Oliver Dalrymple was thirteen years old when he died outside of his locker while at school. He was reciting the periodic table to calm his nerves when the incident happened.
He wakes up in heaven with hundreds of other American children his age who died too young. It becomes quite clear that Boo didn’t die of natural causes but was in fact the victim of a high school shooting and what’s worse, his murderer might be in heaven too!
The book follows his journey to meet the mysterious gunman. One of the most interesting aspects of this book is that heaven is not portrayed as an ideal and magical place but as a normal and functioning society. It has districts, jobs and mentors. The “children”are stuck there for fifty years until their souls cross over. And nobody quite knows what happens after that…
The narrative is entirely from Oliver’s perspective as it is written for his parents. He explains his adventures and analyses the trails and tribulation he’s facing in heaven. He hopes more than anything to find some way back to Earth to deliver it to them. It’s used as a way to comfort them and let him knows he’s okay.
Fans of The Lovely Bones and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will no doubt love this book as it takes elements from both and fuses it all together to create something entirely different.
* A big thank you to Penguin Random House for sending me this book to review. I loved it!