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Devine Intervention

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This is not that story. Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel. Sort of. He's more of an angel trainee, in heaven's soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he's just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead. Heidi, meanwhile, is a high school junior who dreams of being an artist, This is not that story. Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel. Sort of. He's more of an angel trainee, in heaven's soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he's just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead. Heidi, meanwhile, is a high school junior who dreams of being an artist, but has been drafted onto her basketball team because she's taller than many a grown man. For as long as she can remember, she's heard a voice in her head - one that sings Lynyrd Skynyrd, offers up bad advice, and yet is company during those hours she feels most alone. When the unthinkable happens, these two lost souls must figure out where they went wrong and whether they can make things right before Heidi's time is up and her soul is lost forever. Martha Brockenbrough's debut novel is hilarious, heartbreaking, and hopeful, with a sense of humor that's wicked as hell, and writing that's just heavenly.


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This is not that story. Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel. Sort of. He's more of an angel trainee, in heaven's soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he's just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead. Heidi, meanwhile, is a high school junior who dreams of being an artist, This is not that story. Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel. Sort of. He's more of an angel trainee, in heaven's soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he's just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead. Heidi, meanwhile, is a high school junior who dreams of being an artist, but has been drafted onto her basketball team because she's taller than many a grown man. For as long as she can remember, she's heard a voice in her head - one that sings Lynyrd Skynyrd, offers up bad advice, and yet is company during those hours she feels most alone. When the unthinkable happens, these two lost souls must figure out where they went wrong and whether they can make things right before Heidi's time is up and her soul is lost forever. Martha Brockenbrough's debut novel is hilarious, heartbreaking, and hopeful, with a sense of humor that's wicked as hell, and writing that's just heavenly.

30 review for Devine Intervention

  1. 4 out of 5

    ILoveBooks

    This book is comic relief from cover to cover. There are, of course, plenty of the "more serious" conversations and events in this book, but the author manages to keep the tone light for the most part. I read Devine Intervention after spending three hours in a zoology lab where I was classifying pinecones (I know, weird. I was doing botany in an animal laboratory). Brockenbrough’s book brightened my day and helped me stop categorizing ever bit of plant life I saw on my way home from college. Hei This book is comic relief from cover to cover. There are, of course, plenty of the "more serious" conversations and events in this book, but the author manages to keep the tone light for the most part. I read Devine Intervention after spending three hours in a zoology lab where I was classifying pinecones (I know, weird. I was doing botany in an animal laboratory). Brockenbrough’s book brightened my day and helped me stop categorizing ever bit of plant life I saw on my way home from college. Heidi is able to hear the voice of her guardian angel. Jerome, Heidi’s guardian angel, is still in training and practically incapable of giving her decent advice, but she truly appreciates his presence. After a disaster, Heidi’s soul could be lost forever and Jerome could be sent to Hell, unless they are able to work together to figure out how to save themselves. I really loved Brockenbrough’s writing. I hate being bored, and while reading this book, I was more than entertained. There are so many twists in this novel that the reader may guess at, but never assume will happen. Devine Intervention could be read and enjoy by any female with a sense of humor. I give this novel, five stars!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    DEVINE INTERVENTION had been a book on my wishlist for awhile. Specifically, since the first moment I heard about it. I knew without a doubt that I needed to read this book and that I would love it. See, I have a special place in my heart for afterlife fiction, particularly comedic afterlife fiction, and do you know what? My instincts did not fail me on this one. I am just going to come out and say it - this is a book that you should go out and buy right now because it is definitely going on my DEVINE INTERVENTION had been a book on my wishlist for awhile. Specifically, since the first moment I heard about it. I knew without a doubt that I needed to read this book and that I would love it. See, I have a special place in my heart for afterlife fiction, particularly comedic afterlife fiction, and do you know what? My instincts did not fail me on this one. I am just going to come out and say it - this is a book that you should go out and buy right now because it is definitely going on my Top of 2012 list, I know it now. Following Jerome, a 17 year old boy (for the past 16 years) shot by an arrow and relegated to soul rehabilitation, and his awkward, unpopular charge Heidi, DEVINE INTERVENTION is a story about one boy's attempts to convince the girl he protects that 1.) he is not schizophrenia and 2.) he can actually save her. When an unthinkable accident happens, splitting Heidi's soul from her body, Jerome only has little more than a day to make sure she gets to Heaven, because no matter what, the fact he got her killed means a one way trip to Hell for eternity. This book brought the tears - the happy tears, the sad tears, the tears of laughter that roll down your face in happy globs. It's a hilarious book about a difficult subject - life and the choices we make in it. It's so imaginative and unique and fun that I fear that I cannot accurately convey how much I adored this book and the characters in it. Bravo, Martha Brockenbrough - your YA debut has made me almost speechless. But not quite, because I have so much to just babble off about this one. The characters are atypical. Jerome is a black sheep in reform after killing a cat while participating in underage drinking. Heidi is a social outcast with an embarrassing track record behind her. The characters are all fun and fleshed out, from the main ones to the secondary cast to the canines and squirrels and angels. One thing I have to say I disliked, though, was the switch from first person (Jerome's POV) to third (Heidi's). I always found that I connected more with Jerome, which I suppose was the point. This really was Jerome's story as he fought for Heidi, but Heidi was still a girl you just had to root for in her quest to live despite all the hardship in her life. Oh, and the ending. THE ENDING. So climactic, and although I predicted most of it (and wondered why that hadn't been step one on Jerome's to do list - although we are told early on that he doesn't really obey or read the rules), one part of the resolution just boggled my mind. Trust me, it's a you have to read it to believe it type deal. There are two villains in this story really - one is time, and the other is creepy and devious and amusing. I just wish we got to know more about why he was so... EW! Let me just mention the romance very quickly. It wasn't the focus of the story, and in fact, it was pretty much left to one page of awkward awesomeness. Can I just say that I love books like this? It was realistic for a YA novel, and for me, that is worthy of special praise! Signed, sealed, delivered, this book had me, from the canine ghostly possession to the pizza rolls to the talent show gone bad. Jerome and Heidi's story was compelling, fun, sad, and a must read for any fan of contemporary fantasy. And I found out yesterday that DEVINE INTERVENTION has been optioned for film by Jerry Zucker, the guy who brought us GHOST, AIRPLANE, and NAKED GUN. Um, yes please! Oh, and the screenwriter is none other than the person who wrote MRS. DOUBTFIRE! Nothing short of an epic combination right there. Trust me. You need this book. Go and buy it now and thank me later. VERDICT: One of my favorite books of 2012 so far, DEVINE INTERVENTION is laugh out loud funny and thought provoking in one little package. About the choices we make and the things we can do to make up for mistakes, it is a can't miss YA debut.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Hager

