I have been a fan of Wendy Mass' books since I read LEAP DAY and A MANGO SHAPED SPACE. She scores once again in HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL, her latest novel. In bursts of verse, Mass tells the story of Tessa just as a dodgeball accelerates toward her head. At first, Tessa believes she has died and gone to heaven which looks suspiciously like her neighborhood mall. Tessa is no stranger to the mal since both of her parents have worked in the mall as long as Tessa can recall. She has grown up in the mall and seen her share of wonders there. Tessa's guide on her journey through this mall that might be heaven is a young man with a drill bit sticking out of his head. Shew learns that she is not quite dead but in a coma in the hospital. However in this mall-heaven, Tessa is handed a shopping bag of items that connect to he4r childhood and adolescence. These flashbacks help Tessa understand who she is and what she might one day like to be.
Loads of good humor, dead on tween and teen behavior, and a few curves thrown in for good measure all add up to a great, absorbing read. I really needed something to occupy me this evening as the news from home was sad: my cat, who had been diagnosed with a kidney infection, is no longer with us. In some ways it is better for me to be in this hotel room where I can indulge in some tears when I feel the need.