It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt (review)

February 10, 2016 All Reviews, Fantasy, Humor, Paranormal, YA 3 ★★★½

It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt (review)It's a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt
Published by Sky Pony Press on October 6th 2015
Number of Pages: 320
Genres: Fantasy, Humor, Paranormal, Young Adult
Source: Library
Format: eBook
Purchase: At Amazon

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.

RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.

This was such a fun book! RJ starts out as the kind of self-absorbed popular girl we all hate. But by the end of the book she had become the best version of herself.

It was full of snarky humor, which I adore. As well as just fun things in general. Like, Death Himself (yes, it’s always capitalized like that!) wears tacky Hawaiian shirts and is a bit of a surfer dude. We also get to meet a number of angels, as well as Cerberus (and his handler). I loved all the characters in this book, even the ones we might not be supposed to love. They all had such distinct personalities, and it was fun seeing how RJ reacted to them, and how they reacted to RJ!

The Trials she faced to change the course of her life, were supposed to be difficult. But while they were in a way, they also weren’t. RJ chose selfishly in her original life. And that’s what got her in trouble in her afterlife. But in choosing a new option, she was ultimately still being selfish. She was doing it to get back to her life. And the only way to do that, was to be a better person. So she picked the nicer person options.

Granted, those were the harder choices. Not the easy path she had gone along before. But we didn’t really see how it changed her character until after she had passed the Trials. We saw little bits here and there, but since the new memories stemming from her choices didn’t all fall into place immediately, she was still a bit of a brat. With some small glimpses of the better her scattered around.

The ending left me sitting there going seriously? Did you seriously just do that? It wasn’t a horrible, “I’ll never read this author again” ending. It was actually kind of funny once it sank in. I just wasn’t expecting it AT ALL.


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3 Responses to “It’s a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt (review)”

    • SilvaraWilde

      Oh the ending didn’t ruin the book at all! It actually fit perfectly with the humor and all of the book. It just took me totally by surprise, and I had to sit there for a minute to process what I’d just read before laughing about it! So I vote: Read it! *laughs* You know you want to!

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