Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Penitence by Jennifer Laurens (Review)

Book Two. Seeing good and evil spirits is a gift Zoe guards with her life. Despite her guardian angel's disappearance, Zoe forces herself to accept that she still has a purpose-but how does she carry the weight of her brother's drug abuse, the hardship of living with an autistic sister, and a best friend who's obsessed with a guy who only wants Zoe? She's never felt more alone. When a mysterious spirit appears, Zoe thinks she has a new guardian angel. Instead, her brother's addiction worsens, her parents are on the brink of separation, and her best friend tries to kill her. The spirit she thinks is her new guardian isn't there to protect her: he's out to destroy her family and seize Zoe's soul. . . for Hell. Will Matthias' return mean that he is Zoe's guardian angel again? Or is their love the reason the jaws of Hell now gape open?

After reading Heavenly, I of coarse wanted to continue on in the series so I read Penitence. Compared to Heavenly, Penitence was way above the level of Heavenly. Yes, Heavenly had the suspense, romance and such. But Penitence has so much more, boys, angels, demons (well evil people that I classify as a demon), black spirits, more talking and friends. Yes that's all inside this book. And compared to Heavenly,  I have to admit I liked Penitence 100% more.

Zoe is back again and after being taken from heaven by modern medicine, she is at a lost. Mattias had disappeared and a mysterious man in all black arrives claiming to be his replacement. But not all is well. Zoe is alone, and with no really great best friend and only Krissy, her new friend and Chase by her side. Zoe has learned what its like to recover from a life threatening crash, and going from on top of the popularity scale down a rank or two. Continuing her journey of seeing the spirits around her Zoe has recovered from that crash and returned to school. Only to find that her best friend now hates her guts, and the guy that was her best friends boyfriend, now only has eyes for her. Zoe throughout Penitence grows as a character and we see her blossom (weird way to say it but its true) in to a woman, able to handle her own problems, while trying to deal with Abria, her autistic sister and her druggie brother.

I'm being blunt but truely I enjoyed Penitence better than Heavenly. The plot in a way was better crafted, and showed in ways the development of the characters more. Don't get me wrong I still love Heavenly but Penitence just sticks more in my mind than the first book did. Jennifer Laurens is still an incredible author, and I really enjoy reading her insight on guardian angels and other issues faced by Zoe. I can't wait to read Absolution which is set to be released in October 2011.

I just have to add this little line from the book to my review, I think the same thing all the time: "What was it about high school guys that made them think they could brave sub zero temps without protection?"


Jennifer started writing when she was in her youth, choosing to hole up in her bedroom creating stories rather than going out to play with friends. She attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where she took classes in English and Theater Arts. Later, life took her back to her home in Palos Verdes, California where she worked in the entertainment business before meeting her husband and marrying. They have been married for 24 years. Jennifer is the mother of six children, ages 11- 23, one of whom has autism. She fell back into writing after lengthy jaunts into the fascinating hobbies of ceramics, porcelain dolls, tole painting and muffin making. Her perfect day is spent writing from 9 until 5 while her family is at school and at work. She considers herself blessed that most every day is perfect.



***This book was provided by the author through a contest for an honest review***

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