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  • Posted July 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Heavenly, simply cannot put down

    Heavenly was a very good book to read. Jennifer Laurens sent me the book as a birthday gift for me and signed it. At the time I didn't really have an interest in it but once I started reading it I just simply could NOT put it down. I finished it in less then 4days after getting it and I fell in love with it. Even though the whole theme of it may seem rather...unrealistic, it was still a great book to read!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010


    I am in love with this book. There is no other way to say it. Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens has been on my radar for quite a while now and whilst I'd owned the book for some time, I do have a very large TBR pile and had not read it yet. I seem to be saying this a lot lately! Anyway, I picked it up and started reading one night and absolutely loved the story.

    Heavenly is told through the eyes of 17-year-old Zoe who lives at home with her parents, younger brother and little sister Abria who is autistic and as such she demands a lot of care and attention from her parents. This leaves Zoe and her brother Luke feeling rather neglected. Their parents are so tired and weighed down with responsibility that they are completely oblivious to Zoe's escapism into alcohol and partying and Luke's drug dependency. One day, Zoe meets her autistic little sister's guardian angel Matthias and their relationship changes everything. But how long can heaven on earth last?

    I like to read late at night and Heavenly kept me up for a few nights until 3am (it's a good job I was on holiday from work is all I can say). I purposefully didn't rush my way through Heavenly though as I wanted to savour every delicious moment of reading it and prolong my enjoyment of the book for as long as possible. I was hooked into the story immediately and I really enjoyed the way Zoe's character developed as the story unfolded. I also liked how her parents were portrayed in the book. They weren't cast as the bad parents or parents that didn't care about their children. They were genuinely struggling to hold the family together. The family was somewhat dysfunctional yes but they were painted in a sympathetic light because of their struggles with Abria. There was never ANY doubt that they loved their children and I liked that.

    One character I was not particularly fond of was Britt who is Zoe's best friend. She is shallow and selfish which soon becomes obvious to the reader. I didn't really believe in their friendship and thought that they were using each other for company, which I think is what Jennifer was aiming to portray. On the opposite side of the coin was Chase who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Zoe over a common bond. I liked the fact that Zoe had someone who actually was a loyal friend to confide in.

    One of my favourite characters was Luke, surprisingly enough. I thought that Jennifer portrayed his drug dependency in such a humane and sympathetic light that rather than judge him, I couldn't help but feel sorry for him and want to help him.

    And Matthias, what can I say about dear, sweet Matthias. Three words methinks...I. WANT. ONE. Not only is he a fantastic guardian angel but he also has the ability to influence people through emotions (but in a good way). Think Jasper from Twilight. This might sound odd but I felt a sense of calmness reading Heavenly as though Matthias were real and influencing me through Zoe.

    I think what I love most about Heavenly, besides the story, is the voice. Zoe has a mature voice, it isn't childish or superficial. I thought Heavenly was an excellent example of a YA crossover novel that appeals to both teenagers and adults alike.

    In conclusion, I would HIGHLY recommend this book and it has become one of my personal favourites. The ending will leave you desperate for more!! I'd never read anything by Jennifer Laurens before and I now find myself a huge fan of her writing and can't wait to read and review her other books.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2012


    I got Heavenly as a birthday present (Totally worth adding her on FB! She's a great author!) 2 years ago now. I still go back and re-read it.

    This is a book about coming of age, maybe not in a typical way, seeing as this book includes angels. But its sweet, slow at times, fast at others, the perfect balance. Its worth reading the others as well, this trilogy is great. Beautiful and sad, worthy of praise.

    I do hope that this helped you :)

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

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    Amazing <3

    I looked for this book online hoping it was stocked in any Barnes&Noble or Borders in the area but of course it wasn't. So I waited. Then when I needed more to read, I started reading reviews for "Heavenly" and then I found the trailer (click here to watch it) and I was sold. I immediately ordered "Heavenly" and its sequel "Penitence" online.

    I am so glad I finally ordered it. It was amazing. Such a capturing love story; one that every girl dreams of having. I mean seriously, who wouldn't want some hot, caring, 20 year old to watch over you? I WOULD, I WOULD!!! :)

    Our story starts off with Zoe. An eighteen year old senior, who has an autistic sister, pothead brother, and a drinking problem herself. Not to mention parents who give all their attention to her autistic sister Abria. After almost losing Abria one day, Zoe meets Matthias, who happens to be her sister's perfect guardian angel. Zoe starts to love having Mattias around, but it doesn't stop her from having major issues in her life. One being falling in love with an angel. But, are angels aloud to love you back?

