Rebecca Cornish Talley
Bonneville Books (2008)
Reviewed by Hillary Krajewski (age 15) for Reader Views (1/09)
Liza’s family is falling apart. Since her father started his new job, he hasn’t been around much. He has been working all the time, getting home late and even staying overnight at the office. But when he misses Liza’s championship basketball game, she decides to do something about it. Meanwhile, Liza’s mother is rediscovering religion. When she first shares her book of Mormon with Liza, she does not know what to think, but after a while she accepts it. When things get really bad between Liza and her father her mother steps in to try to amend the situation. Unfortunately, her father is still putting his work first. But when something tragic happens that changes everything, her father’s the one who wants her attention.
For the first hundred pages of the book I was not very into it. I was a little bored. I was not really sure if I’d be able to finish the rest of the book willingly. I couldn’t relate to the main character. Having never played basketball, I didn’t know if she really did anything all that amazing, but apparently she did. It really reminded me of the Disney movie with the volleyball playing twins that turned into basketball players. I had no idea where the book was going but the summary promised a tragedy and I knew that would shake things up, so I continued.
When I finally made it to the tragedy portion, I was really glad that I had continued to read the book. I definitely was not expecting such a terrible thing to happen. Maybe something bad like a broken ankle, but what actually did happen was beyond anything I had ever hypothesized. To be honest, I really did cry for about 50 pages. I could just imagine some thing awful like that happening to me.
The title really confused me at first. I thought it was a typo. It wasn’t until about a half hour after I finished it that it finally clicked and then I realized how clever it really is.
Overall, I was pleased with “Heaven Scent” by Rebecca Cornish Talley. It would be great for anyone ages twelve and up. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who’s not already a reader though, because it can be hard to get into. Ultimately I did like it despite my unhappier attitude towards the beginning of it. I’d definitely be interested in reading more from this author.