What a fun read. Honestly, it was like watching a movie.
And it would make a very good movie. I would go see it in theaters. The plot is simple and rather than being sappy or cliche, it's instead very neat and uncomplicated. The extraneous characters, while incidental in some cases, are not stock people there simply for effect. The protagonists are likable and just a shade off the thing you'd expect.
Yep. It's the supernatural equivalent of a Sarah Dessen novel.
All that said, it really is an innovative take on the whole angel genre. In this story, the angels are huge celebrities who attend red carpet events, sell everything from milk to Gucci and are adored the way we adore movie and television celebrities. E! is A!. CNN is ANN. It's a very clever adaptation and thoroughly entertaining (pun intended).
Jackson Godspeed (ok, the name is cheesy) is the young, hot, pretty Angel boy who is detached and conflicted. He has the privileged family but feels like there is something wrong with his life. Poor him with all his riches and adoring fans. . . at least, that's what Maddy Montgomery thinks, and rightly so. It's not that the guy is hard to like, it's just that he's not really sympathetic. We do not love you simply because you're hot, Jacks. She, on the other hand, is the goal-oriented waitress who is focused on college and getting out of her present circumstances. She has no illusions about her life, but she is not simply one of those "my life is crap and I'm powering through it" sorts of girls. She just knows what her life is and accepts it. She has the maturity to know that college will make a huge difference in the future.
The story includes a murder mystery with a Columbo-type character. I find that funny, because the generation who would be interested in this book probably has no idea who Columbo is -- and so it totally works. I wish we had gotten more of his backstory, but this is the first book of the series. It's likely we'll get more of him in the next couple of books.
The whole plot could have been more clever, more convoluted, more genius. But like I said, this is the angel equivalent of a Sarah Dessen novel. I didn't expect some epic adventure. This is the author's debut novel, and he's a Hollywood director. He knows the business and he knows a great story, and he's written one. And I have to say, the bad guy was not the one I expected, so it was nice to not see that coming. In fact, that element alone is probably the reason I gave this 4.75 stars.
The best part of this would be for him to direct the film made from it. Like I said, I'd go see it. It's a great read.