    Heidi has an imaginary friend named Jerome. This wouldn't be unusual except for two things: she's 16 and he's actually her guardian angel. Jerome ditched the Guardian Angel Handbook and so he doesn't know that you're actually really, REALLY not supposed to talk to the people you're watching over. There's actually a lot more to this story than that, but I'm not mean enough to wreck it for you. I know what you're thinking. There are approximately three billion stories about angels (guardians or not Heidi has an imaginary friend named Jerome. This wouldn't be unusual except for two things: she's 16 and he's actually her guardian angel. Jerome ditched the Guardian Angel Handbook and so he doesn't know that you're actually really, REALLY not supposed to talk to the people you're watching over. There's actually a lot more to this story than that, but I'm not mean enough to wreck it for you. I know what you're thinking. There are approximately three billion stories about angels (guardians or not) and teenage girls and do we really need ANOTHER ONE? And the answer is yes, provided this is the "other one" you're talking about. This is completely unlike those other angel books (some of which I love, some of which not so much) and is completely hilarious and clever and unique and honestly a little bit heartbreaking. Every year at BEA, I make impulse grabs and every year, an impulse grab ends up being the best of what I snag. Two years ago, for example, it was The Mockingbirds. I haven't read most of my BEA haul yet because a lot of them come out later in the year (look for a huge glut of BEA-related reviews in August and September) but it's a safe bet that this will be one of my favorite books from BEA, if not my absolute favorite. It's one of those books that's all about the human experience, which means that it's sweet and sad and more than a little ridiculous in parts. And, obviously, not to be missed. This is one of those books that I'll be recommending to friends and strangers alike. So hurry up and read it so we can talk about it. Highly, highly recommended.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christine Myers

    Death! Love! Euphemisms! Squirrels! This is the best YA book I have read all year: witty, wise, and populated by fully-human teen angels. The guardian angel business wasn't at all what I expected, what with the levels of hell involving microfiche and washing dirty underwear. One of the two protagonists has spent sixteen years being seventeen. You'd think that would make him good at it, but he still hasn't bothered to read the manual. I laughed aloud and wept with joy. The most important part - th Death! Love! Euphemisms! Squirrels! This is the best YA book I have read all year: witty, wise, and populated by fully-human teen angels. The guardian angel business wasn't at all what I expected, what with the levels of hell involving microfiche and washing dirty underwear. One of the two protagonists has spent sixteen years being seventeen. You'd think that would make him good at it, but he still hasn't bothered to read the manual. I laughed aloud and wept with joy. The most important part - the ending - was killer. Oops. Bad word choice. Heavenly.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    For me this was an okay book, a light (not exactly light) book to read when you lots of time on your hands. The main thing I liked about this book was the growth of both the main characters. It had just the right amount of humor and teen-angst and romance. On the other hand I felt it went the writing went too slow. At many points during the story I felt like giving up, and only my will-power urged me to finish it. Another thing is that the story line was too simple. It was like an idea a primary- For me this was an okay book, a light (not exactly light) book to read when you lots of time on your hands. The main thing I liked about this book was the growth of both the main characters. It had just the right amount of humor and teen-angst and romance. On the other hand I felt it went the writing went too slow. At many points during the story I felt like giving up, and only my will-power urged me to finish it. Another thing is that the story line was too simple. It was like an idea a primary-school student would come up with. So altogether 2.5 stars.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Loralee

    A fated romance with a girl who can't dance and a boy who's already dead Her spirit guard inept and scarred by the arrow once shot through his head He has to save her from the grave and the mess that might end her existing. A cut above! with lessons of Life, the Universe, and Everything A fated romance with a girl who can't dance and a boy who's already dead Her spirit guard inept and scarred by the arrow once shot through his head He has to save her from the grave and the mess that might end her existing. A cut above! with lessons of Life, the Universe, and Everything

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mignon

    Hilarious, heartwarming, and surprising.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pricky

