Rowena Joy Jones isn’t supposed to be dead.
When a Grim Reaper named Gideon mistakenly collects 17-year-old RJ’s soul, RJ demands he send her back; however, returning to the land of the living isn’t as simple as hopping on the next Soul Mover. First, the beautiful, popular, and cruel RJ must face a Tribunal of angels who will decide her fate. As sending RJ back means rewinding time and altering the chain of events leading up to her accidental death, RJ needs to prove she can change her ways, becoming worthy of returning to Earth to live out her remaining days. If she fails the tasks set forth by the Tribunal, she’ll be forced to hang around the Afterlife until her official death date, at which time she can be “processed,” face Judgment, and move on to Heaven…or that other place. The Afterlife is a fully realized world comprising a mix of Judeo-Christian belief and Greek mythology, and it is populated by a colorful host of characters: sarcastic Guardian Angels, a hunky St. Peter, a soul-gobbling, three-headed dog, and even Death Himself. RJ’s first-person narration is alternately facetious and reverent. The novel’s only weakness lies in not giving readers enough of RJ’s mean-girl background to contrast with the effort she puts into redeeming herself.
Fun, funny, and full of life. (Fantasy. 12-18)