THE A-WORD by Joy Preble


From the "Sweet Dead Life" series, volume 2
Age Range: 13 - 16
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Sassy, smart-mouthed, cowboy-boot fan Jenna Samuels is back once again, fighting evildoers with the aid of her angelic cohorts.

Following on the heels (or maybe wings) of The Sweet Dead Life (2013), Jenna, now 15, is hoping for a little calm in her life—but wherever Jenna goes, trouble seems to follow. Her newly deceased-cum-angel brother, Casey, and his equally angelic mentor, Amber Velasco, are still earthbound. Jenna decides to try to help figure out exactly what caused Amber’s untimely demise; could that be what’s keeping her and Casey from moving along? Together with a roguish angel named Bo Shivers, they soon find themselves embroiled in yet another nefarious plot, related by Jenna with her signature angst in journal entries. While this sequel has many of the elements that made its predecessor so much fun, the mystery feels contrived, and it unravels at a glacial pace. The big reveal—which follows a surfeit of vague, portentous remarks—is too similar to the last installment’s to satisfy. Those who enjoyed the previous paranormal-without-romance aspect, be warned: Jenna now finds love, and while her new beau is quite the character, much of her narrative revolves dizzyingly around her romance.

This series seems to be in a bit of a sophomore slump; here’s hoping subsequent volumes will again take flight. (Paranormal fiction. 13-16)

Pub Date: May 13th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-61695-290-7
Page count: 259pp
Publisher: Soho Teen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2014


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