Helipads in Heaven

Fiction - Time Travel
108 Pages
Reviewed on 10/11/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Adanna Ora for Readers' Favorite

All Goose ever wanted as a 10-year-old girl was to be understood and appreciated. She didn’t have friends in elementary school, and her teacher, Ms. Vincent, always found a way to ridicule her efforts, subtly endorse the bad behavior of her classmates toward her, and dwell more on her inadequacies. Despite all these challenges, one thing Goose derived immense joy from and was very good at was writing. But this great talent of hers was made to seem unimportant and small by people in school, and this affected her a great deal. Little wonder that even though Dillon Hershkop (Goose’s real name) later grew up to become a renowned writer, she still feels a void in her life despite being blessed with fame, a lovely family, and a sterling career. This void forces her to reluctantly agree to a time-travel experiment. Could this be the much-needed revival in Dillon’s life? Find out in this breathtaking novel, Helipads in Heaven, beautifully written by Shanti Hershenson.

First of all, I must say that I have never read a book that struck me and held me spellbound from the first page to the last like Helipads in Heaven. The writer narrates the story with so much simplicity and ease that it makes you feel comfortable and able to relate well to it. We can feel every emotion of the characters, both in their adult years and childhood days. I love the responsibility and eye-opening moments it places on teachers and parents to keep an eye on the children in their care and be sensitive to their needs. It opens us to the mind of a child who needed validation and appreciation from the people that mattered most. It also brings out the vice of bullying in schools and the need to do better as teachers and parents, as bullying has tremendous effects on children. I enjoyed Helipads in Heaven so much, and I will recommend it to everybody I know. Kudos to the author for this amazing book and for blessing the world with such talent and experience.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Goose is a normal 10-year-old girl with her own dreams and plans in life. But life seems to have its own plans for her, and they’re not pleasant. After all, elementary school can be a difficult place, especially when you’re a little different from the average student. But for Goose, it seems like everything is stacking up against her. Dillon is a 30-year-old woman who is, by all appearances, living the ideal life. She’s a famous author with a beautiful house, a wonderful husband, and two kids she loves. But she’s also feeling lost. That’s why the opportunity to travel back in time strikes her as so perfect, but will it be what she needs most in Helipads in Heaven by Shanti Hershenson?

Who can’t relate to the turmoil that Goose is experiencing as an elementary schooler who’s just a little different? Except, Goose has to contend with fellow students and adults in her life who are not just mean but downright cruel. This is a story of growing up and a story of survival. But it’s also a story of love and the power that even a small amount of compassion and support can give. Hope is a beautiful and all-important thing, and that’s something both Goose and Dillon will learn in Helipads in Heaven by Shanti Hershenson. And even more, it’s something that will warm your heart when you get to experience it for yourself. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the world.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Shanti Hershenson writes about a forty-eight-hour time travel experience in Helipads in Heaven. At Valley Park Preparatory School, Dillon “Goose” Hershkop daydreams about a fantastical world but her teacher and classmates don’t value her work or feelings. As an adult, Dillon is more appreciated for her talents and she lives in luxury with her husband and two children. However, she feels incomplete, so she jumps at the chance to be part of a time-travel project. The time machine sends her to a fragile part of her life where she watches her ten-year-old self bullied for her creativity. A chance to intervene presents itself at the helipads and school, and Dillon must make a choice that could alter the rest of her life.

In a story that seems to reflect some moments in her life, Shanti Hershenson writes in a tone that is wiser than her fifteen years. With raw emotion and a fresh perspective, Hershenson delivers a powerful story about childhood trauma and bullying. I embraced the novel with tears for the author and the incidents that may have precipitated its creation. Hershenson has a clear vocabulary and a strong grasp of the characters’ emotional spectrum. Time travel can be a technical difficulty for some authors, but Hershenson touches on just enough of the subject to produce a believable experience. The story is a good conversation starter for middle- and high-schoolers who are tormented over their individuality and unique gifts. Helipads in Heaven is a great selection for readers who enjoy science fiction and magical realism.

K.C. Finn

Helipads in Heaven is a work of fiction in the time travel, adventure, and interpersonal drama subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Shanti Hershenson, this captivating journey through time and memory blends science fiction, introspection, and heartfelt storytelling as we follow the life of Dillon Hershkop, a successful author. Dillon embarks on an extraordinary adventure when she becomes the test subject for a time-traveling experiment. This opportunity offers her the chance to revisit her childhood and the places where she grew up, enabling her to reconnect with her ten-year-old self, Goose. The narrative alternates between her adult perspective and her ten-year-old experiences, creating a rich tapestry of memories, emotions, and revelations. Dillon's journey becomes a profound exploration of her past, including the trauma she had buried deep within her. The story masterfully examines how confronting our past can be both healing and unsettling.

Author Shanti Hershenson excels in depicting the complexities of childhood, capturing the innocence, curiosity, and vulnerability that define it as she weaves this deeply engrossing story. As a reader, I was drawn into the intricate narrative, which offered a unique blend of nostalgia, self-discovery, and speculative science against a backdrop of time travel, the hazy atmosphere of the past, and emotive dialogue. Hershenson's writing is evocative, making the reader feel deeply connected to Dillon's emotional journey as the pace gradually builds to deliver a thought-provoking and touching story that lingers in the heart long after the last page is turned. It's a poignant reminder of the power of embracing our past to shape our future, where the reader can form an intimate connection with adult, child, and the inner child that we all carry with us still. Overall, Helipads in Heaven is a beautifully crafted novel that speaks to the child in all of us, encouraging us to remember our youthful dreams and the resilience that comes with growing up, and I would not hesitate to recommend it.

Zahid Sheikh

Helipads in Heaven by Shanti Hershenson gives us a detailed look into the lives of its characters, creating an exciting story. The beginning of the story tells us about Goose, a young girl who has a lot of dreams to fulfill and wants to be a writer. As the story progresses, Goose faces numerous obstacles and setbacks that test her determination. Despite the challenges, she remains steadfast in her pursuit of her dreams, inspiring both her classmates and her teacher. On the other hand, Dillon's time travel adventure takes readers on a thrilling journey through different eras, showcasing her strength and courage in the face of unknown dangers. The contrasting narratives of Goose's determination and Dillon's time travel add depth and excitement to the plot.

Through the characters of Goose and Dillon, Shanti Hershenson demonstrates the importance of strength and determination in achieving our goals. The exploration of various eras in Dillon's time travel adventure also inspires readers to embrace curiosity and deepen their comprehension of the world. Through the characters of Goose and Dillon, readers are encouraged never to give up on their aspirations and to embrace the unknown with open arms. Helipads in Heaven weaves together scientific concepts with relatable human emotions, creating a captivating narrative that keeps readers engaged. Shanti's ability to balance intricate world-building with deep character development adds depth and richness to the story, making it a truly compelling reading experience. Helipads in Heaven is a must-read for anyone seeking a thought-provoking adventure.