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HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL by Wendy Mass

HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL

By Wendy Mass

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-316-05851-3
Publisher: Little, Brown

Adequate but uninspiring free verse tells the first-person story of a girl whose life is summed up by a bag of stuff. Overweight, insecure, sneaky Tessa fails to duck when a dodgeball is fired at her and ends up in a coma. Her near-death experience, like much of her life, takes the shape of a visit to the mall where both her parents work. With guidance from a guy with a drill bit in his head (a misguided attempt to get high), Tessa revisits pivotal moments as epitomized by objects (a glass bowl representing a science experiment she cheated on; a stolen bra representing her first date). Through re-experiencing her memories and examining her own flaws and those of the people around her (her mother’s constant harping on appearance amounts to abuse), Tessa predictably learns to love herself. A quick read with a commercial angle and an excellent cover (each word in a font evoking a different store), this will please readers but will be easily forgotten—much like your average day at the mall. (Fiction. 13+)