I am not sure why this book is recommended for teens except that it is about teens. I couldn't put this book down. I am a big fan of this author. I also loved her book, "The Breakdown Lane", which also features a teen main character. The technique of telling one girl's story through her thoughts as she lies in a coma is very well done. Telling about the heartbreaking experience of the two couples whose girls are the victims of the accident, is very well done. This book is similar to "All the Numbers" and just as great a emotional novel. Get the kleenex ready for this one.
Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com
I have read and reviewed many books over the past two years that have impressed me. I have read only a handful, however, that have touched me as deeply as ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN. This is a book that's hard to describe in detail, due mainly to the fact that I don't want to give too much of the story away. Suffice it to say, however, that it's a story that will stay with you long after you've turned the last page.
Two girls, Bridget and Maureen, who are so similar and yet so different at the same time. They have nearly identical body shapes, have the same colored hair and eyes, and even share many of the same mannerisms and characteristics. They've been best friends for several years, and yet there's a part of Maureen that understands that Bridget considers her to be her friend out of convenience, and for what she can provide for her.
Then there is an accident, a deadly one, and the lives of two girls and their families are forever changed. One girl dies, one girl lives. One family buries their daughter, one rejoices and yet fears over the fact that their daughter, now forever changed, lies unconscious and unknowing in a hospitable bed. Yet through it all, interspersed throughout the pages of the story, are the tangled thoughts of a young woman, who is unable to grasp even the simplest words and put them to the images she sees, yet who understands the concept that she's not the girl everyone seems to think she is.
The wrong daughter buried, the wrong family rejoicing. Fear, regret, heartbreak, happiness, hope -- and with it all, through it all, tinged by it all, lies guilt. Guilt that one girl survived, and one didn't. Guilt that one mother once hoped her daughter might die, to spare them all the pain of a long recovery. Guilt that one family's prayers seemed to be answered, and another's joy was cut short.
Guilt that one girl is not the other, could never be the other, and yet seems to be stepping into the life that girl left behind.
Jacquelyn Mitchard can write. She writes so well, in fact, that the reader is unable to step outside of the story of Maureen and Bridget once they've begun reading it. You can feel the pain, the happiness, the sorrow. You understand, and you grieve, and you rejoice, right along with the characters of ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN. This is a story you won't soon forget -- nor will you want to.
Compelling story about two best friends who are inseparable. Coming home from a cheerleading event they are involved in a car accident. One girl is killed and the other is severely injured. The parents of the dead girl bury their daughter and the other parents spend their time at the bedside of their critically injured daughter. As the girl begins to recover from her horrendous injuries she keeps trying to say one word - her name. This is based on a true story about how two teenagers are mixed up and how the parents must cope when the truth comes out. This book was difficult for me to put down as I got caught up in the story. I highly recommend this as an excellent read.