    Rated 2.5 Stars. Jerome is your typical teenage boy "misfit" that finds himself on the rehabilitation side of Heaven. And by typical, I really mean, stereotypical: lives on the wrong side of the tracks with his drunk dad, has no future, can't stop thinking about "milk cartons" or short skirts, and acts without consequences--like letting his cousin shoot an apple off his head. Which is how he found himself in Heaven's rehabilitation program in the first place. His last saving grace is to be Heidi' Rated 2.5 Stars. Jerome is your typical teenage boy "misfit" that finds himself on the rehabilitation side of Heaven. And by typical, I really mean, stereotypical: lives on the wrong side of the tracks with his drunk dad, has no future, can't stop thinking about "milk cartons" or short skirts, and acts without consequences--like letting his cousin shoot an apple off his head. Which is how he found himself in Heaven's rehabilitation program in the first place. His last saving grace is to be Heidi's guardian angel. So since her birth, he's pretty much made her believe she hears voices in her head, singing FreeBird. When Jerome finds himself in the Rehabilitation Program, he learns about the "Guardian Angel's Handbook: Soul Rehab Edition" (which he promptly loses), the 9 levels of Hell (Level I: Everlasting Standardized Testing, Level II: Ballroom Dancing with the Elderly, etc...), Morning Therapy Group Sessions, and of course, swearing sensors. While I admire the creative parody behind the story, I found it tiring after awhile. And even with the "swearing sensors" in place, Jerome has a pretty active mouth. The barrage of slang (chevy, motherflasker, apple hole, well...you get the point) was distracting and overwhelming...after reading it for the HUNDREDTH TIME. The plot was also a bit unbelievable: Heidi wears a black-and-white spandex outfit and dances with her best friend, Megan, in front of the entire school in the Talentpalooza. According to BFF Megan, "We have to do this, Heidi, if only to take high school back from the people who rule it....We must defeat them." Now either I'm missing something or Megan's lost a few screws because when was dancing with another girl in front of the entire school EVER going to be a winner? I just can't believe that a teenager would ever think so. So of course, Heidi's upset and ends up taking a walk near a frozen pond. You can imagine what happens. She falls through the ice, and Jerome inadvertently saves her...by detaching her soul from her body, and they now have 48 hours to make things right. I have to say, this is where the story went south for me. With so much emphasis on the comedic aspect of heaven, it became too much. I was surprised by Heidi's lack of despair or panic when she finds herself "dead." I also thought the entire side plot for saving her dog Jiminy was a bit ridiculous. She pretty much occupied his body in order to save it while Jiminy's spirit went off to chase squirrels. But then again, I've never had a dog... In the end, I did like how Jerome changed and became more confident and responsible. The story is a bit predictable and somewhat confusing towards the end (what was the celestial squirrel nut for?) and I thought the reincarnation was a bit out of left field. And being a romantic, I don't always like stories where the (view spoiler)[boy and girl don't end up together. (hide spoiler)] I admire the creativity behind DI but after that, it didn't really do much for me. So should you read it? Maybe...if you've got a lazy afternoon with nothing to do. Check out this review and more at Zombie Mommies: Book Reviews for the Sleepless Reader.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hallie

    I think this gets three-and-a-half stars, but it's a rather special 3.5, so I don't want to put up either 3 or 4. It's a faltered-in-the-execution 3.5, but of one of my favourite types of book (of any genre): the really funny book that is also saying something about life, or emotions or relationships. Devine Intervention didn't quite manage to pull off funny - except in spots - and it seemed to make its own job of dealing with the real stuff much harder by the framework built around the funny. St I think this gets three-and-a-half stars, but it's a rather special 3.5, so I don't want to put up either 3 or 4. It's a faltered-in-the-execution 3.5, but of one of my favourite types of book (of any genre): the really funny book that is also saying something about life, or emotions or relationships. Devine Intervention didn't quite manage to pull off funny - except in spots - and it seemed to make its own job of dealing with the real stuff much harder by the framework built around the funny. Starting with Jerome's story: he's assigned to be Heidi's guardian angel as a last-ditch attempt to save him from one of the 9 layers of Hell, in SRPNT (the Soul Rehabilitation Program for Nefarious Teens (Deceased)). A total screw-up in death as well as life, he never bothered to read the handbook for guardian angels, and muddles along talking to Heidi whenever he feels like it, despite this being absolutely against the rules. There are sections from the handbook, and these are quite funny for their big-business, management style language, and alternate Ten Commandments. SRPNT is very like a comic school for misbehaving teens, and is fun, as far as that goes. But the problem with this is that increasingly we see there's not much reason for Jerome to be viewed as such a nearly lost soul. It becomes clear very quickly that his view of himself as bad news was something he had from earliest childhood, and it was Not. His. Fault. (I still get sad thinking about his father, whose story is full of pathos, for all he failed Jerome as a parent.) He did one really rotten thing (to a cat) as a kid, but is absolutely remorseful about it, and cares about Heidi, even if he can't always give her the best advice - so, why is Hell even a possibility? As well as this, the reader is also clear on the fact that the *truly* bad teen in SRPNT with Jerome, who is out to hurt people (Jerome especiallY), isn't fooling the two angels in charge. But Jerome is convinced that if he goes to them for help, they'll view it as absolute failure and throw him straight into hell, so bumbles on alone. This is where I think the comic structure clashes with the emotional realities of the story being told. Heidi isn't having a great time in life, despite having her own "imaginary friend"/in-dwelling guardian angel, but she's got a great friend, perfectly fine parents, and gets lot of pleasure from drawing, so her rather fatalistic walking out onto unsafe ice to get her dog back made me doubt all the way through that Jerome should have been paying attention every second, in order to prevent her rather predictably falling through the ice. But when he can't get her into Heaven immediately, he assumes it's his fault, his responsibility, and there's the possibility that she will become one of the tiny number of truly lost souls - i.e. souls that simply dissipate. Again, I think the need for the comic set-up rather caused a misstep, as it required everyone to allow Heidi and Jerome to bumble about with the real possibility that Heidi's soul would be lost forever. It simply doesn't make sense that free will would apply to the actions of an angel who might bring about the permanent loss of another dead person's soul. Now obviously this isn't in any way a 'religious' book, and is certainly not meant to be read as an exploration of what an afterlife might be like. But it does express a fundamental understanding that THE important thing is how much people love others, and I thought the way the 10 Commandments for the Living built up in a serious counterpart to the comic ones for the dead was very effective: the 10th is "Thou shalt love, thou shalt love, though shalt love". This formed the heart of the book, and was shown in Jerome's continued care for Heidi's well-being even when he thought he was lost and love for his father, despite believing his father didn't love him, and for Heidi's increased understanding of how important her family and friends (and dog!) were, and how cared about them. The problem was that the edifice around this heart of the book wasn't as solid as it might have been.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Rayment

