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.
I didn’t think I would like Devine Intervention until about a quarter of the way in. At first meeting, Jerome is such a boy that it seems impossible that I will ever get to willingly comprehend him. However, as the novel progresses, his character while retaining its boy-ness and boy-isms, also grows and evolves in ways that are endearing and awkward. As readers of the YA novels, we have come across angels often, a bit too often for my taste and that was what made me hesitant to begin Devine Intervention but I needn’t have worried because this novel is refreshingly innovative.
Yeah, he’s a guardian angel but Jerome is in no way similar to Patch. Instead, he is bumbling his way through his guardian-angel-ship in much the same manner that his “soul” Heidi is bumbling her way through adolescence. The author manages to juxtapose the divine and the mundane in a way that makes it seem probable and believable.
The writing is also full of gems that sometimes catch you unaware. The plot and the pacing are two parts that need work as I believe that the scenes after Heidi has her accident are unnecessarily convoluted and lengthy but that’s just a personal thing. All in all, I felt that Devine Intervention was a refreshing tale about two souls who both had things to learn and things to teach to the other. The ending is particularly poignant and bittersweet. I recommend this to anyone who wants a book that is both heartwarming and substantial. A book about second chances, forgiveness, letting go and moving on.