Monday, September 01, 2008

All We Know of Heaven, by Jacqueline Mitchard

Bridget and Maureen were both cheerleaders in their small Minnesota town and also best friends, until an accident claims the life of one of them. A case of mistaken identity causes the town and the families to mourn the passing of the wrong girl. And the aftermath of this second tragedy tears apart friendships and kindles new ones.

Billed as a YA novel, this really isn't one -- it has teen-aged characters but the story is neither specific to adolescence nor told in an adolescent voice. This is not in itself a problem, but for me the story mostly fails for being plotless. Instead of telling a story, Mitchard starts with the seminal climax and just wanders for a year or so afterwards, bringing up interesting vignettes. It's a popular modern writing convention, but one that doesn't work for me. I was left wondering what was the point of the story?

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