Friday, November 2, 2007

Wendy Mass. HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL


This is one of those books where I jump on it, without reading anything about it, just by the cover & title. How could I not like a book that has “mall” on the cover? Well, it is really an unusual book. After Tessa gets hit by a dodgeball and smashes into the floor of the gym, she wakes up in what appears to be her neighborhood mall or Heaven or both. She knows this mall really well, since both of her parents work there. The mall is empty until she runs into a boy with a nail sticking out of his head. He takes her to lost and found and gives her a bag with an unusual array of items in it. All of the items are from her childhood. Then she begins to remember how each item fits into her life, while simultaneously learning about who she is. She had recently been asked to write a college essay that asked that very question. Tessa now wonders (a) if she likes who she is and (b) if the answer is no, can she change? Nail boy continues to guide and encourage her along the way. One of my favorite parts is when he tells her, “Our lives are shaped by the future, not by the past. Once you decide how you want your life to be, all you need to do is live into that future.” Words to live by?