Review: New Beginnings

New Beginnings
New Beginnings by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book #12 for 2017; #5 for the Mt TBR Challenge
The Legendary Book Club of Habitica’s Ultimate Reading Challenge Task: The first book in a series that you haven’t read before
Better World Books Prompts:
– A book under 200 pages
– A fantasy novel
– A book by a female writer
Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge Prompts:
– A fantasy novel
– A YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+
Possible Book Bingo Squares:
– A book with a female heroine
– A book with multiple perspectives
PopSugar Ultimate Reading Challenge Prompts:
– A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
– A book involving a mythical creature
– A book written by someone you admire
– The first book in a series you haven’t read before
– A book with an eccentric character

I am clearly not in the target demographic for this book, and I’ve never been really into the whole angel thing, but I quite enjoyed this middle-grades fantasy novel. Probably because Schwab presented the angel narrative as pretty straightforward fantasy and didn’t go in for a bunch of religious crap. (So if you’re a huge fan of Touched by an Angel, you will likely be disappointed by the lack of condescension and proselytizing.)

I thought it was interesting that Aria (our “everyday angel”) seemed to be not just new to angeling but also new to existing in general, at least on any human plane. So it was fun to watch her adjust to her own humanity as she was learning how to be an angel and also how to help her assignment, Gabby, find her sense of self. Not to mention, just a little bit ironic.

I’m glad Schwab didn’t portray the adult characters as enemy combatants. Gabby’s mother was just overwhelmed and in need of a break herself, and she and Henry’s parents were simply doing what they felt was most supportive of their sick children. Even the teacher who caught Gabby in her lies was reasonable and compassionate.

This is a sweet and very well written tale of self-discovery during a phase of childhood that is difficult under even the best circumstances. I intend to pass my copy along to a friend who has a 9-year-old daughter.

View all my reviews

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