Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough8:00 AM
Author: Martha Brockenbrough
Release Date: June 1, 2012 (hardcover)
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Overall: 3 Stars
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.
When I first read the hilarious book summary for Devine Intervention, my interest was captured and I was eager to learn more about Martha Brockenbrough's debut YA novel. It's a book featuring angels, but definitely not the paranormal kind who usually set your heart aflutter and swooning. I would describe Devine Intervention as more of a contemporary novel with a touch of the divine.
Heidi and Jerome are exact opposites, yet they manage to have a strange friendship that goes beyond Jerome being her terrible guardian angel. He's not supposed to interfere or talk to her, but he long ago broke those rules. In fact, Jerome lost his guardian angel handbook, not that he would actually admit what he had done to his superiors. When Jerome makes a foolish mistake and Heidi pays the price, he has to make things rights before it's too late— for both of them.
For as long as Heidi can remember, she has always heard Jerome's voice in her head, giving her crazy suggestions and comforting her in his own way when she needed it most. She has always played things safe, whereas Jerome has never been able to fit the mold. Even though Jerome is technically dead and all the while Heidi is the one who's living, they both still have so many life lessons to learn from each other.
Everyone in the novel, including the guardian angels, had their own quirks in personality, which I found absolutely endearing... but also kind of annoying after awhile, too? Sometimes, the jokes would run around in circles and I just wanted to get straight to the point. Devine Intervention is definitely a satirical take on the afterlife, one aiming to bring out the laughs.
Martha Brockenbrough's Devine Intervention is a surprisingly thoughtful and heartwarming tale which explores the moments we regret in life and the possibility of second chances. I had no idea what to expect for the ending, so I held my breath in anticipation as the final pages drew nearer, hoping for the best for both Heidi and Jerome.
Thanks so much to Scholastic Canada for providing this review copy!