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Heaven Sent

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At almost sixteen, Evie’s life isn’t all she’d hoped it would be. She lives in the dodgy end of town with her mum and her mum’s deadbeat boyfriend, Seb; and adolescent scoliosis means Evie’s forced to wear a back brace until she’s stopped growing.

Then one night, she meets Gabe. Breathtakingly handsome, he crashes, spectacularly, into Evie’s life. He says their meeting was no accident and convinces Evie he’s been sent to turn her fortunes around. Evie’s best friend, Paige, dismisses him as a pot-head, but Paige has issues of her own and has started spending all her time chasing older men instead of higher grades.

As the weeks go by, Evie’s luck seems to be on a constant upswing and she begins to wonder if she and Gabe really were ‘meant’ to meet; even if she’s noticed that so many aspects of Gabe’s story don’t add up…

But there’s someone else waiting in the wings and, for Evie as well as for Gabe, life is about to get a whole lot more complicated.

256 pages, Paperback

First published October 1, 2018

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About the author

S.J. Morgan

2 books7 followers
S.J. Morgan has been writing for many years and, in addition to short stories and articles, has written several novels.

She grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life overseas. Trained as an Occupational Therapist, she lived in New Zealand for ten years before settling in South Australia. She has won prizes for short fiction and was awarded a mentorship from the Australian Society of Authors for her children’s writing.

S.J. Morgan currently lives in the Adelaide Hills with her partner, her daughters and two slovenly greyhounds.

Heaven Sent is her debut YA novel.

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5 stars
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8 (21%)
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Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews
Profile Image for Poppy Nwosu.
Author 5 books58 followers
November 20, 2018
I loved this!
I thought it was such a lovely and moving story, and surprisingly turned out to be a really interesting mix of coming of age romantic contemporary with a bit of a mystery thrown in.
A great #LoveOzYA read, and a must for any contemporary fans.
Profile Image for Brooklyn Tayla.
967 reviews64 followers
December 27, 2019
Highly thought provoking and potent - full review to come on the 7th January with @AusYABloggers.
Profile Image for Jessica M.
634 reviews8 followers
October 7, 2018

Heaven Sent is a YA novel by debut author S.J Morgan. The story follows teenage protagonist Evie, and the novel explores themes of friendship, family and relationship.

The premise of the novel is a weird one — Gabe crashes his car into Evie’s bedroom one night, and then feels unexplainably drawn to her. It’s almost as if he’s a guardian angel for her, even though he’s noticeably absent for a lot of the novel and his disappearances are rarely explained.

“I was so busy thinking about his bizarre quotation and the overall odd reaction that it took me utterly by surprise when he leaned forward and kissed me on the forehead. ‘You trusted me, Evie,’ he whispered. ‘Thank you.’ He then placed a hand where his lips had landed, as if he wanted to seal the kiss in place.”

Gabe is a really unlikable character. He’s mysterious but confusing, distant and withdrawn. He quotes scripture at her, and his dialogue often doesn’t make much sense. He’s cryptic in a creepy way, and I didn’t find myself sympathising for him in any way. At one point, he ‘gifts’ Evie some furniture and then you find out that the furniture was actually stolen!

I found it incredibly bizarre that Evie wanted to find out more about him, let alone actually spend any time with him.

I like the complex relationship between Evie and her father, and also Evie and her best friend. I think it’s important for YA novels to show fractured female friendships because that is very representative of high school and teenage life.

“There was nothing else for it. If Paige was going to cut off communication with me, then I’d just have to go ‘round there and demand she tell me why. It wasn’t as if we’d fallen out.”

There are noticeable flaws within the novel. The premise is unrealistic and the ending predictable. The dialogue is quite forced in some scenes and not at all how teenagers speak. Additionally, the relationship between Evie and Gabe is just strange, not enticing or exciting. And the conclusion of the novel is so fast-paced and Gabe’s behaviour doesn’t really make sense.

