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The A-Word: A Sweet Dead Life Novel

Review

The A-Word: A Sweet Dead Life Novel

In THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, Casey died while rushing Jenna to the hospital after she passed out --- she and her parents were being poisoned. Casey came back, and only Jenna knows he is now an angel assigned to keep her safe. To everyone else, he is the same old stoner Casey.  Casey and Jenna took down the people poisoning the family in a public scene at the local, which caused Casey and his boss, Amber, to lose their wings. Angels are grounded and their wings are removed when they save people other than the person assigned to them, or they overstep their limits in other ways.

When Amber gives Jenna’s friend, Maggie, a fabulous outfit for her birthday, an argument prompts Jenna to question why her brother was sent back to save her, and how long he’ll be staying on Earth. Amber and Casey take her to meet Amber’s boss, the handsome and charismatic Bo Shivers. Mr. Shivers adds to the mystery even as he tries to show Jenna what is happening and why. 

[Jenna’s and Casey’s] positive but realistic sibling relationship is unique and powerful.

Jenna’s crush, Ryan, gives Jenna her first kiss and asks her to homecoming, and she is able to fit in dress shopping even as she tries to get more answers about the angels. Bo Shivers comes to her high school as a substitute history teacher to keep an eye on her and Casey, and Casey begins to help more people, including their neighbor and the cheerleader he can’t stop loving.

Casey decides to leave the rules entirely in a spectacular heroic effort in front of the entire school which affects his earthly presence. Jenna knows she cannot manage without worldly help and confides in Maggie and Ryan. Together, they decide to find out what happened to Amber when she died and how it affects what is going on with them now.

Readers will definitely appreciate this book more after reading the first one, and at times the angel rules and scenes are confusing. Bo adds a fun new element to the story but also more layers of mystery. Jenna and Casey are appealing and their positive but realistic sibling relationship is unique and powerful. The dangerous and shocking twist at the end will leave readers hoping another book will provide answers, and soon.

Reviewed by Amy Alessio on May 14, 2014

The A-Word: A Sweet Dead Life Novel
by Joy Preble

  • Publication Date: May 13, 2014
  • Genres: Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Teen
  • ISBN-10: 1616952903
  • ISBN-13: 9781616952907