    The Good Stuff The perfect book for reading after something dark and depressing The dialogue is laugh out loud funny Unique premise on the angel genre An Angel book that I enjoyed - seriously didn't think that could happen Couldn't put it down I was having so much fun reading it Fabulous beginning - knew I was going to like this from page one The cover is delightful Some beautiful and true observations on how to live life & about real courage Parents weren't total losers (must always give extra The Good Stuff The perfect book for reading after something dark and depressing The dialogue is laugh out loud funny Unique premise on the angel genre An Angel book that I enjoyed - seriously didn't think that could happen Couldn't put it down I was having so much fun reading it Fabulous beginning - knew I was going to like this from page one The cover is delightful Some beautiful and true observations on how to live life & about real courage Parents weren't total losers (must always give extra dewey's when adult characters aren't useless jerks) Perfect ending Guys this is just a really sweet, snarky and fun book - go buy (or support your local library & if you are in Calgary tell them I am awesome and need a job) The Not So Good Stuff Cat is tortured (come on I didn't have to know the details - in author's defense it wasn't overly descriptive, but still sickened me) Jeremy was a little too dumb for me at times, just wanted to smack him (that being said he was quite a realistic character) Favorite Quotes/Passages "But you're not here because you care about costs! Let us not mince words! You're here because: 1. You are dead; 2, You were a troublemaker in your earthly form: and 3. Your only alternative is an eternity spent in the nine layers of hell." "The video cut to a part that showed how in the olden days, every angel watched over a human, but then the population got out of hand, and angels started demanding the right to enjoy their deaths without having to do stuff. Pretty soon, the rehab angels were the only guardians left, and there was only enough of us for one in ten people o so to have one." "A Cam. Howard would have been rich if he'd stayed alive. That had to burn. Before we died, computer geniuses were the dorks who dreamed of inventing robot girlfriends because the real thing wouldn't go near them for a million years. Over the next few years, those guys became zillionaires with hot chicks in their basements. Live ones. Who didn't charge." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Not for those looking for something dark and angsty Other than that enjoyable for both young and old YA readers 4.25 Dewey's I received this from Scholastic in exchange for an honest review

  11. 5 out of 5

    Patricia J. O'Brien

    Great voice! Jerome, a bit of a screw-up with attitude, gets shot in the head with his cousin's arrow and finds himself in soul rehab, where he's assigned as guardian angel to Heidi, a girl with confidence issues. Of course, he immediately "loses" his guardian angel handbook. On her website, Martha Brockenbrough calls herself an author of books for smart kids and juvenile adults, which couldn't be more on mark. This book is clever, hilarious, honest and insightful for almost any age. Can I say aga Great voice! Jerome, a bit of a screw-up with attitude, gets shot in the head with his cousin's arrow and finds himself in soul rehab, where he's assigned as guardian angel to Heidi, a girl with confidence issues. Of course, he immediately "loses" his guardian angel handbook. On her website, Martha Brockenbrough calls herself an author of books for smart kids and juvenile adults, which couldn't be more on mark. This book is clever, hilarious, honest and insightful for almost any age. Can I say again how great the voice is? The story is told in two POVs--Jerome in first person and Heidi in third. At the end of the first chapter when Jerome reflects on his failed school assignment in 8th grade to take care of an egg all week as if it were a baby, we discover he has some pretty complex layers: "At school the next day, I didn't tell Mrs. Domino it was my pop who ate my egg baby. Even with how things were at home, I have a rule about not ratting because I don't do that to family, no matter what. So I told her I did it, and that it tasted excellent. Because if you're going to get in trouble anyway, you might as well go out in a blaze of glory. That has always been my style. Which explains a lot about the thing that happened later with Heidi." Life is messy and complicated and this story doesn't pretend it isn't. This is no angel saves the day tale. It is full of misunderstandings and mistakes made by both Jerome and Heidi, but they both see the world and other people differently by the end, and, in one way or another, save themselves. And, speaking of the end, this one is a shocker.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elisabeth Cummins

