Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Book Review: It's A Wonderful Death

About the Book:
It's a Wonderful Death
Title: It's A Wonderful Death
Author: Sarah J. Schmitt
Pub. Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Sky Pony Press 
Pages: 320 pgs
Rating: 4/5 stars

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.

I definitely wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading It's A Wonderful Death, but I wasn't expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. This book definitely was a pleasant surprise, and will appeal to a wide audience. This book is a mix of A Christmas Carol and Mean Girls, which come on...you have to admit, sounds pretty interesting. The plot of this book is extremely creative, and I absolutely loved Sarah Schmitt's writing style. It was the perfect mix of humor and lightheartedness, but never detracted from what the story was truly about. 

One aspect of this book that made the book so enjoyable was the setting and the plot. Not only was it extremely creative, but it had the perfect pacing and had a great balance of funny and serious. The portrayal of the Afterlife was hilarious, but so unique! There were so many aspects that made you laugh out loud, but also made you a bit frustrated because even the Afterlife isn't immune to the power struggle that is politics. But trust me, this made it an even more enjoyable read.

As much as I didn't want to like RJ, I actually loved her character. Let me just tell you this, at the beginning of the book, you're really not supposed to like her, but throughout the course of the story, you end up loving her. She grows so much over the story, and it's like watching a tiny bud bloom into a gorgeous flower. She does a complete 360 by the end of the story, but never loses the things that make RJ, RJ. RJ was hilarious. I loved her sarcastic humor, as well as her gutsy, ballsy attitude. She definitely didn't back down when everything was against her. However, even though her commentary is filled with humorous moments, it's also pretty emotional. You see a clear shift when RJ realizes just how awful she was before she accidentally died, but also when she realizes how easily manipulated she was. RJ had to go through some major internal struggling to to accept how she behaved and what she needed to do to become a better person. This added another layer to the story, which pushed it from good to great! RJ never really had to become someone else, as she was always who she needed to be. She just got lost along the way, and with help from several people, RJ realized who she was meant to be all along. 

The supporting characters were just as great as RJ. Death Himself is a surfer that wears Hawaiian shirts; Azbaugh, who is an angel who is power-hungry and just wants RJ out of his hair; and then Madeline, who is quite possibly the sweetest person to ever exist. The one thing I loved about Madeline is how even though in RJ's previous life, RJ was terrible to her, Madeline never let that get in her way or let it put hate in her heart. She still tried to see the good in RJ, and helped RJ develop into the person she was always meant to be. 

This is the type of book that makes you think, even though you're laughing throughout reading. It makes you realize that every single thing you do can have a larger effect...one you might not even realize. Ms. Schmitt wove this aspect expertly throughout the story. After you are finished reading, you'll look back and realize that at it's core, this story has a clear message, and will leave an impression in your memory. This is the perfect book to read for anyone and everyone, and I highly recommend checking it out as soon as you can!

Happy reading :)



  1. I'm pretty sure I found this book somewhere but ended up not buying it. However, now that I read your review, I think I'll come and have a double-take on it the next time I see it on a bookstore again. Great review! :)

    1. Thanks! I definitely would give it a shot. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it at first, but I was very surprised by how much I really did enjoy it :)