Schmitt S. (2015). It’s a Wonderful Death. New York: Sky Pony Press.
RJ (Rowena Joy) Jones is a typical teen princess who always gets what she wants and who cares more about being popular than making real friends. To put it plainly, RJ is a mean girl. The only thing
different about her is, well, she just died. And she wasn’t supposed to. The last living memory she has is a crazed fortune teller using her as a human shield to evade the grasp of the Grim Reaper. Of course the Grim Reaper grabs RJ’s soul instead. Insta-death. Always a fighter, RJ insists for her life to be returned. Unfortunately, it’s never been done before, and the Grim Reaper doesn’t exactly have the raw power to do it. To have it done requires a very tricky process, including rewinding time back a decade or so. And if that wan’t bad enough, only a Tribunal of some very old angels has the power to do this, and they are not going to be happy about it. To convince the Tribunal that her soul is worthy of all this effort, RJ has to go through a series of tests that will push her soul to the limit and make her find out who she really is. Will RJ redeem her mean girl character traits, or will the Tribunal deem her soul unfit, and trap her in Processing until her ‘official death’? Whichever way, RJ isn’t going down without a fight, and with a little help from Death Himself and his guardian angels, things just might turn out OK.
It’s a Wonderful Death is a fantastic read. The story is compelling and draws you in to the last page with a strong, if somewhat snarky, female lead. Its underlying message speaks to you without you even realizing it and leaves you with more to think about than what you bargained for.