by Danielle Steel

July 2003
ISBN: 0-385-33549-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Delacorte Press

Johnny Angel by Danielle Steel is not a romance novel in her classic style. It’s instead the story of Johnny, his family, and his girlfriend Becky who all have a love for one another that not even a tragic death can end.

Johnny and Becky have been high school sweethearts for the majority of high school, and are now approaching the end of their senior year. It’s never been spoken aloud, but they have an understanding that when the time is right they will marry. Both families are pleased with the idea of their children marrying.

Tragedy is nothing new to either the Adams or Peterson families. They’ve both suffered and will suffer again at the time in their lives when they should be celebrating a great joy. Johnny is killed instantly on prom night, and Becky is injured, but her physical injuries heal quickly. The emotional injuries, of not only Becky but the entire Peterson family will take longer to heal.

A true miracle appears in the form of Johnny who can be seen by only 2 people…his mom and his younger brother. Johnny knows he’s been sent back to earth to complete a mission, but has no clue what his mission is, or how long it should take. His mother and he enjoy this second chance to come to terms with his death.

Ms. Steel has taken a plot twist that could be considered by some to be somewhat contrived but that I thought was beautifully written. I felt as though Johnny was allowed to manipulate some wrongs, and make things work out for others in the book, so that they could go on to live completely fulfilled lives. Johnny Angel is a book that allows those who have had to deal with the death of a child to feel that maybe they also now have a guardian angel watching out for them, as Johnny watched out for those he had loved on earth.

When you read Johnny Angel you will want to set aside a couple of hours of time, and a big box of tissues. This is a very easy read, and can be read in one sitting if you’re uninterrupted.

Reviewed in September 2003 by Sandi.

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