Friday 28 September 2018

Heaven Sent

Heaven Sent by S.J. Morgan, (Midnight Sun Publishing) PB RRP $19.99 ISBN: 9781925227451

Reviewed by Pauline Hosking

The cover and title of Heaven Sent are misleading. They give the impression that this is another YA novel in which angels (or demons) arrive on earth and have a relationship with a human girl. Evie, the protagonist, is almost convinced this is the case when gorgeous Gabe smashes his car through her bedroom wall.
He says he has come to make sure she is happy.

At this stage Evie is wearing a body brace because she has scoliosis, her parents have divorced and her mother is living with Seb who grows marijuana for a living. Miraculously things start to improve after Gabe appears. Evie stops growing and is able to discard the brace. Her father is located by Gabe and reconnects, and her mother gains the strength to leave Seb. There’s also the entrance into Evie’s life of blonde Year 12 student, Isak.

But nothing is as it seems. Gabe’s behaviour becomes more and more erratic. Instead of being a guardian angel, Evie (and the reader) gradually realise Gabe has serious emotional and mental problems. One of the nicest things about the book is that, even after Gabe has a Christmas meltdown, Evie remains a true friend, committed to helping him any way she can.

Like Gabe, many of the characters in Heaven Sent defy the reader’s initial expectations. This is especially true of Paige, Evie’s best friend. Evie herself changes from someone who is happiest being invisible, to someone confident and resilient - although she does sometimes appear much older than sixteen.

This is S.J. Morgan’s first YA novel. It’s a solid debut. The Australian setting is a definite plus and the author gradually reveals Gabe’s true situation with the skill of a good mystery writer.  

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