All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Sometimes I really like Mitchard's books. I loved "Still Summer" and "Cage Of Stars." But sometimes she draws you in, which she is really good at, only to drop the ball at the end. (See "Breakdown Lane" with its happy-sappy ending.)
"All We Know Of Heaven" is about two teenage girls who are in a terrible car accident together. They look very similar anyway, but given all the injuries, identification becomes dicey. One dies and the other is in a coma, and everyone has them crossed, thinking each is the other. (Yes, such a situation actually happened a few years ago.) Finally, Maureen wakes up, and along with dental records that don't jibe, the error is discovered. One family, who thought they had already buried their daughter, suddenly finds out she is alive, while another family finds out their daughter is dead. All of this is really absorbing and well told, as is the lengthy section of the book dealing with Maureen's recovery.
What really annoys me is that, after investing in the story and liking it through 80% of the book, the last section devolves into a teenage beach blanket bingo soap opera, but without the beach. Mitchard, do you mean to tell me that this brave girl cheated death, survived the loss of her best friend, fought hard and long to regain her faculties, and handled the resentment of her friend's family gracefully, all so that she could agonize over which boy to date? So NOT recommended.
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