Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: Earthbound by Teresa Sneed (Whitney Finalist)

Title: Earthbound
Author: Theresa Sneed
Enjoyment Rating: **
Whitney Finalist
This book would be rated: PG

I know I should find a way to be diplomatic about this book, and if I were less tired and overwhelmed by my toddlers, I'm sure I could find a way. But I am feeling cranky, and I have a feeling that will come out in this review. I read Theresa Sneed's No Angel for the Whitneys last year, and while I enjoyed the first half of that book, I had a really hard time getting into this story. Like No Angel, Earthbound  starts in the preexistence, and basically covers the story of the War in Heaven from the point of view of one spirit, Sophie. Sophie is falling hard for Daniel, a courageous spirit, and a lot of the story is about their romance against the backdrop of the war in heaven.

The problem with the book is that it felt so corporeal. The book takes place in the spirit world, but Sneed describes Sophie and Daniel with very human sensations and feelings and emotions. There is a lot of emphasis, for example, on what Sophie is wearing in the book, and every time I read a detail like this, it was hard for me to reconcile a preoccupation with clothing with a spirit. Furthermore, the book seems to be set in a world very much like modern-day America (maybe five years from now), with texting and classrooms and all that kind of stuff. If the story had been really compelling, I might have been able to overlook the details, but instead, I got all hung up in them.

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