Sunday, March 27, 2011

REVIEW: You Had Me At Halo by Amanda Ashby

Title: You Had Me At Halo
Author: Amanda Ashby
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publication Date: August, 2007
Paperback: 288 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 7/10

Description: Heaven can wait, but not for long.

She’s halfway to heaven…and she’s just been pulled over.

Holly Evans has just seen her own body laid to rest, and if it had been up to her, she wouldn’t have chosen that particular polyester dress for the event. Still, she could live with that (so to speak), if it guaranteed a quick jump to Level 3 of the afterlife, which she hopes will feature both reruns of Friends and reunions with long-lost loved ones.

But Holly has some mortal baggage to unload first, starting with the matter of how she died. Yes, she drowned in her bathtub under suspicious circumstances, but she did not kill herself. Holly had too much to live for, from her recent promotion to taking the next big step in her relationship. OK, her life had a few loose ends, but whose doesn’t? Holly’s heavenly shrink isn’t buying it. He says she has to return to Earth to straighten things out. The problem is, she’ll need to borrow someone’s body to do so, and the body in question belongs to none other than computer geek Vince Murphy. Oh, and although Vince was supposed to have vacated the premises, he apparently never got the memo.

Now Holly has forty-eight hours to resolve her issues while sharing arms, legs, and … other things with a guy she barely noticed while she was alive. But the real surprise is what life has to offer when you have only two days to live it.

My Thoughts: First time reading this author and liked the premise of the life after death / reincarnation theme. Holly is a likeable character who at first comes across as a little self-centered and shallow. I had to forgive her, however, because how is one supposed to act when they are viewing their own funeral and finding out that everyone thinks they committed suicide? Holly doesn’t seem to adjust to Heaven very well and has brought all of her “earthly” baggage with her. One of the things that I liked about her was that even during the bleakest of times, she manages to weather it with determination to continue forward. She doesn’t let all of the rules of Heaven drag her down and sets her mind to doing what she has to do so she can advance out of Level 1 and catch up to her parents. In order to do that, she has to return to Earth and occupy the body of a living human and resolve all of the issues she is holding on to. She doesn’t count on being put into Vince Murphy’s body and that she would have to share his body with him. Apparently, he was supposed to die and she was going to take his place. I really enjoyed how they try to adjust to one another and though Vince’s acceptance of the situation seemed to be a little fast (I don’t think I would accept it so easily), they become a good team working together.

Vince was a great character. The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” came to mind many times while reading. On the outside, he appears to be a computer geek and maybe a little anti-social. Before Holly died, she barely noticed his existence and even turned him down when he asked her out a while back. I enjoyed getting to know Vince and discovering more to his personality with each turn of the page. Once Holly gets past the fact that he works with computers and works with other geeks, she begins to see Vince for his true nature and it doesn’t take long before Holly realizes what a great guy he truly is. There were several humorous scenes. One of my favorites is Holly in Vince’s body trying to talk to her best friend, Gemma, but Gemma doesn’t realize it’s really Holly and she freaks out a little thinking he’s stalking her.

Overall, this story was entertaining and enjoyable with a few surprises thrown in. If you like lighthearted romance with a paranormal theme, give this one a try.

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)