    I loved Zoe. I can so personally relate to her. My brother used to be a lot like her brother and I can see exactly how she felt sometimes through out the book. I also loved Matthias. Oh I am team Matthias 100%. He is hot (blonde hair, crystal blue eyes...helllllo?!), caring, smart, not to mention a guardian angel! How can you not love him? I also really liked Luke.. I thought his character added a lot to the book. I didn't really care for Britt too much. Though, I think she helped Zoe learn a few lessons. And Chase is adorable, I'm curious to see his part in the upcoming books.

    This book was oh so very good. It tells you follow your heart and believe in yourself. To always look out for your family, because no matter what, they do love you. That finding that one perfect love can give you the extra push you're always looking for in life. That not all people can be trusted and you need to be careful. Along with so many other things.

    I adored this book. I have the sequel "Penitence" sitting right next to me and I can't wait to get started. I need more Matthias! haha :) Defiantly 5 stars. I would order this one if I were you!

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  • Posted June 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Guardian Angel

    Zoe's life at home is tough. With an autistic sister in Abria, a stoner brother in Luke and stressed out parents, she is trapped in misery. Her only solution... is to party and meet boys or drown her thoughts in loud music. Zoe love and resent her younger sister. She question why God has to give her to them, she blamed and do not understand why her parents do not want to bring Abria in a specialized facility where they can better take care of her. She was just mad all the time. Yet when her sister ran away and went missing for a few minutes; she was sick with worry. Both times she saw this stranger who found Abria. She was deeply suspicious of him, he was a stranger after all, but everything he comes near her, there is warmth, kindness and understanding. And then he told her that she is Abria's guardian angel.

    I thought there it is, Zoe has lost her mind. With all the stress she had, her psyche has finally given up on her. She is hallucinating. But as I read on, there is really a supernatural essence in this book. Soon after meeting Matthias, Zoe begun to change; for the better. But there are consequences. I love how Ms. Laurens wrote the hardships of having an autistic member in a the family and how the family members dealt with so much pain. Not only it shows how truly special special needs kids are but it also showed me another perfect example of patience and unconditional love. The ending was really good, surprising actually, I think I found my next favorite series.

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended!

    Yes, I'm going with a cheesy phrase of HEAVENLY was absolutely heavenly. This book started off sad. I felt sorry for the main character Zoe and her brother Luke having to give so much of their life up to help take care of their autistic little sister Abria. The weight the family felt trying to keep up and how easily it was for Zoe and Luke to get caught up in teen issues to try and numb reality was heavy. They felt forgotten and overshadowed by Abria.

    Then along comes Matthias. He is Abria's guardian sent to keep her safe. Here begins a love story of redemption and lives mending. The direct and indirect influence of Matthias's presence, what he represents, and learning of consequences for the characters all weaves a wonderful tale. I invested in each of the characters, even the minor characters that just make you want to smack them and say, "Wake up!" The writing style of Laurens flows from one event to the next, the character growth of Zoe, Luke, and Matthias feels natural.

    This book is not a typical angel book. I repeat, this is not a typical angel book. In fact, I'm not even sure Matthias is what would be called an angel in Biblical terms. There are no discussions of wings but paranormal abilities he does have. Matthias is unassuming yet larger than life. The way Laurens writes his character is sheer bliss. She manages to create a hot guy without all the lusty innuendos. He has manners, he has grace, he has everything a perfect male love interest should have. Except he isn't "alive." I appreciated how Laurens wove his mortal history into his story, letting the reader know he was not Mr. Perfect in life. The theme of 'all mortals are imperfect and must learn their own lessons in life through success and mistakes' is one of the best parts of this book.

    I highly recommend HEAVENLY by Jennifer Laurens. Since she leaves the reader with one heck of a cliffhanger, I am pleased to have the next two books in the series, PENITENCE and ABSOLUTION, physically with me and ready to read.

    *This book was received by author in exchange for an honest review*

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  • Posted December 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Heavenly Written, Does That Make Sense To You?

    I've waiting for this to finally go on NookBook and I was so excited to read it! It was amazing. The details, and the characters personalities were amazing. My favorite character is Brittany because she reminds me of myself, ignore the fact that my name to is Brittany, haha. But I think she's a little to self centered but all in all her intentions are good? Heh, I'm not a big fan of Matthias. I'll grow to like him in the future? Maybe?

