Monday, November 19, 2012

Apocalypsies Love! Book Review: Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough

Apocalypsies Love is all about me telling you what I loved about a 2012 debut book written by one of the amazing Apocalypsies. I also chat with the author to gain insight into their very favorite parts of their creation.

Today I am talking about DEVINE INTERVENTION a YA afterlife novel about a boy assigned to an afterlife rehabilitation program where he becomes a very unsuccessful guardian angel to a girl.

Shot through the head with an arrow by his best friend, Jerome ends up in purgatory where he must watch over Heidi in order to move on. Heidi has grown up her whole life with Jerome in her head, thinking she must be crazy. When Jerome isn't watching one day, Heidi falls through the ice and her spirit joins Jerome on the other side. Jerome knows he'll be in trouble if his counselors find out, so he tries to hide Heidi - but neither realizes what dire consequences this could have for both of them.

DEVINE INTERVENTION combines comedy (via Jerome with his bumbling nature) with pathos (Heidi and her yearning to be accepted and loved) to create a truly entertaining and rewarding afterlife story. The worldbuilding is imaginative and logical and the plot goes to surprising places.

I loved this quote:

"To even start to love someone, you have to know where you start and where you end. Where you are, and where you aren't, the shape you make in the world."

Just fair warning: There is animal death in this novel. I had to skip pages 46-47 because of the description of cat killing.

And now for my interview with Martha!

What is your favorite scene in the book?
Oh! That is such a good question. There are a few scenes I really like. One inspired the cover (although the cover is a daylight scene and the one in my book happens at night). It's where Jerome and Heidi, my two protagonists, are floating above the mall where the back entrance to heaven is secretly located. I also like the scene where Jerome visits his father in the middle of the night. And the ending, because I put my heart into that one—I think of it as a love letter to people who feel uncomfortable in their own skin, and to people who never got the chance to experience a Hollywood-style teen romance. It's awkward and sweet and sad, which I think is what high school is for a whole bunch of us.

The ending is magnificent! What is your favorite line in the book?
I don't know that I have a favorite line, but I do like my made-up swears. I sometimes say Chevy when I am thinking something far worse.

Chevy is perfect! Especially because I had a Chevy in high school that was worthy of a swear word. What setting was most fun to write?
Heaven, for sure. I have a few locations there—one that's like a principal's office, one that's used for group rehabilitation, and a couple of lobbies. Every guardian angel in heaven's soul rehabilitation program has a lobby, which is where he gets to hang out and recharge his celestial batteries while being surrounded by his favorite things. I wish I had a lobby of my own. Sort of like Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own," but with snack machines.

Who is your favorite supporting character - one you could see getting a spin-off book - and why?
Heidi has a best friend, Megan, who has no filter on her mouth or her wardrobe. I'd like to write a book about her and the villain, Howard, a sociopath who has one last chance at redemption.

What has been your favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
I've loved every second of it (although some of those seconds have made me nervous). Without a doubt, though, it's the people I've met: my agent, my editor, my readers, booksellers, librarians, other writers. For the first time in my life, I feel I'm with my tribe, people who love books and stories and words as much as I do. I could not be happier.

Thank you so much Martha! DEVINE INTERVENTION is out in hardcover now. Find out more about it at the author's website.

FTC disclosure: Bought


Kimberly Sabatini said...

I loved this book and that was my favorite quote too!!!!

Zibilee said...

Oh, the animal death would be too much for me, but the book does sound oddly charming in a funny kind of way. Thanks for sharing this one with us and for getting the author to dish about it a bit!