Johnny Peterson could light up a room with a word or a smile. He had a future filled with promise - until he stepped into a car on prom night and, in an instant, it was all taken away. In the months that followed, Johnny's family and his high school sweetheart, Becky, struggle to put together the pieces of their shattered lives. No-one is more ...Read MoreJohnny Peterson could light up a room with a word or a smile. He had a future filled with promise - until he stepped into a car on prom night and, in an instant, it was all taken away. In the months that followed, Johnny's family and his high school sweetheart, Becky, struggle to put together the pieces of their shattered lives. No-one is more devastated than Johnny's mother, Alice, but amid the heartache, something miraculous is about to happen. When a sudden illness sends Alice to hospital, a glorious vision comes to her - there, standing before her, is Johnny himself, gently urging his bewildered mother to be strong for her splintered family. Through a season of hope and healing, Johnny will walk by his mother's side, leading his parents, his girlfriend, his sister and his brother out of their grief. But as Alice is about to discover, Johnny has returned not just to help those he loves, but to uncover a purpose even he cannot comprehend - one that will change them all forever.Read Less
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I read this book about a few years ago,and even from the beginning,one could tell that the mood of the book would be very somber. The narrator's life was cut short almost immediately,and from there the story begins. It was fascinating,trying to imagine what it would feel like if someone I was close to would have died and be surrounding me without even knowing it. Reading this book was sort of a revelation for me,in that it made me wonder if it were really possible to be living without actually being alive after death...Hmmm....Something to ponder on....
Publishers Weekly, 2003-06-02 In the 1962 rock ballad, Johnny Angel isn't an angel, but an angelic young dreamboat. In Steel's book, the titular hero is both-as well as class valedictorian, a football/track star, a faithful boyfriend and a college scholarship winner who holds down two jobs to help out his family; on top of it all, he has "great teeth." Killed in a car crash after his senior prom, 17-year-old Johnny Peterson is sent back to earth as an angel. His mission: to fix certain troubles left unresolved at the time of his death involving his girlfriend, Becky, her impoverished mother and his dysfunctional family. The plot may strike TV viewers as little more than a warmed-over Touched by an Angel rerun, but the theme-the healing power of love-is classic Steel. Unfortunately, the story is flawed by clunky characterizations. The sticking point isn't that Steel reveals her characters' problems through authorial proclamation rather than action and dialogue-that bluntness is simply her style-but that she explains those problems repeatedly. The first time readers learn that Johnny's dad drinks himself into a stupor every night from guilt over causing the accident that traumatized Johnny's brother, Bobby, into muteness, it is necessary information. The second repeat can be justified as emphasis. But multiple further repetitions are downright tedious. Still, Steele's heartfelt depiction of the central relationship between Johnny and his mother is touching, and few readers will get through the revelation of Johnny's final gift with dry eyes. (July 1) Forecast: Even hard-core Steel fans may balk at the skimpiness of this offering-the book is near novella-length-and value-conscious readers are likely to make a beeline for the library. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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