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  • Posted December 18, 2010

    Lovely, Touching Book With Incredible Depth!

    Heavenly was a true delight to read! Very authentic. I would categorize Heavenly as realistic fiction with hints of the paranormal. The struggles that come with raising a child with autism is highlighted in this book. There is an incredible depth to this story, whose solid foundation comes from the fact that Laurens has a lot of personal experience with raising a child with autism. What I loved about this book was that it's more than just a paranormal romance between Zoe and Matthias, who is the guardian angel of Zoe's autistic sister Abria. There is much more substance to the book. It zooms deep into heart of the family's issues revolving around Abria's autism. The characteristics of autism, the details of what goes on inside this autistic household, the effects of autism on this family, as well as how individual family members unfortunately cope in negative ways (Zoe: partying/drinking and her brother Luke: drugs/pot), are all shown with such pure honesty and realism that you can't help but be disheartened by what is going on. Especially how non-autistic children get unintentionally overlooked, since the autistic child requires so much care and attention. This story will definitely tug at your emotions. But on a brighter side, this story shows you the inspiring resilience of the human spirit when faced with difficulties and also teaches you that there is always room for personal growth - no matter how small. The family clings to hope and faith that they can eventually mend their broken family.

    I also enjoyed the romantic aspect of the story. Aside from partying and drinking, spending time with Matthias is another escape from Zoe's stressful life at home. So to her, being with Matthias is that much more heavenly when they are together. Their relationship develops organically in a very realistic way and over time. I loved how Matthias' inner qualities - his intelligence and philosophical nature, being caring and protective - are qualities that Zoe is attracted to more than just his dreamy physical appearance, and this is the strong basis for them bonding so well. Their chemistry is easily visible. Heavenly establishes Zoe and Matthias' love, but questions such as "Can they even be together?" and "What will the consequences be?" are some things that keep your interest as you are reading the story. As expected with many paranormal romances, there are obstacles to face in Heavenly as well. Who said loving a guardian angel was easy! The ending was a complete surprise, I didn't see it coming. I am curious and excited about where the story will go from here. Honestly, there was hardly anything that I disliked about Heavenly. Heavenly is more of a slower paced book, which was fine because I was interested in what I was reading and it allowed me to really digest the information. I think what made me attached to Heavenly was the fact that I have autistic cousins, so I was able to really relate to this book. I highly recommend this book, not only to people who are dealing with autism in their family, but to others who want to learn more about it. For those who crave paranormal romances, while you may find this one to be a little more subtle and innocent, it is definitely more profound than many paranormal romances I have read, making it one to not be forgotten.

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  • Posted April 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Inspiring & Heart Warming

    I have to say the synopsis leaves a lot to be desired & should not put you off reading this book. I am not going to gush as this goes far beyond gushing. I feel as if this book was written for me personally.
    Written in first person narrative from Zoe's point of view. She is the oldest of 3 children, 17 years old, dealing with the traumatic diagnosis that her adorable little sister, Abria, age 5, has severe autism.
    The book shows the effect on the entire family having to cope with this disability. It is written with insight as the author, Jennifer Laurens, has an autistic child. I was able to relate completely as my oldest child has dyspraxia, although her physical skills are significantly improved to when she was diagnosed, the emotional aspect is a constant challenge and on occasion still hard to deal with. As in the book, Abria is the person the family revolves around, so it is in my house with the oldest having the main focus of attention. It is not something that is intentional that is just how it happens. The story deals with how the family cope with the added stress of having an impaired child in their lives. Zoe turns to alcohol while her brother, Luke, turns to drugs. The feeling of turning to any thing that will block out the reality of their stressful lives is something I can relate to. However, the story goes on to show how these methods are just means of avoiding the problem & they generally add more problems than they solve. The best way to deal with problems is head on & with open honesty to the other people involved. it also brought to mind the therapies & developmental skills mentioned in Beautiful Dead: Arizona whose brother was also autistic.
    Amazing use of the white space within the narrative adding impact & intensity to the storyline.
    Although the theme of the books refers to God, Heaven & Angels, it is of a non-denominational nature, therefore open to your own interpretation/beliefs. Being of a non-overtly religious nature myself, I found the ideals within the story easy to relate to. The idea of a life after death brings great comfort to anyone that has lost someone close to them.
    The thought that each of us has a Guardian Angel trying to guide us and keep us safe is reassuring, although the idea that they are responsible for keeping us safe when we purposefully expose ourselves to danger/evil is quickly and powerfully dispelled within the narrative. The adage 'you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink' comes to mind. The emphasis that Angels cannot enter a place that contains evil is powerful & we as people are responsible for the decision to enter the nefarious circles is thought provoking. The imagery used to describe evil spirits was chilling, giving me goose-bumps. The addition of alcohol/drugs lower your inhibitions, therefore making it easier for evil spirits to take over gave me shivers.
    Instead of making the Guardian Angel into a virtuous, moral, pure, spotless person, Matthias has his own past to contemplate & in some aspects repent for. Making him human and easy to relate to. The use of 'cool' or 'slang' words from the modern era side by side with those of the 1920's was rather amusing but added depth to the storyline.
    This book invoked such powerful emotions within me that I just did not want to let it go. The ending was bitter-sweet but gripping.
    This is one book that I would recommend the entire world to read. It is the whole shabang ;)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2010

