Monday, May 21, 2012

Turn Around, Bright Eyes

Published: February 2nd, 2012
The Catastrophic History of You and Me
Penguin Young Readers Group
ISBN-13: 9780803737204

Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever.

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally.

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after.

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?


   Brie Egan is in love, has a happy family and three perfect best friends.  She is excitedly counting down the days before she turns sixteen.  Her life is perfect - until her boyfriend Jacob tells her he doesn't love her.  He breaks her heart in half - literally and Brie dies of a broken heart.   Brie is still around though and in her own version of the afterlife - a recreation of her family's favorite pizza place.  There Brie meets Patrick, a boy who is dressed like Tom Cruise in Top Gun.  He becomes her best friend, guide through the afterlife and protector against those who would harm her.   Brie is forced to confront the fact that her life wasn't as perfect as she imagined and face the aftermath of her death on the people she left behind.  Working her way through the five stages of grief, she must learn the rules as she goes along.  Or Brie will pay an extremely  devastating price - one that will cost her the only thing she has left, her soul.  Can Brie forgive Jacob and let go of her family and her old life.  Or will she be stuck in the past for eternity?  I LOVED this book!  The characters were wonderful, especially Patrick, Brie's brother Jack, Brie and her dog Hamloaf.  I didn't know what to expect going into this book, because the premise was unlike anything I'd ever read before.  Brie Egan didn't really get me pulled into her predicament at first.  When she began her journey in the afterlife and truly started to question the supposed perfection of her old life, I got hooked in completely.  I didn't like how  2-dimensional Jacob's personality was, but the surprise twist of why he dumped Brie truly DID shock me.  I really did not see it coming.  Patrick was dreamy.  He was not perfect, but that was what made him so endearing.  I also liked the ideas of reincarnation and the afterlife that the author put forward.  They had a twist that was new to me.  By the end of the book, things had taken a darker turn but it still had a fairly light-hearted finale.  I truly loved this book and really geeked out over the song-titled chapters.  The playlist that Rothenberg has on her website is truly awesome.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something out of the norm, sweet, and with a beautiful story to it.

VERDICT:  4.75/5  Stars

*I got a copy of this book with the help of a truly awesome friend! :) (Thanks Stacia!)  No money or favors were exchanged for this review.*

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