    Wonderful book! Funny, sad and touching. Can't recommend it enough. Wonderful book! Funny, sad and touching. Can't recommend it enough.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    A wicked hilarious debut YA. I laughed until I cried. Then I cried at the end and cursed Martha.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    Jerome Hancock was ready to be nothing in life. He had no plans for college or even the near future. He had this delinquent way of seeing everything and nothing, other than getting into trouble, was on his mind. But then while he and his cousin, Mike, were out being stupid, Mike accidentally shot Jerome with an arrow and killed him. Now, Congratulations! Jerome, you have been selected for membership in SRPNT, the Soul Rehabilitation Program for Nefarious Teens (Deceased). This works for those who Jerome Hancock was ready to be nothing in life. He had no plans for college or even the near future. He had this delinquent way of seeing everything and nothing, other than getting into trouble, was on his mind. But then while he and his cousin, Mike, were out being stupid, Mike accidentally shot Jerome with an arrow and killed him. Now, Congratulations! Jerome, you have been selected for membership in SRPNT, the Soul Rehabilitation Program for Nefarious Teens (Deceased). This works for those who aren't entirely accepted to go to Heaven just yet. They must prove themselves by becoming a guardian angel to their assigned soul. For Jerome, this is Heidi Devine (an artist in the making and an awkward teen). The program is meant to help these troubled souls to Heaven and for a while, Jerome was doing good (except for all those embarrassing moments Heidi went through because of him)... until he made the biggest mistake of his life (or death). He killed her. Well actually, Jerome was trying to save her, but he doomed her spirit instead. And it's either face his teachers and probably be thrown in one of the horrible levels of Hell, or let Heidi's soul vanish into the nothing for eternity. In the end, what will he choose. Okay, so this probably sounds like any other guardian angel book full of gooey romance and annoying heroines, but if you read the synopsis then you'll know that this isn't one of those books at all. It's not a lie either. Trust me on this one. The book is about 3% romance and 97% fall on the ground rolling with laughter. Devine Intervention is original and refreshing on so many levels. I loved this book because of the sweet balance between laughter and crying. The main concept of the book is somewhat depressing (since it includes death and family grieving), but Brockenbrough makes me cry from laughing so hard. Seeing things from Jerome's point of view will have you grinning throughout the novel, guaranteed. Reading about Heidi will somber you up a bit and probably make you sad. The balance between both characters works its miracle though. Both the main characters aren't very hard to understand. Jerome is very easily a jerk. He's someone that you wouldn't like in real life and yet he worms his way into your heart just as quickly as he has you laughing. It's tough to not find yourself attached to him in the end. He's a troubled guy, but in his heart he knows what's right and would sacrifice anything (even going to Hell for an eternity) for the ones he loves. It's almost heartbreaking. There isn't really anything that annoyed me about him. His way of seeing things is very realistic and he definitely sounds like a teenage guy. He was immensely flawed (compared to other angels in other books) and it was incredibly refreshing. Heidi wasn't like most heroines. She was willing for one, and not a whiner. The main reason why I loved her character so much is because she wasn't perfect. She's not a cheerleader, she's really tall, not skinny, not very pretty, and she even had some very horrifyingly embarrassing moments (like really humiliating). I admired her sacrifice sometimes and it hurt to see things through her point of view. She was suffering just as much as her family and friends were. If Jerome wasn't there to have me cracking up, I'm sure I would be bawling my eyes out with her. And it takes a whole lot of courage to do the things she did. Other than the characters, the plot was interesting. It wasn't really that captivating and it had a couple of glitches, but I enjoyed the originality. One problem I had though, was the pacing. It was all over the place. The beginning started off smooth enough with a gradual pace, and then it slowed down, and then it sped, and then it slowed down, and then it sped up... it felt like I was on a roller-coaster (not one of the fun ones). It got me annoyed and I seriously felt like skipping pages to get to the real action. Apart from the pacing, there wasn't anything major that I disliked. Overall, Devine Intervention is a fun, light read that I recommend if you feel like laughing. The characters were entertaining and definitely unique. I would totally come back to reread this one.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Reads It All

