It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt
October 6, 2015
Sky Pony Press
Hardcover, 320 pages
What it’s about:
Seventeen-year-old RJ is at the top of her game. She is the Queen Bee and used to getting her way, even if she has to bully others to get it. So imagine her fury when a Grim Reaper accidentally collects her soul! She refuses to believe she is dead and her protests and tantrums cause quite the problem in the Afterlife. Everyone agrees that a mistake has been made, but no one can agree on how to set things right. A special tribunal is called composed of three angels, including one who has his eye on Death Himself’s job. Now RJ has a choice. She can wait in limbo until her regularly scheduled death or she can relive three moments in her life. Each do-over is an opportunity to prove that she has a future worth saving. She obviously chooses door number 2. How hard can it be? Especially since she will have three souls to guide her through each of her tasks. The reality is, it is so hard! Will RJ succeed in her quest for mortality? Will it even be worth it? And what is the deal with Saint Peter’s cornhole obsession?
Why you might like it:
Do you love a strong-willed, snarky bully who’s been brought down a notch? RJ is your girl! She is seemingly beyond redemption and it’s kind of a little satisfying to watch her squirm as she relives three of her lowest moments on earth. But hey! We’re not mean girls, so it’s also pretty awesome so watch RJ’s journey. Maybe she isn’t so bad after all. Everyone makes mistakes, right? Are you looking for a laugh? Death Himself, a Hawaiian shirt wearing surfer is pretty funny. But wait! There’s more! Are you looking for a thought-provoking, feel-good story? Look no further than It’s a Wonderful Death. The message is clear: you matter, even if you don’t know it and it’s never to late to think about the choices you make.
Want more like this? Try these:
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
P.S. Thanks to Sky Pony Press for a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Happy Monday! It’s that time of year again, when we celebrate the right to read and reflect on the book that have been challenged and banned over the past year. According to the American Library Association’s Office For Intellectual Freedom the number one challenged book of 2014 was Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. You can find the rest of the Top Ten most frequently challenged books here. For even more information about why books are challenged be sure to check out these charts.
As a librarian I respect everyone’s right to choose what is best for themselves. If you are offended by something, that is fine because you don’t have to read it! That’s your right and that is awesome. But please don’t try to tell other people they can’t either. How about you just worry about you? Ok? Thanks! Now, let me step off my soapbox and tell you what I have been reading.
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Teach Mentor Texts. Be sure to stop by for more great reading suggestions.
- A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis-♥♥♥♥. Grace Mae is banished to an insane asylum when her family discovers she is pregnant. The events that led to her being in this condition were unspeakable, and therefore, Grace stopped speaking. Her silence became her salvation and with the help of a doctor she escaped to Ohio. She and the doctor worked together to prove that the new idea of criminal psychology could help solve crimes. This haunting historical fiction has some great twists and turn. I loved the characters, especially the girls at the Ohio asylum. Watch for this new book from local Ohio author when it comes out October 6th!
- It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt-♥♥♥♥. RJ wasn’t supposed to die that day, but when her soul is accidentally collected all hell breaks loose, so to speak, in the Afterlife. RJ demands to be sent back to life, but it’s not as simple as that. I will have a full review of this up soon! It’s a quick, fun read full of plenty of things to think about. Stay tuned. Or just trust me know, and add it to your reading list.
I will be finished with both of these books in the next couple of days. I really like them both.
I am six books behind on my reading goal. I need to step up my games!
The Martian is “assigned” reading from a book club teen. I can’t wait to dig in to Stand Off and The Hero of Ages.
I tried. I really tried.
…and this is why my reading is suffering! It’s time to grab a stack of graphic novels and binge on those!
Posted in Book Lists, Book Reviews, It's Monday! What are you Reading?, Mondays with Megan
Tagged American Library Association, ARC, audiobooks, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Jonathan Stroud, Leila Sales, Mindy McGinnis, Office For Intellectual Freedom, Sarah J. Schmitt
Last week I had the great privilege of attending my second Teen Think Tank conference. This is an amazing group of Ohio Teen Librarians who get together twice a year to talk about teen services. It’s a day of learning, connecting, sharing, and crafting and it is such a valuable resource. I am really excited to try some of the Gross Games I learned about with my teens. I was inspired to add some technology activities to my after school repertoire and I picked up a couple of great craft ideas. One of the most informative presentations was about serving LGBTQ+ teens. I think I have a pretty solid collection of materials but I learned of a few more that I need to add. I myself presented a segment on feed teens on a budget. Basically a griddle and instant pancake mix will turn you into a hero among the teens. I add mini chocolate chips, eliminating the need for syrup and silverware! I have also made cheese quesadillas and grilled cheese sandwiches on my griddle, all at a fraction of the cost of bags of chips and bottles of pop. In fact, I have completely eliminated sugary beverages from all my programs. It’s all water, all the time and NO ONE has complained! Try it; it can’t hurt!
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Teach Mentor Texts. Be sure to stop over for more great reading suggestions!
- The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh-♥♥♥♥♥. The land of Khorasan is ruled by a monster. The young king takes a new bride each night and each morning a silk rope is wrapped around her neck. Sharhzad, who lost her best friend to this man, is out for revenge. She volunteers to be his next wife with the intention of killing him herself. In order to exact her revenge she needs to survive past dawn, so she begins to tell him a story, always leaving the next part for another night. I loved this one! Lovely storytelling, a gorgeous setting, and diverse characters. I am looking forward to listening to the second book.
- Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore-♥♥♥♥♥. In this sequel to A Dirty Job, Moore picks up where he left off. The souls of San Fransisco are not being collected. The old crew is back in action with the help of a Golden Gate Bridge painter, who may be the key to figuring out who is stealing souls. Lewd, crude, and ridiculously funny. Not for the young reader, but I did just recommend the duology to one of my high school readers.
- You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day-♥♥♥♥♥. Felicia Day is known in many circles at the Queen of the Nerds. In her memoir she talks at length about her love of gaming, her internet show The Guild, and her health issues. She reads the audiobook and it is truly delightful. This is a must read for fan, but people not familiar with her work can still appreciate her insight.
- Player of Games by Iain M. Banks. Occasionally I like to get recommendations from my teen readers. I have my book club kids write down two titles they think I should read and then I randomly select 1-2. This was my most recent pick. It’s super weird and the person who recommended it hasn’t read it himself. He just thought it would be something I like. At first I was teeny bit miffed (I thought you wanted me to read it so we could talk about it!) but then I realize I do that to them ALL THE TIME. Turnabout is fair play.
- Lockwood & Co. 3: The Hollow Boy by Jonathan Stroud. This series is great on audio and it is almost the perfect time of year for them! Teenage ghost hunters!
Currently Reading: I have been in a MAJOR reading slump.
- A Madness so Discreet by Mindy McGinnis. I have been reading this one forever. It’s really good and I am enjoying it, I just have no time for digital ARCs right now. I should stop requesting them for a while!
- Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales. I love this author, so I hope this book with help me with my reading mojo!
What an awesome way to start a Monday! This lovely book arrived in the mail for me! The cover blurb is by Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall Trilogy (LOVED that series!) and he says it is “A snarky joyride of a book with a deep moral core; long after you’ve finished laughing you’ll still be thinking about RJ’s journey and perhaps asking yourself: what defines a life well lived?”
Um, yes, please!
Posted in Book Lists, Book Reviews, It's Monday! What are you Reading?, Mondays with Megan
Tagged ARC, fantasy, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Jonathan Stroud, Leila Sales, Mindy McGinnis, Sarah J. Schmitt, science fiction