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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Angelhood by AJ Cattapan is a well-written and thought-provoking story about what happens when 17-year-old Nanette feels driven to end her own life. Feeling responsible for the death of her best friend, Ally, she hopes to find peace in the after life. But when she arrives there, she finds that rather than it being the end of her journey, it is the beginning of another. Helped by other Guardians/angels she is placed in charge of a girl called Vera. As an invisible Guardian, she must nudge Vera into finding solutions to her despair, begin to believe in her own talents, and not make the same mistake that she (Nanette) made. But there is a battle going on between light and dark. The dark shadows (caused by Vera’s and others’ negative thoughts and beliefs) can engulf them at any time. Will Nanette succeed at her challenge and so grow in grace and angel wings so that she can enter the next stage of the after life?
This is a carefully plotted, intriguing, and imaginative story with strong, believable characters. The suspense builds, leaving the reader wanting to know that goodness will triumph over darkness. I like the way AJ Cattapan takes human emotions of despair and loneliness and weaves them into her story’s beautiful message that says we are never truly alone and that taking small steps will turn life around. Angelhood is more than just a truly entertaining story. It also offers encouragement and hope to anyone who feels that life has temporarily lost its color, and how color and happiness can always be rediscovered.