Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Last Chance Angel by Alex Gutteridge

Last Chance Angel
by Alex Gutteridge
Summary: What would you do for another chance at life?

When Jess is knocked off her bike in a traffic accident, she finds herself at the gates of heaven before her destined death date.

Given one last chance to say goodbye, she heads back to Earth to visit friends and family. Closely kept secrets are revealed to the now-invisible Jess, and one shocking discovery leads her to the biggest choice she'll ever have to make.
So I'm kind of torn on this book. It's not one I would've picked up on my own, I don't think I'd have read it if I hadn't been sent it to review--I didn't love it, but I'm glad I read it.

I think my main issue with the book was that it felt very...young. I'm not just talking the character ages (14-ish), because there's a few books with younger main characters sitting on my favourites shelf right now (Harry Potter, Tuck Everlasting, The Book Thief, etc.), it just didn't feel like one of those books that could be enjoyed at any age, at least to me anyway.

It's the kind of book that I'd probably have loved if I read it when I was 11-14 but it just didn't work for me now because thing's I would've been fine with reading then just aren't enjoyable to me now (e.g. immature characters, and while on the surface there was complexity to their lives and relationships the execution of it left very little emotional impact, things resolved too quickly, that sort of thing).

It just felt like a book I was too late to love, if that makes sense? Mini-me would've thought it was great.

The book was cute though. Parts of it did get a bit repetetive and dragged, but in the end, I liked it. The last third of the book was the bit I enjoyed the most, when it picked up the pace a bit (and it may be because the first half of the book was kind of going through her friends introducing them to us really slowly, one by one, but once that was out of the way it felt like things were actually happening and it got better).

It was funny (at times) and sweet, and I really liked the writing. There were a few characters I did really like too - her brother was probably my favourite. Actually, that was one of my favourite parts of the book: the families. One of the things often absent in older YA books is the relationships between the main characters and their families, but they were very much present in this book and I liked that.

There was only really one part of the book that I actually didn't like and that was the last few pages, specifically with her best friend. Basically because of what I mentioned already: resolved too quickly, a bit too predictable and cheesy--it kind of sits on the Disney end of the happy ending scale (read: too happy/easy, too much to feel realistic)...that's something I'd have been cool with, as I said, if I were younger. But I still like the book in spite of that.

This review is a bit of a mess and more negative than I meant it to be--the majority of the negatives weren't meant as "this is why I didn't like the book" they really are just meant to be "this is why I feel the book was too young for me."

I would recommend it to younger readers (or older readers who don't mind/like books with younger characters), because I know I'd have liked it a lot more had it been around for me to read in my early teens and things that bother me now wouldn't have then. Reading it now, it was just an okay book--entertaining enough, but not one that will linger with me.

I'd rate it 3 stars out of 5.


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