Heaven sent by S. J. Morgan

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Midnight Sun Publishing, 2018. ISBN: 9781925227451.
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Evie has scoliosis a condition that twists her spine and in her mind that is all that people see, especially as she is encased in a brace for most of every day. Her friend Paige helps her through the teen dilemmas at school, but Paige cannot help Evie's family repair itself. Her Dad left for a younger woman many years ago and they have lost contact with him, and her Mum has settled for second-best with a younger guy who seems to be more 'parasite' than provider for Evie and her Mum. When a car drives into her rental house leaving a gaping hole in her bedroom wall, the driver, Gabe, enters her life and then seems to become more saviour than destroyer. His unusual on and off entrances into her life make him seem other-worldly and Evie's life seems to improve as Gabe tries to make a difference. While this is happening, Paige seems to be going from good friend to unpredictable and unreliable companion. Were it not for Gabe and then the entrance of Paige's friend, the blonde, good-looking Year 12 student Isak, Evie's life would seem to be falling apart or twisting further out of control. But is Gabe really Evie's supporter or is something more happening? Will all the bad things that beset her life keep twisting out of control or can something brace her life and family and protect them from crashing out of control?
With many calamities in the year that Evie turns 16, this is both a coming-of-age drama and a family saga, that collides with a mental health crisis. There are hints of the angelic along with the complications of some unsavoury behaviour and some naive responses to quite complex circumstances, all woven into a story that teenage girls will enjoy. The romance aspect is perhaps a little too-good-to-be-true but will appeal to this demographic. With a setting that is loosely in Adelaide, a South Australian reader will connect with familiar locales. Although there were aspects of the story that seemed trite, there was also action and drama and family relationship tensions and warmth. Themes: Family, Difference, Disability, Mental illness, Acceptance, Coming of age, Romance, Friendship.
Recommended for Teenage audience 15+.
Carolyn Hull