Friday, November 14, 2008
Heaven Looks A Lot Like the Mall, by Wendy Mass
When a freak dodgeball accident lands Tessa in a coma at the hospital, her life flashes before her eyes. However, each episode is seen through the context of a store at the mall where her Mom and Dad work. While this may sound like an absurd basis for a story, it turns out to be an effective device to allow Tessa to revisit her life and realize that she hasn't always made the best of choices.
This is one of those free-verse novels: a genre that is overly prone to navel gazing, especially in YA. Sometimes, it works well. This time, the results are mixed. Some of the chapters (particularly early on) coalesce nicely, but others drag or fall into cliche (do we really need one more prom disaster story?). A decent-enough read, but disappointing in the end.