On the Bright Side S.R. Johannes
Release: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Coleman and Stott
My Copy: From Author
Buy the Book: Amazon
As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, SkyFones and InnerNets are all the rage. At her first Bright ceremony, G.O.D., the automated assignment system, spits out Angela Black, Gabby’s arch nemesis and longtime fencing rival. As a Bright, Gabby has to protect Angela, her assigned mortal, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven.
Determined to right her wrong, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to earth for just one day. But if Gabby’s not careful, her well-meaning mission just might shift the very foundation of Heaven, Earth, and every place in between, causing the danger of the dark side to roam free.
This book is a fun read for the tween set. It deals with some heavy topics with a lightness and sense of humor. Gabby is a good heroine. She is far from perfect, but she is caring and strong minded. . She really struggles with having to protect Angela, and I think everyone can relate to the situation. Who wouldn't have a hard time protecting your enemy who is trying to horn in on your crush? Gabby sometimes let her emotions get the best of her and can be reckless. But it makes her very human at the same time. Ultimately she learns some Big Life Lessons and tries to right her wrongs.
The story moves along at a quick pace. The ending is especially fast paced and exciting. There ended up being a lot more action in the last half of the book than I was expecting. The only thing that started to get to me after all is the author's fondness of acronyms, puns, and word play. I think it started to get out of hand a bit when most of the jokes in the book were built on puns. It felt a little gimmicky and forced. But it is a small quibble...I am also not the intended audience so it may go over better with the younger crowd.
Overall, I think it was a fun read and great for tweens!