All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: Heaven Sent by S.J. Morgan

on October 11, 2018

Heaven Sent 
S.J. Morgan
MidnightSun Publishing
2018, 326p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

At almost sixteen, Evie’s life isn’t all she’d hoped it would be. She lives in the dodgy end of town with her mum and her mum’s deadbeat boyfriend, Seb; and adolescent scoliosis means Evie’s forced to wear a back brace until she’s stopped growing.

Then one night, she meets Gabe. Breathtakingly handsome, he crashes, spectacularly, into Evie’s life. He says their meeting was no accident and convinces Evie he’s been sent to turn her fortunes around. Evie’s best friend, Paige, dismisses him as a pot-head, but Paige has issues of her own and has started spending all her time chasing older men instead of higher grades.

As the weeks go by, Evie’s luck seems to be on a constant upswing and she begins to wonder if she and Gabe really were ‘meant’ to meet; even if she’s noticed that so many aspects of Gabe’s story don’t add up…

But there’s someone else waiting in the wings and, for Evie as well as for Gabe, life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

This book was really interesting and it was definitely a bit different to what I was expecting.

Evie lives with her mother in a house that’s nothing to write home about. Her mother is in her forties, working a dead end job to make ends meet and provide for not only Evie but also her own boyfriend, a no hoper named Seb who is significantly younger than Evie’s mother and seems to use that as leverage to do as little as possible. Evie really only has one friend at school, Paige, who comes from a more wealthy and privileged background. It seems that only Paige looks past the brace Evie wears for her scoliosis, a brace that makes her feel outcast and gross. She is ashamed of it and the way that it makes her look, bulking out her clothes.

Evie’s life changes when Gabe crashes (literally) into her world, smashing his car through her bedroom window. Gabe sees himself as some sort of protector of Evie and he turns up at the most random moments, although things do not appear to be always what they seem with him. For Evie he seems to be something of an escape, a way to leave behind her dreary house, the presence of Seb, a mother who doesn’t seem to prioritise her. When Gabe is the reason Evie is able to connect with someone she thought she’d never see again, he becomes even more important to her, even if some of his interactions can be strange at times. With home life imploding and her friendship with Paige suddenly struggling, Evie turns to not just Gabe but also handsome year 12 Isak, from school.

There was a lot I really liked about this book. I thought Evie was a great character, she’s really not in a great place when the book starts. Her home life kind of sucks – Seb is gross and you just know he’s waiting until the day Evie turns 18 so he can basically turf her out. Her mother is always at work and I think Evie definitely would struggle to really talk to her, connect with her about how she feels about Seb (who definitely gave off creepy vibes to me from the beginning). Her friend Paige is high maintenance and I think Evie feels grateful to her, for being her friend, ignoring the fact that half the time Paige isn’t particularly kind to her, and betrays her in incredible ways later on in this book. Evie seems to find herself in Paige’s shadow – all the boys love Paige, whereas Evie doesn’t see herself as attractive, held back by the brace and her spinal disfiguration. I think she sees Gabe as something that is intrinsically hers and no one else’s, someone that she doesn’t have to share with Paige or seemingly worry about him transferring his interest to Paige. There’s no denying though, that Gabe is quite intense and there’s some definite red flags that Evie either doesn’t see or chooses to ignore, because of what Gabe brings to her life.

It’s pretty clear from early on that there’s….something…that’s a bit concerning about Gabe but it takes Evie quite a while to see it. I think that the way this played out was quite well handled and there seemed a careful consideration of Gabe’s issues and how they affected him and also the world around him but also how factors contributed that blurred the lines. I think Evie definitely showed maturity and compassion in her handling of the events that occurred in the latter part of the novel, not just with Gabe but also with Paige as well. I think I’d have liked a little more explanation or accountability for Paige and her actions, once there was a reveal it’s like she just completely disappeared from the narrative. She was Evie’s best friend, I would’ve definitely liked a little more thought from Evie on Paige’s actions and how she had treated her.

Perhaps a lot of things are kept vague in this deliberately – why/how Gabe crashed into the house, why the wall was never fixed, why Evie’s mother did what she did, why Paige did what she did, etc but I felt like the book set up a lot of things and then didn’t really play them out in quite as much detail as I expected. Things just kind of happen and then people shrug their shoulders and move on. Some people will love that….it just leaves me with questions. But despite my queries and a little feeling that I wasn’t completely satisfied at the end, I did enjoy this and I think the writing was good. I also really liked the issues handled, Evie’s scoliosis and Gabe’s situation as well. I’d read more of S.J. Morgan in the future.


Book #171 of 2018

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