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About Devine Intervention

"Frequently hysterical ... devastatingly honest writing that surprises with its occasional beauty and hits home with the keenness of its insight." 

—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

 

"So much fun... an insightful story about seizing life for all it’s worth while you have the chance."

—Publishers Weekly


"It is a pleasure to read a writer who so delights in language, and who writes so captivatingly in a teen voice with such imaginative description."

— Los Angeles Times

“This is a love story. Not a romantic love story, but a story of the development of a deep caring relationship with another being. Humorous and sad at times, it brings us to ask ourselves what we think about heaven and how we get there. Believable and fast-paced, it keeps us reading to the end.”

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Tuesday
Mar272012

A starred review from Kirkus

If you're an author, you'd have to be pretty masochistic to read all of your reviews, let alone believe them. All you can really do is write as well as you can, hope you get a great editor, and remember that the life and love you poured into your story is the point of the enterprise. That's time well spent no matter what happens.

But it's still pretty darned incredible to get your first review and have it earn a star from Kirkus, the self-proclaimed "world's toughest book critics."

When I was writing DEVINE INTERVENTION (which was then called TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR THE DEAD), I knew it was my story to tell, that I was breathing the measures of pain, sadness, fear, loneliness, love and joy I've experienced into characters who felt real to me, even as their situations are decidedly, uh, fantastic.

Because some weird stuff happens in the book, I was prepared for people to be unable to relate to it. And certainly, I'd encountered at least one agent who not only couldn't relate, but hated the story.

So far, though, that person's been the exception. My wonderful editor, Arthur Levine, sent a long and unforgettable note when I handed in my revision. Do you know how good it feels to write a book that makes the editor of Harry Potter happy? 

Then, a bookseller who got an ARC pullled an acquaintance of mine aside--without knowing that we knew each other--to tell her what fun she was having reading it.

And while I can't talk about everything good that's happening behind the scenes (yes, there's more), I can share this review, which describes the book I intended to write. I'm incredibly lucky the book fell into the hands of the right reader, and it's something I hope continues to happen.

DEVINE INTERVENTION [STARRED REVIEW]
Author: Brockenbrough, Martha

Review Issue Date: April 15, 2012
Online Publish Date: March 28, 2012
Publisher:Levine/Scholastic
Pages: 304
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.99
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-0-545-38213-7
Category: Fiction

Jerome is no teen angel.

A hell raiser when alive and killed by his cousin in eighth grade in an unfortunate archery accident, he has spent his afterlife in Soul Rehab assigned to Heidi in an attempt to win his way into Heaven. Not that he's very committed to the notion; he lost his "Guardian Angel's Handbook" pretty much right away, but he sort of tries. Heidi has more or less enjoyed Jerome's company, though he could sometimes be annoying. When Heidi, having experienced unendurable humiliation in a high-school talent show, ventures onto thin ice and falls through, Jerome does his best to save her soul-as much for her own sake, he's surprised to find, as for his. Brockenbrough devises a devilishly clever narrative, alternating Jerome's first-person account with Heidi's tightly focused third-person perspective. Tying both together are commandment-by-commandment excerpts (often footnoted) from Jerome's lost handbook, each stricture slyly informing the succeeding chapter. The rules governing Jerome's afterlife lead to frequently hysterical prose. He can't swear, of course, so he substitutes euphemisms: ". if I weren't so chickenchevy"; "It was a real mind-flask." Beneath the snark, though, runs a current of devastatingly honest writing that surprises with its occasional beauty and hits home with the keenness of its insight.

As the clock ticks down on Heidi's soul, readers will be rooting for both Jerome and Heidi with all their hearts. (Paranormal adventure. 12 & up)

Used with permission from Kirkus Reviews Online | © 2012 Kirkus Reviews

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  • Response
    Plus the Wumpalump was shocked when he saw them. “Who told you that you lacked clothing? Did you look to the nothingness as I warned you not to?”Tiny Lump 1 was afraid. “Little lump 2 told me”, he stated trembling. And small lump 2 trembled even extra. “The seed told me,” ...
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    Response: VFebNyoR
    A starred review from Kirkus - Martha Brockenbrough - author - martha brockenbrough - author

Reader Comments (11)

Congratulations! Really, really good news. :)
March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBen
When's your book signing? I can't wait to read this!!!
March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMargit Crane
YAY! I am so proud of you! :) Congrats! Is this what you were working on back when I was nannying or was that another project?
March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristine-Chioma
Congratulations, Martha! It couldn't be bestowed on a more deserving soul. Can't wait to read your creation!
March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTrudi Trueit
Congratulations Martha! and great perspective on the process, too- enjoy!
March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShannon Polson
Congrats Martha! So happy for you! I Can't wait to read it.
March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMary
WAY TO GO, MARTHA! I can't wait to get my copy! WHY IS JUNE 1ST SO FAR AWAY?!
March 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAme Dyckman
Congrats, Martha! I'm sure the book deserves this ... and so much more. I can't wait to read it and can't thank you enough for being such a helpful instructor for our class!
March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusie Rantz
Congrats, Martha! I'm sure the book deserves this ... and so much more. I can't wait to read it and can't thank you enough for being such a helpful instructor for our class!
March 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusie Rantz
Congrats, Martha! Looking forward to reading the book!
April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick Jennings
Congratulations again, Martha... and I just LOVE that book trailer!
June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Rose Stanton

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