What a breath of fresh air!
This is, quite simply, a great book. When Gabriella (Gabby)'s young life is cut short thanks to a combination of a drunk driver and inopportune texting, death takes a turn for the better (or, more interesting, at least).
There are so many things I liked about this novel. The opening, with Gabby narrating her own funeral (in a flawless MG voice, no less), had me hooked, straight away. The writing is really solid. Johannes is clearly a natural for this genre.
And, I'd like to add that I was unusually impressed by the creativity of it all. Gabby's "Havenly" world really came to life.
I was also very happy to see how her character arc developed, quite naturally, as the unusually fresh plot unfolded.
My only reservation, and the only reason I can't give ON THE BRIGHT SIDE a full 5 stars is the prevalence of puns. I'm not saying that they're bad puns, but when one page alone had no less than seven ("White Carpet", "SKYweekly", "Vera Wing", "Calvin Divine", "Dolce & Nirvana", "Jonah's Brothers"), I literally cringed. What, at first, is a really fun play on words, began to grate, as time went on.
Other than that, it's a good, fun, clean read for tweens and teens. 4 Stars!
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