July 28, 2010

Review: Penitence by Jennifer Laurens **Spoilers**


"Seeing good and evil spirits is a gift Zoe guards with her life.
Despite her guardian angel’s disappearance, Zoe forces herself to accept that she still has a purpose—but how does she carry the weight of her brother’s drug abuse, the hardship of living with an autistic sister, and a best friend who’s obsessed with a guy who only wants Zoe?

She’s never felt more alone.

When a mysterious spirit appears, Zoe thinks she has a new guardian angel. Instead, her brother’s addiction worsens, her parents are on the brink of separation, and her best friend tries to kill her. The spirit she thinks is her new guardian isn’t there to protect her: he’s out to destroy her family and seize Zoe’s soul. . . for Hell.

Will Matthias’ return mean that he is Zoe’s guardian angel again? Or is their love the reason the jaws of Hell now gape open? "

Heavenly ends with Zoe dying, and being in a paradise type place with her beloved Matthias. But as Penitence begins we find out that Zoe was not meant to die yet, and therefore gets sent back to life....without Matthias.

Zoe awakens in a hospital room, her memory of the accident and afterlife a little hazy. Her first reaction is to look around the room for Matthias, but he's nowhere in sight. Though she is surrounded by her caring family, her heart and soul aches for Matthias.

Once she is released from the hospital, Zoe goes home and tries to make sense of it all. Thoughts flood her head...Where is Matthias? Is he still her guardian angel? Why did she come back from death? Is Matthias being punished for falling in love with her? Will she ever see him again?

When Matthias does finally appear, he doesn't have many answers for Zoe. Not only does he tell her that he can't be her guardian anymore, but they also can't touch, at all.

Now Zoe is more confused then ever, and after a few weeks of rest, returns to school. While walking to her locker she passes Weston, her best friend's ex-boyfriend. Weeks ago, Weston had every intention of raping her at a party. If Matthias hadn't saved her at the last minute, he probably would have. When Weston approaches Zoe and asks if they can talk, she tells him to stay away from her. Though he apologizes and assures her that he would not have gone through with it, Zoe is skeptical. But time passes, and Matthias isn't around as much. Zoe starts spending time with Weston, and gets to know the real him. After redeeming himself in Zoe's eyes, Weston proclaims his love for her.

As much as Zoe is drawn to Weston, she is still completely in love and devoted to Matthias. She would give anything to be with Matthias forever, but how can that happen when it feels like they are being pulled apart? One of those forces being Matthias' father Albert, who unlike his angelic son, has gone to the dark side. It's good versus evil, love versus hate.

Is Zoe meant to be with Matthias, or must she make a difficult choice and walk away for the sake of her own heart? How long can she hold onto someone who is not human?

Just like with Heavenly, I loved this book! Seriously could not get enough of it! With every page it got better and better. I laughed, I cried, I did both at the same time. In the beginning of the book I kept thinking, "Where is my Matthias? Where is he? Where is he?" The hole Zoe felt inside, when she didn't know where he was, was so intense I felt it too. Then he returned, and I breathed a sigh of relief!

But things for Zoe and Matthias are different now, more complicated. And as much as I love Matthias, I felt myself liking Weston a lot too. In Heavenly he was such a superficial jerk, but in Penitence we really get to see his true self, his good heart. Zoe becomes a stronger person in this book. She no longer uses alcohol as a crutch, instead she just deals with things head on. Also, trying to help her brother kick his addiction, was very admirable.

All in all it was a great read. I can't talk about this book without smiling! Anyone who has read Heavenly will become just as absorbed in Penitence. It was utterly fabulous, five star perfection!
As for me, I'll be waiting with baited breath for the release of book three, Absolution!

For author information visit the following sites:


  1. Great review! When I first started reading it, I was a bit disgusted by Weston being in the picture, and irritated by Matthias' absence. And then I fell in love with Weston and decided Zoe hanging onto Matthias isn't fair to any of them, particularly Matthias and Weston. I started to detest her for making them both so miserable, but I had no idea what I thought she should do. Oh, I could go on all day! Anyways, great books, great review! Lol.

  2. Hi Amanda :) Thanks for taking the time to leave your comments. Have you read any other books by Jennifer Laurens?

  3. Hello!

    That was a most wonderful review. I haven't read it yet. There are soo many on my TBR list of course. I'll get to it some day :)

    Jump on over to my blog! I have an award for you :)



  4. Thanks for the great thoughts on Penitence, Lisa.I'm happy you liked the book :)

  5. Thanks so much Twisted, you're very sweet :)

    And Jennifer, I'm always happy to sing your praises!!!!!!


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