Tuesday, August 14, 2007

First Chapter of YOU HAD ME AT HALO by Amanda Ashby

Since I am between books, I've been reading some first chapters that authors have posted. I'll have comments on them over the next few days.

The title of YOU HAD ME AT HALO by Amanda Ashby should tell you something of what to expect. I knew right away that it would be an irreverent romantic take on the afterlife. Here's the first few sentences:

“Unbelievable.” Holly Evans shook her head as she peered down through the glass window to the scene below.

That was the problem with an open casket. It meant everyone’s last memories of her would be with a white puffy face, the wrong color lipstick and a dreadful polyester dress. They always said the camera added five pounds to you, but no one ever talked about how fattening embalming fluid was, did they?

I guess once you're dead, you don't have much else to worry about than how you looked at your wake, now do you? It turns out that Holly does have some things to worry about. Her biggest problem is that heaven's entrance officials seem to think that she committed suicide.

I'm not sure why there's glass in heaven, or why there are so many rules, or why it doesn't seem very heavenly. Or why they would think that she committed suicide when she insists that she didn't. And you would think that heaven's officials would be rather difficult to fool. So, there's a mystery here.

The chapter ends at a nice cliffhanger when Holly gets kicked out of heaven for talking too much.

I'm not really sure what to think here. I can't say I've ever read an afterlife novel, but I did see All of Me years ago. Oh, and I saw Nick Cage in City of Angels. In any novel or movie of this sort, you cannot expect a doctrinally perfect heaven, or there wouldn't be much of a story. However, my interest is still piqued, mostly because of the zippy writing and the voice.

The excerpt is here.


ErinPaperbackstash said...

Hmm certainly sounds unusual. It's hard to say whether I'd enjoy it or not. I likely would.

Tia Nevitt said...

My impressions were much the same. I have a few more first chapters that I want to read before the end of the week. I'll be posting on a very different sort of novel tonight.

Anonymous said...

What a sucky thing to happen though. You deal with life and you'd think you'd be able to relax in heaven, but no they gotta kick you out. Sounds interesting, but honestly I don't know that I'd make it through the entire book.

Tia Nevitt said...

The voice is fun, which is its strongest selling point to me so far.