Friday, September 5, 2014

Novel Review: Devine Intervention by Marth Brockenbrough

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
Release Date: June 2012
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

The Cover:

I really like this cover. It's very pretty, with the colors and the clouds and the couple holding hands. It represents the book really well, too, giving a good feel, as well as with the characters and the look of heaven. I think it's both very fitting and very pretty.


  • "Heidi breathed deeply and focused on the lyrics. She could feel herself in them, especially in the line about being a bird you cannot change. While the song itself is about a guy who doesn’t want to be tied down, it’s also about being fundamentally broken, unfixable. That was her. She was the bird with the fatal flaw.” (Hardback, pg. 20)
  • "People suck when they think no one’s watching.
    Here’s the thing. Someone’s always watching.”
    (Pg. 60)
  • "'I think it was going out on something. It didn’t really matter how good you got or how good you acted, as long as that something was what you gave the world. Basically, making your own heaven on earth while you were alive. That’s the thing. Living the best life you can.’” (Pg. 99) [On how you get into heaven.]
  • "'I still thought about the future as this thing, this thing with possibilities, this thing that would actually happen at some point.’” (Pg. 105)
  • "We might be born alone, and we might die all by ourselves, sometimes with some help from our cousins, but the best part of life is when you find someone you can be with, and you’re good enough and they’re good enough and no part of you wants anything else. I knew what the feeling was, and the word happiness didn’t do it justice. Not even close.” (Pg. 283)
  • "To draw someone, you have to see their edges and all the spaces around them. To even start to love someone, you have to know where you start and where you end. Where you are, and where you aren’t, the shape you make in the world.” (Pg. 293)


This book was definitely entertaining, and the serious moments weren’t downplayed, but I’m not sure about the ending.
I was expecting this book to be funny from what I’d heard, and it was. It was also more serious and thoughtful than I thought it would be, though, and I liked that. I also liked the writing, and the way that the characters would tell about a memory. I didn’t know it was in two points of view going in, and I liked that.
The story was a little slow paced, and it didn’t really get to one big climax. There were a few twists thrown in, and I really liked the Handbook guidelines between chapters. I’m not sure which character I preferred, because both of them were good characters, and very different from each other, with different voices.
Jerome is a bit of a mess-up, but he has a past, and he is actually a pretty sweet guy. Heidi feels a bit like a loser, and that sucks, but I think what happened let her get some perspective, and made her grow.
I was not expecting the ending. I mean, I thought of a couple outcomes (including, as I read closer to the end, what actually happened), but I didn’t know what did happen would actually be it. And I guess it fits. It makes sense, but I’m also not sure if I like it. Mostly, though, I think that’s because I wanted more of a happily ever after. This ending makes sense for the characters and the heaven thing, though.
Overall, this was a pretty enjoyable book. It was funny, and there were several stories and characteristics thrown in that I enjoyed.

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