light.
This is not that story.
Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel. Sort of. He's more of an angel trainee, in heaven's soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he's just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead.
Heidi, meanwhile, is a high school junior who dreams of being an artist, but has been drafted onto her basketball team because she's taller than many a grown man. For as long as she can remember, she's heard a voice in her head — one that sings Lynyrd Skynyrd, offers up bad advice, and yet is company during those hours she feels most alone.
When the unthinkable happens, these two lost souls must figure out where they went wrong and whether they can make things right before Heidi's time is up and her soul is lost forever.
Martha Brockenbrough's debut novel is hilarious, heartbreaking, and hopeful, with a sense of humor that's wicked as hell, and writing that's just heavenly.
"Heroes don't get much more unlikely than Jerome Hancock, who met an early demise courtesy of an arrow to the head. In the 16 years since, Jerome, frozen at age 17, has been laboring through afterlife rehab, trying to make it into heaven. He's not promising material, but he's game, sticking close to Heidi Devine, the soul he's been assigned for guardian angel duty. 'How much work could a baby be?' he says. 'Also, her mom was hot, so I didn't mind hanging around one bit.' Heidi grows up to be an awkward, selfconscious teen, who thinks motormouth Jerome is just the voice inside her head until she accidentally falls through pond ice and drowns, discovering that there is a soul that goes along with that voice. But is Heidi really dead? Jerome's bumbling logic and wickedly funny observations are what make Brockenbrough's first book for teens so much fun. Underneath the occasionally risqué humor and unexpected plot twists (including the possession of multiple animals' bodies) is an insightful story about seizing life for all it's worth while you have the chance. Ages 12–up." Publisher's Weekly
"Jerome is no teen angel. A hell raiser when alive and killed by his cousin in eighth grade in an unfortunate archery accident, he has spent his afterlife in Soul Rehab assigned to Heidi in an attempt to win his way into Heaven. Not that he's very committed to the notion; he lost his 'Guardian Angel's Handbook' pretty much right away, but he sort of tries. Heidi has more or less enjoyed Jerome's company, though he could sometimes be annoying. When Heidi, having experienced unendurable humiliation in a high-school talent show, ventures onto thin ice and falls through, Jerome does his best to save her soul — as much for her own sake, he's surprised to find, as for his. Brockenbrough devises a devilishly clever narrative, alternating Jerome's first-person account with Heidi's tightly focused thirdperson perspective. Tying both together are commandment-by-commandment excerpts (often footnoted) from Jerome's lost handbook, each stricture slyly informing the succeeding chapter. The rules governing Jerome's afterlife lead to frequently hysterical prose. He can't swear, of course, so he substitutes euphemisms: '… if I weren't so chickenchevy'; 'It was a real mind-flask.' Beneath the snark, though, runs a current of devastatingly honest writing that surprises with its occasional beauty and hits home with the keenness of its insight. As the clock ticks down on Heidi's soul, readers will be rooting for both Jerome and Heidi with all their hearts." Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Steeped in the heavenly tropes of guardian angels and lost souls, Devine Intervention is a satire in the vein of Libba Bray's Beauty Queens, only with a decidedly sacrilegious twist....It is a pleasure to read a writer who so delights in language, and who writes so captivatingly in a teen voice with such imaginative description." Los Angeles Times
Heavenly writing, earthy characters, and humor that is wicked as hell.
Heidi is seventeen. Insecure. Unkissed. Unremarkable, she thinks, in every way but one: She has a guardian angel, Jerome, who whispers in her ear all day long, amusing her, confusing her, but hardly ever saying anything that might help her discover who she's meant to be.
Jerome is also seventeen (for the seventeenth year in a row.) There is only one thing he needs to do to graduate from heaven's soul rehabilitation program for wayward teenagers: Follow the 10 Commandments for the Dead, and in doing so, keep Heidi safe. Instead, he accidentally lets her drown.
Plucked from her body before she ever truly lives, Heidi wants more than anything to say goodbye to her family and best friend. Jerome, afraid he's going to be sent to the lowest level of Hell, wants to sneak her into heaven before he gets caught.
Neither realizes that Heidi has only 24 hours before her soul dissolves forever. And that might not be enough time for them to figure out how they were meant to live.
About the Author
Martha Brockenbrough has worked as a newspaper reporter, a high school teacher, and as editor of MSN.com. She is a devoted grammarian, and founded National Grammar Day and the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG). Martha is also the social media diva for readergirlz, the nonprofit literacy organization that received the Innovations in Reading Award from the National Book Foundation. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters.
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