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Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again
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Waking Up in Heaven: A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again

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3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  1,389 ratings  ·  211 reviews
Someday soon, one of my precious three-year-old twins is going to ask me the question “Mommy, what happened to you when you died?”

Someday they will overhear me telling my story to someone and want to know more about it. They will look at me with their big, innocent eyes and try to make sense of what they’re hearing. It isn’t always
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Howard Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Katarzyna
I grabbed this book off of a shelf at Target as I was passing by. It looked interesting and I liked the cover. ;) Plus, I was curious to see what another person's experience in Heaven was like. What most of us would expect from such a book is a story of what happened in Heaven and that's it. After all, that is the title. Crystal does discuss her time in Heaven and her encounter with God and angels but in addition she tells the reader the whole story. The story of her life and how she struggled w ...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
"My name is Crystal McVea, and in 2009 I died and went to heaven.

"How is that for an icebreaker?

"I am sharing that story with you, in this book. I knew God's plan for me was to share what happened with as many people as I could. Now, are there people out there who will think I'm a fraud, or a religious nut, or crazy? I'm sure there are. The truth is, I know my story is hard for some people to believe. I know what I went through is beyond the realm of what we can experience on Earth. But I also
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Cafelilybookreviews
This was an interesting story to read, yet much different than what I expected. The majority of the book focuses on the author's background, and what has happened since her experience. This ended up being more of a memoir which I always enjoy reading. However, readers who are expecting this book to focus mostly on her actual experience in heaven, may be disappointed.
Nicola Mansfield
A heart-wrenching, phenomenal book that tells the story of the life and death and life of a woman who lead a hard, lost life, then encountered God and is now living a joy filled life. Crystal died for nine minutes and went to Heaven and this book is about that, but it is first and foremost about her life prior to that experience, which lead up to the moment of her death. Crystal had a very hard life and always questioned the existence of God. Her life was filled with sexual abuse, absent and neg ...more
Linda
I bought this book because I had caught the very end of an Anderson Cooper interview with Mrs. McVea, and I wanted to know more about her NDE. I should have taken a moment and used my Goodreads app to read its reviews.

The title is very misleading. God tells the author to share all that she remembers. Apparently, that was only about 20 pages worth since the remaining 200+ pages are Mrs. McVea's testimony. The first half of the book was barely readable. She spent an inordinate amount of energy poi
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Gale
i like the story when she finally gets around to telling it. its has so many details that are boring or maybe its the way it was read... should have hired a reader. i found it very irritating when she kept making "deals" with god on i know your real if..
also it skipped around and then went back in time and that was irritating. all in all it was hard to listen to and only finished because having a near death experience myself i like to hear the stories.
if you want to listen to the dvd i will give
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Jennifer
The best part of this book is the bio of Crystal. It just goes to show that the mistakes made in life develop the person we become and to forgive ones self is to allow healing and growth of character. I hope this book finds its way to people who feel lost and alone in the world. I hope it gives them strength and hope. The parts about heaven are beautiful but breif. This is a story about redemtion and forgiveness.
Nancy Kennedy
The actual text describing her 9 minutes in heaven is about 10 pages. The other 240 are about the author's sordid life. After a while, I started skipping the pages about her abortions and baby daddies and drugs and stuff (she's trying to make the point of "IF God loves somebody like ME, everybody has a chance!" Well, okay, then.
Heather
Heather's Review: I truly love near death and death experiences so this audio book was an automatic draw for me. The thing that I was not expecting was the bravery and tenacity of the author in sharing her story over and over again. Not just the story of how she died for nine minutes and came back, but the details of a very sad and troubled life as a child of sexual abuse.

Crystal's memoir, contained in seven CDs, is told in her own voice. It details how being a victim of abuse pulled her into a
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Victor Gentile
Crystal McVea and Alex Tresniowski in their new book “Waking Up In Heaven” published by Howard Books gives us A True Story of Brokenness, Heaven, and Life Again.

From the back cover: Tell them what you can remember.

