Saturday, February 11, 2012

[Review] On the Bright Side by S. R. Johannes

On the Bright Side is a hilarious road to guardian angeldom paved with so much drama and due-paying that it makes middle school look painless.
As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, Skyphones and InnerNets are all the rage. Until Gabby finds out she has to protect Angela, her school nemesis, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven. Problem is, Angela is now hitting on Gabby's should-have-been boyfriend. (awkward!) Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (like tripping is a sin?) at the hopes of cooling off the new couple. At first, they seem harmless until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, her Celestial Sky Agent, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, puts Gabby on probation, threatening her eternal future. Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death. 

Ok first of all, the main character, Gabriella, seems to be in the stage where she is stuck between tween and teen. I really doesn't like that stage in real life, and I can tell that Shelli portray it perfectly. But that doesn't mean I didn't like the book.  I found the plot SUPER unique! I don't think I had ever read something similar. At first, I wasn't really interested in Gabby at all. She was just I guess a little annoying with her crush, Michael. But when Gabby actually died, I got excited (sorry, I really didn't mean it in a bad way).

            When Gabby actually arrives at Cirrus, I loved everything! Gabby seemed super cute, and a character I love. She was like a normal tween, that was curious. I love how the Cirrus have different places such as The Body Shop where is it kind of like a hospital but cooler. And all the technologies at Cirrus were also kick ass! Man, I half excepted Iron Man himself behind the whole development of these amazing technologies. And if you know the show Totally Spies, the technologies reminded me of the spies' technologies, super cool! :) Cirrus itself was beautiful!! I imagined it as classic heaven (clouds, beautiful music, starry sparkle) with a hint of star trek in it. Kind of like

The buildings have big windows (a must have feature in my future house) that just make me want to squeal in delight! I can imagine 'night' time Cirrus and looking through those windows,

            Oh, how can I forget Jessica. Jessica is Gabby's friend. She is clumsy, and bubbly. I loved her, I think even a little more than Gabby. And when Gabby was given he assignment, the system can be drawn parallel to Harry Potter's sorting hat. And I felt the anger she had when she was chosen to look after Angela. Really well written Shelli! (Harry Potter fans, give this book a try!).
            The "evils" in this book reminded me of Inferno Devices/ Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Very mysterious and dark. There is also another kind of evil, the girl drama version. What will happen when you put two girls that are fighting over the same in one space? Cat fight! (Well not literally). I did kind of got a little annoyed at Gabby for making Angela's life a little miserable. I mean I didn't want Gabby to get into trouble! Every time Gabby does something bad, she could get punished. It was like the girl in a nightgown in a horror movie. You scream at her to NOT go into that freak place but she does it anyway. You get mad because you don't want anything to happen to her.
            I felt a different type of emotion when Gabby went back to see her family. Shelli wrote the novel with just enough descriptions to make me understand and actually feel the pain, the loneliness, and the sorrow but not to much so that I just read and don't feel the emotions. All these emotions made me started thinking about life and what I need to do to make it memorable and how life is too precious to be wasted. Shelli not only wrote a fabulous tween book with girl drama, magical gadgets and funny jokes but she also entwine in a deeper thought in the book. :') Beautiful.

Overall this book was fantastic! I don't care how old you are, read this book! I can't wait for more of Shelli's books!

5 out of 5!

Purchase Information
ebook: (available Jan 31st)
ISBN 10 – 0984799117
13 - 978-0-9847991-1-4
Paperback (available in Feb)
ISBN-10: 0984799133
ISBN-13: 978-0-9847991-3-8
How to Buy:

Paperback will be available in Feb.
To buy the Kindle ebook - The ebook is $2.99 and can be purchased at amazon

Book Trailer:


  1. thanks for the thoughtful review and for taking the time to read the book :)

    So true - gabby can be soooo infuriating! :)

  2. Haha, thank you for allowing me to be apart of this. <3 Great book!

  3. Omg this book looks so cuute! Great review! :D

  4. I love big windows as well:) I've never heard of this one before but it sounds interesting. I'm not certain I would like it because I tend more towards older YA than middle grade to younger YA. The cover is fun and unique and I'm glad you liked the book!

  5. This book sounds so cute!! And you're right to say that the plot is so unique. It makes me want to get it just because it is so different! Awesome review!

    I can't believe I haven't visited your blog until now! :) welcome to the blogging community!!

  6. @Dancing Thank you!

    @Giselle :D Thank you. I think Shelli is so creative! I would never had thought of anything like this book!

    @Flannery :) Big windows rule!

  7. That gif is adorable!! With the little kid and I love your review, and I know what stage you mean, my little cousin is in it ;)
    Great review!

  8. Awww thanks love <3 :) Lol, I am glad that you know what I mean! :D

  9. I'm not sure I would be particularly fond of this but I'm definitely recommending it to my daughter. Thanks! :)

  10. I LOVE S. R. Johannes !!! She is such an amazing writer and I am guilty of not picking this one up yet :( Love the review though and will grab it soon!!


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