*I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley. This has not influenced my review.*
I have mixed feelings about this book. It started off really strong—I must’ve laughed at least ten times within the first 3%—but then it quickly started to disappoint me, but there’s still a part of me that wants to continue the series.
The first issue I had was that it didn’t make sense to me that the guardian angels were sent back to earth in a corporeal form. (Technically it was just a manifestation of their body, but people could see them, touch them, etc.) What if one of them runs into someone who knows them and knows they’re dead? Or, like in the case of one character, they purposely go and reveal themselves to people they knew?
Secondly, the topic of suicide attempts was handled too frivolously. I know this book was meant to be humorous, not serious, but suicide is still a serious topic. I’m not ok with it being used for humorous purposes, and I just couldn’t suspend my disbelief enough to accept the way the hospital treated suicide attempts.
Third, the guardian angels’ first task to fix their charge’s life was to break up a couple and then manipulate the girl into a fake rebound relationship before manipulating her into a real relationship just so Charlie (their charge) could be with the girl he was pining over? I have numerous issues with that. Number one, they didn’t even have proof that her boyfriend was a jerk before they decided it was ok to break them up (it turned out he was a jerk, but that’s beside the point). Number two, if a woman is not interested in a man, that doesn’t mean she’ll automatically be interested once she’s single. Number three, manipulating people is not ok. Number four, relationships don’t fix people’s inner problems. Getting Charlie a woman wouldn’t have done anything to fix his low self-esteem, his defeatist attitude, and his possible mental illnesses (I mean, he did want to commit suicide). In fact, his low self esteem and attitude would’ve likely ended up inevitably sabotaging the relationship. In the end, they did help him gain more confidence by helping with his job situation, but I was still bothered that they weren’t more focused on helping Charlie fix his inner problems from the start.
Fourth, Herman’s transformation was too quick to be believable. Even if I were given a new face and body, I still wouldn’t know how to act like a different person, but somehow Herman instantly became a suave, confident, flirtatious stud.
Fifth, I didn’t like the implied stereotypes about what makes someone desirable. For example, a man who works in the mailroom or in engineering can’t sweep a woman off her feet? Why not???
Sixth, the way Herman wooed Mary was creepy. I’d be weirded out if someone started coming into the place I worked every day just to see me just because he thought I was pretty. And his confidence came off as pushy cockiness. And despite her claims to the contrary, it seemed to me that she only agreed to a first date because she was coerced.
But, despite all that, I dutifully kept reading because I don’t like DNFing, and I will say that I really liked the side plot about Ariel (an archangel) and Lucifer and Herman’s wing color. That was unique and interesting. And it seems as though future books in the series will be more focused on that (which is what makes me tempted to continue).
There was one more thing that bothered me though. Herman was straight. He said himself that he wasn’t into guys. All the sex scenes were m/f. The only reason he was turned on by *SPOILER ALERT* Lucifer *END SPOILER ALERT* was because the guy had magic/powers that made Herman turned on. But as much as I LOVE the idea of that particular character as a love interest (another reason I’m tempted to continue), it would make me really uncomfortable to know it was only because Herman was influenced by some sort of magic, not because it’s what he actually wants. I’m ok with a gay-for-you romance, but if I’m going to be ok with this, I’ll need the magic to be taken out of the equation and the two men to get to know each other so that I can see that Herman’s feelings are genuine.
So, overall, I think I could’ve dealt with some unrealisticness, especially since I really did enjoy the parts involving the archangels and their plots, but I couldn’t deal with the problematic stuff. There was nothing wrong with the writing though, so anyone who knows about the problems going into the book and is ok with them would probably enjoy this more.
Anyone looking for a quirky story about guardian angels who doesn't mind the problems I mentioned.