“I was just Evie. So, after the car crash, why hadn’t Gabe wished me well and moved on? What had kept him coming back? What kept him still coming back? What kept him still coming back? Did he feel sorry for me? Guilty? Was I the stone in his shoe, or did he think I was some sort of tortured soul who needed to be rescued?”

This may be a young adult novel but I’d actually recommend this for much younger readers, around 10-14 years of age.

Thank you to the publisher for mailing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling.
1,134 reviews117 followers
October 9, 2018
My View:
For some reason I do not read a lot of YA novels - and yet each time I do I ask myself why I do not seek out more of this genre?

This book is a fabulously satisfying read; the characters are well developed, the situations/issues raised are illuminating, thought provoking and the narrative was engaging and SATISFYING, yes I know that word again.

You really will enjoy reading this novel. :)
Profile Image for Ella Britt.
15 reviews16 followers
December 2, 2021
A funny this about this book, I was bored on the holidays, and I went to the library and just grabbed a bunch of books. I thought this was a fantasy and I didn't bother checking (because I’m lazy). When I realised that it wasn’t a fantasy it was too late and I was already hooked on the book, and I had to find out what happened. it was a good book that I didn’t mean to read but I’m glad I did I don’t regret it but I’m not sure if I would read it agen. It’s not one of my favourites, but I loved it the plot, the twists and the betrayal’s this love story was definitely worth it.

Ella B
Profile Image for Bree T.
2,101 reviews88 followers
October 17, 2018
This book was really interesting and it was definitely a bit different to what I was expecting.

Evie lives with her mother in a house that’s nothing to write home about. Her mother is in her forties, working a dead end job to make ends meet and provide for not only Evie but also her own boyfriend, a no hoper named Seb who is significantly younger than Evie’s mother and seems to use that as leverage to do as little as possible. Evie really only has one friend at school, Paige, who comes from a more wealthy and privileged background. It seems that only Paige looks past the brace Evie wears for her scoliosis, a brace that makes her feel outcast and gross. She is ashamed of it and the way that it makes her look, bulking out her clothes.

Evie’s life changes when Gabe crashes (literally) into her world, smashing his car through her bedroom window. Gabe sees himself as some sort of protector of Evie and he turns up at the most random moments, although things do not appear to be always what they seem with him. For Evie he seems to be something of an escape, a way to leave behind her dreary house, the presence of Seb, a mother who doesn’t seem to prioritise her. When Gabe is the reason Evie is able to connect with someone she thought she’d never see again, he becomes even more important to her, even if some of his interactions can be strange at times. With home life imploding and her friendship with Paige suddenly struggling, Evie turns to not just Gabe but also handsome year 12 Isak, from school.

There was a lot I really liked about this book. I thought Evie was a great character, she’s really not in a great place when the book starts. Her home life kind of sucks – Seb is gross and you just know he’s waiting until the day Evie turns 18 so he can basically turf her out. Her mother is always at work and I think Evie definitely would struggle to really talk to her, connect with her about how she feels about Seb (who definitely gave off creepy vibes to me from the beginning). Her friend Paige is high maintenance and I think Evie feels grateful to her, for being her friend, ignoring the fact that half the time Paige isn’t particularly kind to her, and betrays her in incredible ways later on in this book. Evie seems to find herself in Paige’s shadow – all the boys love Paige, whereas Evie doesn’t see herself as attractive, held back by the brace and her spinal disfiguration. I think she sees Gabe as something that is intrinsically hers and no one else’s, someone that she doesn’t have to share with Paige or seemingly worry about him transferring his interest to Paige. There’s no denying though, that Gabe is quite intense and there’s some definite red flags that Evie either doesn’t see or chooses to ignore, because of what Gabe brings to her life.

