Tessa Reynolds is finishing up her junior year of high school. She's just had a humiliating experience at the prom, and she's constantly struggling with her weight and her perfectionist mother.
When she sees a dodgeball zooming toward her head in gym class, she doesn't bother to duck. As she falls to the gym floor, she floats up to what seems to be heaven while examining the scene beneath her. When she arrives, she finds that heaven looks a lot like the mall, where she's spent most of her free time over the years.
After initially rebelling at having to relive what are often painful memories, she slowly begins to gain a better perspective of her life, her friends, and her family. She sees the decisions she made, and now, with hindsight, she can learn from them. She is given the choice to return to her life, and she takes it, armed with a new self-esteem and big hopes for her future. After all, high school doesn't last forever.
Written in witty, accessible verse, this poetry novel will both move and entertain readers and make them reevaluate their own lives, too.
Wendy Mass won the ALA Schneider Family Book Award for her first young readers' novel, A Mango-Shaped Space, about a girl with the fascinating condition synesthesia. In Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, a boy embarks on a life-changing journey. In Every Soul a Star, three very different kids are brought together by a solar eclipse; and in The Candymakers, four kids enter the contest of a lifetime. The Space Taxi series sends a boy and a talking cat on adventures to distant planets, and the Willow Falls books (beginning with 11 Birthdays) add a dash of magic into a small town. Wendy lives in New Jersey with her family.