    Sometimes I start a new book and quickly realize that I'm reading something quite different from what I expected. Either the plot summary on the back cover lied to me, or it gave merely the barest hint at what the book is actually about. At this point, I either give up on the book (if it's boring or not going so well), or I stick with it (if it's well written or moderately interesting). And then sometimes, the book is so surprisingly lovely that I'm really glad to have finished it. That's the ca Sometimes I start a new book and quickly realize that I'm reading something quite different from what I expected. Either the plot summary on the back cover lied to me, or it gave merely the barest hint at what the book is actually about. At this point, I either give up on the book (if it's boring or not going so well), or I stick with it (if it's well written or moderately interesting). And then sometimes, the book is so surprisingly lovely that I'm really glad to have finished it. That's the case with Devine Intervention. First, the title is spelled that way because the main character is named Heidi Devine. So...just getting that out of the way. Heidi is kind of a weird girl--she's artistic, but her mother discourages that talent rather than fostering it, on account of art not being "practical." She doesn't particularly love basketball, but she plays on the team because she's quite tall. Heidi is somewhat of an outcast at school, especially when something goes very wrong during a talent show, which Heidi reluctantly enters with her best friend, Megan. What happens at that talent show sets a chain of events into motion that propels the plot of the novel, which is kind of difficult to continue summarizing here without posting a bunch of spoilers. Meanwhile, there's Jerome, Heidi's guardian angel. Jerome had met an untimely death when his cousin Mike shot him in the head with an arrow. (He had been aiming for an orange on top of Jerome's head and missed.) Instead of being cast directly into Hell--because Jerome didn't always do the right thing when he was alive--he is allowed to enter rehab as a member of SRPNT (Soul Rehabilitation Program for Nefarious Teens [Deceased]). As part of Soul Rehab, Jerome is commissioned to become Heidi's guardian angel. Jerome isn't a very good guardian angel, according to the rules, at least. He basically breaks all of The Ten Commandments for the Dead, including but not limited to communicating with Heidi daily, via a voice inside her head. In fact, Heidi grows up thinking she's probably crazy since Jerome is always there, but no one else can hear him. After the talent show and ensuing disaster, Heidi and Jerome have to work together to try to save Heidi's soul. Going into the story, I thought the book would turn out to be a comedy--Jerome's chapters are really hilarious, mostly due to the fact that he is kind of a dope. A sweet dope, but a dope nevertheless. But just when the story would have me laughing one chapter, then it would have me crying the next. This actually happened. There's a subplot involving Jerome and his father and their strained relationship that really resonated with me. Reading these scenes with his father, you see that Jerome isn't just a screw-up and guardian angel flunky. He's actually a pretty decent guy. There's another subplot involving Heidi's beloved dog, Jiminy, which I'll only say this about: Dog lovers, have your tissues handy! The ending felt slightly uneven to me, but that's probably just because it wasn't how I would have chosen to end the story, I guess. It still felt lovely, but fell just shy of the perfect ending, in my opinion. Still, the author managed to balance the truly hilarious with the heartbreaking, and that's not an easy task. The book, as light-hearted as it seems since it's just a YA novel and just about a guardian angel, somehow managed to be about more than those fluffy-sounding subjects. It managed to be about life itself, which is no small thing. I would reread this book, I recommend it, and would love to read more from Brockenbrough in the future.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ceitidh

    Read more of my reviews at Dazzling Reads Humorous, Deep and Unforgettable I love angel novels and, as I have said many times, they are my favorite mythological beings. However, Devine Intervention was nothing like the angel books I have read before. In fact, this is a very different twist from the book of Enoch. This is a story with emotional weight and a beautiful message that will definitely move readers and make them think about the meaning of life. The story is told from dual points of view. J Read more of my reviews at Dazzling Reads Humorous, Deep and Unforgettable I love angel novels and, as I have said many times, they are my favorite mythological beings. However, Devine Intervention was nothing like the angel books I have read before. In fact, this is a very different twist from the book of Enoch. This is a story with emotional weight and a beautiful message that will definitely move readers and make them think about the meaning of life. The story is told from dual points of view. Jerome, a soul in rehabilitation, is the main character and his chapters are told in first person. Then, there is Heidi whose chapters are in third person. Jerome is such a hilarious boy. He is in the rehab heavenly program ans has been assigned to be Heidi's guardian angel in order to become a better soul and seek redemption. However, Jerome is, and has always been, a rebel without a cause. He doesn't study and he didn't even read "The Guardian Angel's Handbook" (which appears in between chapters! I love that about this book) so he breaks the rules without even knowing. On the other hand there's Heidi who has been hearing Jerome's voice in her head since she was a toddler and she pretty much think she is going schizo. There is a lot behind the hilarious dialogues between the characters and I praise the author's skill to write a poignant story with such lighthearted feeling. Devine Intervention, as I previously said, is nothing like the other angel books I have read before.Actually, this book feels like a contemporary novel with an in-between and afterlife twist. In addition, I love the feeling of this novel. It is funny, very enjoyable and the characters are highly captivating. Jerome is specially memorable. I love his recklessness and his bad-boy manners (needlessly to mention the creepy arrow sticking out of his forehead). Yet, he still changes (for good) thanks to the many years he has been around Heidi. Having said that, I think that the subtle and innocent romance that blooms between Jerome and Heidi makes the story even more touching and beautiful. Humorous and unforgettable, Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough is a beautifully written and meaningful story about life (and after) that will leave readers full of hope and happiness. People seeking for a refreshing, relevant and heavenly read will certainly devour this one!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    I was almost dreading reading this one since I thought it would be just like all the other books in which guardian angels must take care of their human charges amidst quite a lot of breast heaving, passion, love triangles, and remonstrations not to get involved with the human charge. But this book pleasantly surprised me with its humor, insight, and imperfect characters. Jerome Hancock is the guardian angel for Heidi Devine, a sixteen-year-old who plunges into an icy pond when the ice breaks thr I was almost dreading reading this one since I thought it would be just like all the other books in which guardian angels must take care of their human charges amidst quite a lot of breast heaving, passion, love triangles, and remonstrations not to get involved with the human charge. But this book pleasantly surprised me with its humor, insight, and imperfect characters. Jerome Hancock is the guardian angel for Heidi Devine, a sixteen-year-old who plunges into an icy pond when the ice breaks through while Jerome is distracted. He has only 24 hours to keep her soul from disappearing forever and salvage his own last chance at rehabilitation. Jerome isn't a bad guy. He's just been rather careless with others throughout his own brief life, and now that he's dead, he continues on that careless pattern. The story's humor comes from the snippets from the Guardian Angel's Handbook with its Ten Commandments for the Dead and Ten Commandments for the Living, a handbook that Jerome has misplaced and never done more than flip through. I also laughed at the notion of Heidi constantly hearing "Freebird" and advice from Jerome throughout her youth, making her certain she was suffering from auditory hallucinations. While the author doesn't do much with Sully, Heidi's crush, who has his own guardian angel, a troubled individual intent on seeing what happens when the soul leaves the body, she does build sympathy for Heidi through her participation in a school talent show in which her costume rips and a basketball game in which she can't make the last shot. The story itself is fast paced and filled with insight into human and animal nature, complete with Heidi's loving dog Jiminy. I became angry when Mrs. Thorpe hit Jiminy with her car, brought him to the vet, and claimed that she found him injured on the street, but I also understood her actions. Finally, I loved how the author tied everything up in the end, not leaving Heidi and Jerome to walk off into the sunset together, but allowing each of them to have a second chance.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Gordon