    Beautiful Story!

    This is one of the best books I've read in a long time! Zoe is a popular teen at school but her home life isn't something she likes to talk about much. Her teenage brother, Luke, does drugs and her little sister, Abria, is autistic. Zoe and her family struggle to watch over and keep Abria safe on a daily basis. Zoe deals with the stress and pressure of family life by drinking and hooking up with guys.

    Zoe's life starts to change the day she loses Abria at a park then finds her sister safe, holding the hand of a young man, who unbeknownst to Zoe is her sister's guardian angel. Matthias radiates peace, understanding and unconditional love toward Zoe, and as time goes by, she finds hope and starts to turn her life around.

    "Heavenly" takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotions and is beautifully written. Be sure to keep a box of Kleenex on hand; by the ending I was in tears. Jennifer Laurens is an extremely talented author and I highly recommend this book to teens and adults alike who yearn to read a touching, uplifting story about family, about second chances and about love.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

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    Wow, you have to read this!

    I really enjoyed this book and think it would make a great movie. I am grateful that I won an advanced copy. The lead character is Zoe who is somewhat of a "social alcoholic" whose broker, Luke is a pothead. The family focuses on the youngest girl, Abria who is a special needs child with Autism. This is especially hard for Zoe, being like a second Mom to her and always watching out and taking care of her. Zoe is trying to find a happy medium in her life and goes to party as a way to forget her pain from pretty much losing her childhood to her sister.
    Zoe feels like she is losing her mind when she sees a handsome man who we later learn his name is Matthias. She keeps encountering him every time Abria is around. Finally she confronts him and learns he is Abria's guardian angel. He appears only to Abria and to Zoe and this is exactly what Zoe needs at this time. When Matthias appears, her sister is calmer and it is easier on the entire family. As time goes by, Zoe starts falling for Matthias.
    Zoe's best friend is Britt who is pretty much the popular party girl who is a bad influence. They like to go to parties and drink themselves into oblivion. During this time, Luke is slipping more and more into his own addiction of pills and marijuana. Finally, the family knows the secret about both of them and it is brought into the open.
    Through her turbulent time with the crisis at home and the thought of losing her mind, Zoe befriends Chase who becomes her savior and the only person who understand about her guardian angel. He recognizes that she is falling for Matthias and sees how her love has changed her evil ways. In the end, both Luke and Zoe change thanks to Matthias divine intervention.
    I do not want to spoil the ending, but the author kind of leaves it open to a sequel or possibly prequel. I thought she did an amazing job on this novel and seeing the very back of the book that says she is a mother of six kids one of which has Autism. My hat goes off to her, a job well done! I will definitely be looking for the follow-up to this novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009


    Some really cool stuff happens in this book. The characters captivated me from page one. I loved the family relationships. The autism factor was fascinating and eye opening, as was the drug issues. I'm excited for the next book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Out of this world!

    Heavenly is one of the best books I have read in a long time, one which I could not actually put down!! From its' intriguing characters, to its fast-paced plot, Heavenly kept my attention the whole time! I found I could easily relate to and sympathise with the characters, and really got into the whole book. It brought up a lot of issues that are close to home for many of todays teenagers, whilst also touching on the supernatural aspect. This is an amazing book, and one I suggest takes pride of place in your book collection, and is re-read often, like mine! If you don't read it, you are really missing out!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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