Alexandra (Alex) Dorenfield was 29 years old when she died with her dog, Peaches, when she is hit by a Mini Cooper at 4am. The next thing she knows is she is in a line with thousands of people heading towards the entrance of heaven. To pass the time, she talks and enjoys meeting the people closest to her in line and attracts the attention of a very good-looking guy. She doesn't know if they date in heaven but she'd sure like to know that guy better.
Once Alex is actually in heaven, she has a wonderful reunion with her beloved grandparents and her favorite uncle. She learns that she can live in the house of her dreams with Peaches. Inside the house, is a closet as big as a room filled with designer clothes and shoes that don't pinch. Alex, also, finds out that the house will clean itself and whenever you want something you just request it. Best of all, the good-looking guy from the line has moved in next door.
Everything is perfect until Alex is told that to remain on the 7th and highest level of heaven, she has to pass a test. This is not an ordinary test but an essay. The essay is to be about the 10 best days of her life. If she fails, Alex will be moved to a lower level of heaven. That's not a horrible thing as it is still heaven and she would still be able to see her family but the house wouldn't be as nice, the clothes not as fashionable and the men not as handsome.
This book is written with Alex's essays mixed in with what is currently happening in her life. The essays are numbered to make it easy to tell which is which. Each part gives you a better insight into the real Alex. And while this may seem like it could be hard to follow or not flow smoothly, that is not the case.
Alex's character is so well developed that you feel as if you would know her if you bumped into her. As Alex writes her essays, she always gives the reader background information as to why it is a best day. Her best days essays start with her conception. As her parents were not expecting to be able to have a baby, she was considered a miracle and treated as such. They continue through her childhood and her meeting her very best friend to her last day alive and her happiness at finding a job she loved. Throughout her life, you could see what drove her to do what she did and cheered as she discovered who she really is and what she had become.
Alex didn't expect to pass this test. She knew that she messed up her life and was nowhere near perfect. As she writes her essays, she examines her life and her goals. She decided what her priorities should be and resigns herself to dropping at least 3 or 4 levels in heaven. The one thing that she wants to do more than anything is let her parents know that she is okay. Others have told her that it's possible to make a connection back on earth but Alex just can't seem to do it. This bothers her more than writing the essays or the thought of going down levels.
I didn't think I'd like this book. It sounded strange. In all honesty, I have to say I loved it. I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to know what next in Alex's life. I wanted to watch her change her perceptions. I wanted her to realize that even though she may have walked to a different drummer than many of her friends and peers, she did it well. I couldn't wait until she realized that what she had done with her life affected others positively. I liked that when faced with a problem, the solution wasn't always conventional. I liked that I could relate to many of the things that Alex went through and could empathize with those that I couldn't.
And because it's heaven, you know that it has a happy ending.
A heavenly novel about what truly matters in life
In this hilarious and heartwarming first novel, twentynine- year-old Alexandra Dorenfield suddenly finds herself in heaven after an unfortunate encounter with a Mini Cooper. The seventh-and highest-level of heaven to be exact. Her dog Peaches is with her; she is reunited with her beloved grandparents; she has the wardrobe of a movie star; and she lives in the house of her dreams next door to a handsome guy. This is heaven!
But there's a catch. Alex must prove she led a fulfilling existence by writing an essay on the ten best days of her life- or she will be demoted to a lower level of heaven, where the clothes are last year's styles, the men aren't quite as handsome, and worst of all, Peaches and her family won't be nearby. Witty and inspiring, this divine debut novel dares to ask a material girl-and the rest of us-what makes life precious.