    Not many angel books are hilarious and heartbreaking but Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough is one of the few books that manages to be both. Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel just not a very good one. Jerome is about to get kicked out of angel in-training school and be sent to Hell. His only chance is to help Heidi. Heidi dreams of being an artist but is instead a basketball player due to her height. Heidi has always heard a voice in her head, a voice that sings classic ro Not many angel books are hilarious and heartbreaking but Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough is one of the few books that manages to be both. Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel just not a very good one. Jerome is about to get kicked out of angel in-training school and be sent to Hell. His only chance is to help Heidi. Heidi dreams of being an artist but is instead a basketball player due to her height. Heidi has always heard a voice in her head, a voice that sings classic rock songs and gives bad advice. However the voice in her head is her best friend and is company in her loneliest moments. Soon a tragedy happens and Heidi and Jerome must solve their problems or else they both might be forever gone from this world and the next world. Devine Intervention is told from both Heidi's and Jerome's perspective. The romance was sweet and innocent but you can see that Heidi and Jerome really care for one another. Heidi and Jerome both grow up in this novel and learn to live in the moment and say what they need to say to the ones they love. I enjoyed the ending as it is different from most endings in angel books. Devine Intervention is a fresh take on angels with thought on redemption and sacrifice and life. I would recommend Devine Intervention to readers who enjoy humorous paranormal books.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    I first spotted this in a bookstore and what really caught my attention was how "divine" was spelled wrong. I figured it was intentional (or at least I really hoped it was). It sounded pretty neat, and a few days later I happened to find it on the library shelf, not yet to have been read by anyone else. That's a pretty fantastic feeling. I thought it was cute and heartbreaking. Jerome's screwed up and he knows this. His job now is to watch over Heidi. I liked Jerome maybe because he wasn't perfec I first spotted this in a bookstore and what really caught my attention was how "divine" was spelled wrong. I figured it was intentional (or at least I really hoped it was). It sounded pretty neat, and a few days later I happened to find it on the library shelf, not yet to have been read by anyone else. That's a pretty fantastic feeling. I thought it was cute and heartbreaking. Jerome's screwed up and he knows this. His job now is to watch over Heidi. I liked Jerome maybe because he wasn't perfect, he didn't pretend to be, and he didn't want to be. He may have messed up pretty badly in his past, but you can tell he enjoys the time he spends watching over Heidi. Heidi, though, took me a while to like. Something about her narrative just didn't quite work for me. I'm still not sure whether I just didn't like her character early on or if it had something to do with the 3rd person writing style vs. the 1st person for Jerome. I did eventually warm up to her more. It's surprisingly funny. That was great. Jerome's wit and insight into some of the simplest details really brightened the mood of the story. It's also got some really good advice and wisdom rolled into it as well. I can't ask for more from a story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hwa Sun

    The best part about Devine Intervention was the humor. It was hilarious, and had me cracking up several times throughout the book. Jerome was really funny. He was extremely stupid, but that's part of what made him so funny. And you see that arrow coming out of his head on the cover? That's because he died when his cousin accidentally shot him in the head with an arrow. Whenever I think about that, my hand itches to rub my forehead to make sure it's arrow-free *rubs forehead* There were parts of th The best part about Devine Intervention was the humor. It was hilarious, and had me cracking up several times throughout the book. Jerome was really funny. He was extremely stupid, but that's part of what made him so funny. And you see that arrow coming out of his head on the cover? That's because he died when his cousin accidentally shot him in the head with an arrow. Whenever I think about that, my hand itches to rub my forehead to make sure it's arrow-free *rubs forehead* There were parts of the book that I found slightly offensive because I do believe in God and the after life, but the book made it seem like it was all a joke. I don't think that the author meant to offend anybody, but I it was hard not to take it that way. As for the plot, it kind of dragged out in the second half, but it was okay... until the ending. The ending was so... strange? Confusing? Weird? I don't really know how to describe it without spoiling it, so let me just say this: I really didn't like it. I guess it was supposed to be hopeful and all that, but it actually left me depressed. If the ending had been different, I think I would have enjoyed the book more overall. Hwa Sun :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Haley

    3 1/2 stars This book was funny and entertaining. I really enjoyed reading it, though it wasn’t the best thing I ever read. There wasn’t really any romance. The only kind of love was the caring kind. The plot was pretty good. Jerome was definitely not fit to be anyone’s guardian, but in the end he tried his hardest to save Heidi. This is a story of redemption, the afterlife and ridiculous stuff that’d you’d have to read to believe. Jerome’s not very smart, maybe because of the arrow in his head, 3 1/2 stars This book was funny and entertaining. I really enjoyed reading it, though it wasn’t the best thing I ever read. There wasn’t really any romance. The only kind of love was the caring kind. The plot was pretty good. Jerome was definitely not fit to be anyone’s guardian, but in the end he tried his hardest to save Heidi. This is a story of redemption, the afterlife and ridiculous stuff that’d you’d have to read to believe. Jerome’s not very smart, maybe because of the arrow in his head, or just a poor education. He really screws up big time. Heidi tries to cope with being dead, and tries to figure out how to say goodbye. At some point she possesses her dog. I really thought that was ridiculous. And the dead souls can’t swear. Chevy, apple, flasker! Lol. If you liked Eternal (sequel to Tantalize), the Kissed By An Angel series, or There is No Dog, this book might interest you. Cover Art Review: Love the colors. Perfect for the book. That arrow that killed Jerome, in his head, as they walk into the light. Like the guardian angel in the purple inside cover. ~Haley G My blog: http://breathlessbookreviews.blogspot...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lexi