It’s pretty clear from early on that there’s….something…that’s a bit concerning about Gabe but it takes Evie quite a while to see it. I think that the way this played out was quite well handled and there seemed a careful consideration of Gabe’s issues and how they affected him and also the world around him but also how factors contributed that blurred the lines. I think Evie definitely showed maturity and compassion in her handling of the events that occurred in the latter part of the novel, not just with Gabe but also with Paige as well. I think I’d have liked a little more explanation or accountability for Paige and her actions, once there was a reveal it’s like she just completely disappeared from the narrative. She was Evie’s best friend, I would’ve definitely liked a little more thought from Evie on Paige’s actions and how she had treated her.

Perhaps a lot of things are kept vague in this deliberately – why/how Gabe crashed into the house, why the wall was never fixed, why Evie’s mother did what she did, why Paige did what she did, etc but I felt like the book set up a lot of things and then didn’t really play them out in quite as much detail as I expected. Things just kind of happen and then people shrug their shoulders and move on. Some people will love that….it just leaves me with questions. But despite my queries and a little feeling that I wasn’t completely satisfied at the end, I did enjoy this and I think the writing was good. I also really liked the issues handled, Evie’s scoliosis and Gabe’s situation as well. I’d read more of S.J. Morgan in the future.

***A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of an honest review***
Profile Image for Claire.
14 reviews5 followers
October 3, 2018
If you’re looking for a book that starts with a bang and hooks you from the very first page: this is it. I felt I wanted to befriend the main character, Evie, straight away. With S.J. Morgan’s warm and witty writing style you can’t help but sympathise with Evie’s catalogue of troubles and along with her, grow increasingly mystified at just who gorgeous Gabe (the young man who bursts into her life) actually is. I found myself torn time and again between whether Gabe, with all his devotion to Evie but his rather … unusual… ways is the man for her, or should she be setting her sights on Isak, the boy from Year Twelve who definitely seems to have a soft spot for her? Sub-plots abound, not least because of Evie’s dodgy stepfather’s shady business enterprises but also because of her friend Paige’s unfortunate taste in men. As if that wasn’t enough, Evie has to deal with wearing a back brace like a suit of plastic armour twenty-three hours a day, to help cure the curvature in her spine. Will the brace work? Or will Evie need surgery? Meanwhile, something is not right with Evie’s mum’s health, either…
Every page of this book is a pleasure to read and the only disappointment is that it has to end. We need more YA fiction like this!
(Disclosure: I read earlier versions of the ms of this novel)
2 reviews1 follower
October 16, 2018
Heaven sent
Evie, a teenage girl with more than her fair share of problems meets Gabe, in extraordinary circumstances, literally crashing into her world. Has he indeed been heaven sent? He says he is here to save her. It certainly seems like it and Evie really wants it to be true.
Although the book is aimed at young adults, the themes are not confined to an age group. We all have that longing to fit in, feel a sense of belonging and a need to find a way out of our problems. A guardian angel seems a perfect solution, especially when he is gorgeous as well!
Just as in real life, Gabe is not all that he seems or that Evie wants him to be. But her association with Gabe helps her as other parts of her life unravel; her best friends strange behaviour, discoveries about her already disliked step-father and her perceptions of her mother.
The story is relatable as life’s circumstances are never predictable and often difficult to come to terms with.
Evie’s journey through her unpredictable circumstances are a riveting read that kept me absorbed to the surprising end.
I am looking forward to S.J. Morgan’s next book!
#MidnightSun Publishing Pty
Profile Image for Kristy Fairlamb.
Author 2 books57 followers
February 5, 2019
An unexpected story that had me guessing almost the whole way through.

I really enjoyed this read, the short chapters that made it easy to keep flicking through, and the natural, almost real-like characters, especially the flawed ones - Seb and Paige. I only wished we could have had more of a certain character earlier in the story.

The first half was intriguing as I tried to figure out the answers to all my questions about Gabe. Evie was kept in the dark and so was I. And just when I thought I figured it out, I was wrong again! I love when a story does that.

By the time I reached the end, I couldn't put it down and was wishing for more.
Displaying 1 - 11 of 11 reviews

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