In a refreshing change of pace from the current glut of angel books, when Janelle is killed in a car accident, she doesn't move on to a seraphic afterlife; she's brought back from the dead instead.
Her savior is stoner Ben, and even as he is bringing her back to life she notices his "huge brown eyes,… wavy dark hair [and] tortured half smile." Janelle needs to be alive. Her mother has withdrawn into total bipolar uselessness, and though her X-Files–obsessed, FBI-agent father is fabulous, he works insane hours, so Janelle holds the family together. Through some efficient snooping in her dad's office, Janelle learns that people are turning up melted—including the person in the car that hit her. And there's mention of a countdown to an event that could destroy the Earth. Could there be a connection? First-time author Norris surrounds her likable narrator with equally appealing and complex primary and secondary characters, compensating for a relatively slow pace. Plotting is not quite so strong, particularly in the book's science-fiction elements. Ben's healing ability is given a ludicrously vague explanation, and the potential Earth-ending event is made only barely more credible. Still, the writing is smooth, and the love story satisfies despite its predictability.
Good for romance fans, if not science-fiction aficionados. (Science fiction/thriller/romance. 14 & up)