    Certain people have told me that they think it's weird that I laugh and cry out loud when I'm reading*. And because I also have been known to laugh when no one else is laughing and cry inconsolably while movie- and TV-watching, those very same people like to imply that my emotional outbursts are indiscriminate. I concede that I am perhaps weepier about and more amused by reading than your average Joe. But only when what I'm reading is GOOD. Which is why I was laughing and crying willy nilly whil Certain people have told me that they think it's weird that I laugh and cry out loud when I'm reading*. And because I also have been known to laugh when no one else is laughing and cry inconsolably while movie- and TV-watching, those very same people like to imply that my emotional outbursts are indiscriminate. I concede that I am perhaps weepier about and more amused by reading than your average Joe. But only when what I'm reading is GOOD. Which is why I was laughing and crying willy nilly while reading Devine Intervention. Because its funny and poignant and unexpected and GOOD. So there. *Just for the record, I think it's weird that you don't. (This footnote is in honor of Martha, whose footnotes might have been my favorite part.)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Izy Mcclure

    Truly a wonderful book. I read the whole thing in two days, it was that gripping and suspenseful. The characters are both relatable and lovable (albeit quite flawed) and the plot is extremely exciting and original. It made me laugh out and I even cried a bit at the end, a combination I haven't experienced since Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain. Although it's an "easy" read, it offers powerful and deep messages that are thought-provoking as well as entertaining. I highly highly recomme Truly a wonderful book. I read the whole thing in two days, it was that gripping and suspenseful. The characters are both relatable and lovable (albeit quite flawed) and the plot is extremely exciting and original. It made me laugh out and I even cried a bit at the end, a combination I haven't experienced since Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain. Although it's an "easy" read, it offers powerful and deep messages that are thought-provoking as well as entertaining. I highly highly recommend it!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Sabatini

    It's no secret, I have a soft spot for dead teen books, so I couldn't wait to read this one. It did not disappoint. What I loved about DEVINE INTERVENTION was it's snarky humor and how it perfectly walked the line between a guy book and a girl book. I also adored the supplemental information like The Guardian Angel's Handbook, particularly the sarcastic notes on the bottom. But despite all the great snark and sarcasm, there was a thread of sweetness, vulnerability and hope that was impossible no It's no secret, I have a soft spot for dead teen books, so I couldn't wait to read this one. It did not disappoint. What I loved about DEVINE INTERVENTION was it's snarky humor and how it perfectly walked the line between a guy book and a girl book. I also adored the supplemental information like The Guardian Angel's Handbook, particularly the sarcastic notes on the bottom. But despite all the great snark and sarcasm, there was a thread of sweetness, vulnerability and hope that was impossible not to love. Can't wait to see what Brokenbrough has up her sleeve next!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nicole McInnes

    I really enjoyed the premise of Martha Brockenbrough's book, and there was some seriously great food for thought throughout regarding both life & the afterlife! I was "lucky" enough to interview Martha as well, so please look for that interview over at the Lucky 13s blog on June 1, 2012! ~Nicole McInnes Author of BRIANNA ON THE BRINK Holiday House, 2013 www.nicolemcinnes.com I really enjoyed the premise of Martha Brockenbrough's book, and there was some seriously great food for thought throughout regarding both life & the afterlife! I was "lucky" enough to interview Martha as well, so please look for that interview over at the Lucky 13s blog on June 1, 2012! ~Nicole McInnes Author of BRIANNA ON THE BRINK Holiday House, 2013 www.nicolemcinnes.com

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Thompson

    Love, love, love! This book is the perfect blend of funny and serious. There were points where I embarrassed myself in public because I couldn't contain the giggles and other times when I was wiping the tears from my eyes. A beautiful, fun, thought-provoking YA debut! Love, love, love! This book is the perfect blend of funny and serious. There were points where I embarrassed myself in public because I couldn't contain the giggles and other times when I was wiping the tears from my eyes. A beautiful, fun, thought-provoking YA debut!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    What a cute story! The cover alone was enticing! (but misleading)! Knew it would be fun. The ending will make you think...about the nature of love, second chances, life, destiny and hope. Would love to know the authors reasons for the ending.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Margie

    Every so often a book by a new author comes along that as soon as you read the last page, you have the urge to begin it all over again immediately. That is the way I feel about Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough. Read my review at: http://bit.ly/MBARBn Every so often a book by a new author comes along that as soon as you read the last page, you have the urge to begin it all over again immediately. That is the way I feel about Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough. Read my review at: http://bit.ly/MBARBn

  29. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    This irreverent take on guardian angels is a thoroughly enjoyable read, with humor and pathos intermingled.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This was a solid 3.5 but a great ending pushed it up that extra 1/2 point. Cute and charming tween story.

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