Jerome is dead, and since he make some pretty serious mistakes during his life, he's been assigned to the "Soul Rehab" area of the afterlife, where he must be a guardian angel and prove his worth before he can graduate to heaven.
Heidi is his assignment. Heidi hears Jerome's voice in her head all the time as he gives her recommendations and generally helps her out throughout her life. However, tragedy strikes and Heidi drowns in a frozen lake. Jerome tries to save her, but he only saves her soul. Jerome then tries desperately to help her soul get into heaven.
The banter between the two characters is entertaining. Their relationship is unique, and Brockenbrough does a good job making the reader believe. But....I'm not in middle school, and as hard as I try to put myself in the mind of the intended audience, most of Devine Intervention seemed silly to me. The fact that the entire misunderstanding (which I won't explain any more) is because Jerome just decided NOT to read the instruction manual for being a guardian angel was too much for me to believe.
But, just get past that. There's an entertaining dog, a helpful best friend, and a cranky old lady neighbor. There's more to Jerome than we first realize, and he actually grows during his time in rehab, and learns a bit about his father that he never dreamed was true.
There's also a message about fitting in and coping with differences. Heidi is a misfit, and really doesn't want anything to do with most kids her age. She also grows during Devine Intervention.
By the way -- I'm not misspelling "Devine." It's Heidi's last name.
I did see the ending from way back in Devine Intervention. I'm not sure if middle school kids will or not, and it doesn't really matter. Either way, you are rooting for Heidi to find peace and Jerome to get to heaven! Recommend Devine Intervention to younger teens who like a lighthearted look at death and the afterlife. On the Bright Side, by S.R. Johannes is a book that comes to mind as a read alike.
Published by Arthur A. Levine, June 1, 2012
ARC obtained from the publisher
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