Penitence is the sequel to Heavenly, one of my favourite books of all time written by the very lovely Jennifer Laurens. I kept on entering Jennifer’s weekly contests but never won any so one day I posted that I didn’t care about the other prizes, I just wanted the book! To my complete joy and surprise, Grove Creek Publishing agreed to send me a review copy and I was elated!! HUGE thanks to Grove Creek Publishing and their random act of kindness.
So you should all know by now that I’m a HUGE fan of Jennifer Laurens and I LOVED Heavenly (click here for my review). So what do you think I’m going to say about Penitence? Well, you’re right. I LOVED it just as much as Heavenly. Let me just post a reminder that if you haven’t read Heavenly, you should stop right here and go and read it before you look at this review. I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Are only readers left that have read Heavenly?
Then I shall begin. Penitence picks up right where we left off in Heavenly. At the end of Heavenly, Zoe finally got a chance to be with Matthias properly as she was in between heaven and earth whilst her life still hung in the balance following a car accident. Penitence begins with Zoe waking up in a hospital room, having been dragged back down to earth with a bump. And now Matthias, her guardian angel has disappeared. As her family situation worsens, Zoe feels more alone than ever.
However, all is not lost as Zoe begins to see other spirits and meets a mysterious man who she thinks is her new guardian angel. Only there is something not quite right about him. He’s definitely there for Zoe. But not to protect her. Zoe needs Matthias now more than ever. But where is he and will he show up in time?
I love the Heavenly series and this book is just as good as the first one. I loved the fact that I was about a third of the way into the book and I still couldn’t figure out what was going on. I had trust in Jennifer’s writing though that all would become clear eventually.
I love Zoe as the narrator and I’m in love with Matthias (obviously) but you know what? One of my favourite characters in this story was Weston and I absolutely love what Jennifer did with his character. You may remember that Weston was with Brady when they tried to rape Zoe in Heavenly. Weston finds his conscience and is desperate to talk to Zoe about what happened that night. Quite rightly, Zoe is reluctant (to say the least) but eventually hears him out. Their relationship grows and the reader goes from hating him to liking him, learning to trust him and then lusting after him! I couldn’t believe it when I realised my change in feelings for him! I’m practically in love with him at this point but I also love Matthias and feel a sense of loyalty towards him. As difficult as the situation is, you still understand why Zoe has a relationship with both characters.
So yes, Weston’s character definitely grew on me which left me torn because if Zoe stays with Weston then she gets the human experience but then what about Matthias? Does she actually have a chance with Weston or is it a doomed relationship? I have an awful feeling that Matthias is going to try and say goodbye in the third one and to be honest, I’m not sure a) how it’s going to go and b) who I want her to choose. I just KNOW that whatever happens, I’m going to be in floods of tears!
I’m super impressed with Jennifer’s writing style and clever portrayal of the characters. Penitence ends on a cliff-hanger which has left me practically chomping at the bit for the final book in the series, Absolution. I would sell a kidney to get my hands on this book (hey, you only need one right?)
Penitence was released in April, 2010 and Absolution is officially released in October, 2010. As a special treat, I’ve not only included the book trailer for Penitence but also for Absolution. If you can watch the trailer for absolution and NOT cry, then you are a harder person than I am.
Jennifer Laurens has also written other novels such as Falling for Romeo, Magic Hands and Nailed. She has her own website which you can visit by clicking here and from there you can access the blog for Jennifer's musings and regular contests. Jennifer is also active on Twitter and facebook. As if that wasn't enough for you, Heavenly also has its own website which you can visit by clicking here to get more information about the book and its sequels.