On December 10, 2009, Crystal McVea, a thirty-two-year-old mother of four, stopped breathing. Her face turned a dark shade of blue, then black. Her mother screamed for help, and a nurse tried to revive her . . . to no avail. Today, Crystal does not remember what happened in that hospit
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Heather Rideout
I was really disappointed with this book. It was, for want of a better word, boring. It's only redeeming quality was that because it lacked depth, it was a fairly quick and easy read. That is to say, no extra time was required to reread, process or ponder anything. This book could have been written in less than a page. Woman has a difficult life - gets abused, has an abortion, eventually sucks it up and makes some positive choices, has a NDE, finds god and then tells everyone about it. The end. ...more
Trina
If there was a half another star I would give it 3.5 because it was a good read. I enjoyed the memoir very much. A story of survival. I really liked the writing style...it was like I was having a casual conversation with a friend. The way the chapters flowed into each other by alternating the past,the present and the "waking up in heaven" was really effective.
What a strong honest woman Crystal is. I believe nothing was exaggerated or embellished in the story. It is very raw and to the fact.
I t
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Kori
Was tempted to give 2 stars instead of three but I really hate to be hard on this book because I feel like Crystal went through a lot in her life and I felt bad for her. I am glad that she is happily married and that her experience helped her finally break free from her past. I really hope her story helps others. Nevertheless, I think her ghostwriter, or editor, or both, really did her a disservice in that I think a lot of people will be disappointed because the book isn't really what it profess ...more
Ruthanna Esquivel
Before reading this book, I was fascinated about the idea of someone suffering a near death experience (NDE) and waking up in heaven since I've heard that numerous people with NDEs have reported having similar experiences.

If you look at the book from the perspective of what the author has overcome, I would say that the book could be considered uplifting and offer hope to woman who have been, or are in, similar circumstances.

What I didn't like about the book was that I found it hard to believe.
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Laura
Crystal was admitted to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. Doctors decided she had a problem with her pancreas and needed to stay a few days. It was a complete surprise when she suddenly stopped breathing and basically died. It was nine minutes before she was revived, and not very long after that she began telling anyone who would listen that she'd been to heaven and stood with God. This experience completely changed her life.

I think her book is very well written, highly interesting, and
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Sharon
This book was amazing; I couldn't put it down! I know some people have said that her style of going back and forth between her "standing with God" in heaven and the story of her life was confusing. That didn't bother me at all. It was obvious which she was discussing in each chapter, possibly because I read the book in just a couple of days. What immediately struck me was how she described her time in heaven. Many of the same things she wrote about are things that God has revealed to me in my li ...more
Sabrina
Amazing!!

A co-worker of mine suggested I read this book. Now I'm not much of a reader at all. For Christmas my husband bought me a kindle. This was the first book I downloaded to read. I couldn't put it down. This book has touched me in many ways. It has reminded me of God's unfailing love for me. Everyone has a story/testimony to share and I believe when it's the time to tell your story to do it because there is someone who needs to hear it. I had some time's in the book where I laughed about g
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Rose Rush
This is a book of redemption. The story is as much about how a women who was sexually and mentally abused was redeemed by her near death experience. She had also had an abortion and with all that she had experienced and done did not believe God was real or could love her. That all changed when she was dead for 9 minutes and was in the presence of the Almighty. Very much worth the read.
Aurelia
This book will make you look at "Love" in a whole new light!

The woman's story is so emotional and tragic, in good ways and bad. I couldn't put this book down, and personally, it gave me everything that I needed to hear and feel. I've recommended to several others who have been in a state of "Spiritual Limbo", in hopes that it did to them what it did to me.
Fira
this is a great book.rekindling ourselves with our fitrah- the longing for loving God above anything else.

its actually a good tarbiyah book even though its written by a devout christian.

i love this kind of books that inspire people to look above worldly desire, to look for a higher purpose--which is to love God wholeheartedly, without making other things as God in ourselves- money, children, family, friends, anything.

highly recommended to everyone.
Virginia Welch
Couldn't put it down. McVea's story is greatly helped by her association with an award-winning co-author. What I liked:

1. Logical story: beginning, middle, and end
2. Honest voice; she tells the good and bad about herself
3. The consistent sense of candidness throughout the entire tale
4. Story is for Christians and non-Christians alike because of its universal appeal to everyone's desire to know God (if He exists) and get a glimpse into the afterlife
5. But as Crystal admits, a story like this take
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Mary Devine
This book was recommended to me by my sister. I've read several books on near death experiences and heaven, and I found this one most compelling and thought provoking (so far). Crystal is a sinner, like us all, but she bares her transgressions, doubts and vulnerabilities, making herself relatable and her story believable. Virgil sounds too good to be true; wouldn't we all want a husband like the man described on those pages! I thought telling the story more as an autobiographical journey of tran ...more
Cutacups
Love it!
If you are someone who's constantly blaming yourself and in search for God. Then this book is for you! Touching and inspirational. I cried when I read her story.
The first few chapters are her stories, but totally worth it to read till the end. Lovely ending! I cried! Bless you Crystal
Pamela
This was a gift I received for my birthday a few weeks back.. (Thanks Jenni!) with all the life 'stuff' my family has experienced recently, this came at the perfect time. This is an endearing story about God's never ending love for every single one of us, and how nothing we do here, during our time on Earth, can separate us from His all powerful love. We were each made to be in relationship with Him, created in His perfect image... And this book was a beautiful look at just that.

An easy read tha
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Tara
To be honest I wanted to stop reading somewhere in the middle of the book. It gets a little dicey. But, I'm glad I read all the way to the end. Great book. Highly recommended!
Peg
Waking Up in Heavenis an uplifting memoir about a young woman’s journey into the heavenly realm. Crystal McVea was thirty two years old when she had a near death experience. She was being hospitalized at the time for pancreatitis, and received an accidental opiate overdose causing her to go into a respiratory arrest. It was during this time that Crystal claims to have traveled to heaven.

Crystal McVea grew up in a dysfunctional and abusive household. The heavy weight of shame that colored every a
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Bridget Blanton
I just finished reading this wonderful book. In it, Crystal McVea describes her difficult childhood, her turbulent teen years and the mis-steps she took as a young adult. Her innocence was stolen from her at a young age due to sexual abuse. The resulting spiritual pain wounded her spirit and deep within, she considered herself to be unworthy, tainted, dirty, bad … Survivors of sexual abuse know this pain all to well and it drives a person to pathways in life they would not have otherwise chosen ...more
Dana
This book is a memoir/testimony of a woman who tells her life story including how she was sexually abused as a child, went through a string of bad relationships resulting in two children born out of wedlock and one abortion, finally finding a good Christian husband, having premature twins and when the twins were 10 months old, her experience of dying in the hospital and coming back to life. She explains how when she was dead, she was in the presence of God and everything was good and how He told ...more
Cynthia Pavlakovic
I picked this book up last night because I needed something to read. It is an extraordinarily written account of not only going to Heaven but of the struggles we all face in our lives. I laughed and cried as I read because I felt and still feel so many of the struggles Crystal describes. It gives hope to continue to persevere and believe! God may not always answer us like we think but we must have faith and believe His plan is perfect. A truly life-changing read!
Beth Ann
I have read several "heaven" themed books and am intrigued by each and every one. I found this book to be well written but I was not bowled over by it for some reason. Maybe I am burned out reading autobiographies which was what this essentially was. The horrors that the author went through were truly something that no one should have to suffer through and to be able to be on the other side of them is a wonderful story in and of itself. The trip to heaven was interspersed throughout the book and ...more
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“When things are hard and miserable, I'd been learning all my life, there's an adventure in there somewhere waiting to happen.” 4 likes
“You don’t have to die and go to heaven. All you have to do to be in God’s presence is choose Him. All you have to do is believe.” 4 likes
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