Layoverland by Gabby Noone
Publication Date: January 21, 2020
Summary from NetGalley:
Beatrice Fox deserves to go straight to hell.
At least, that’s what she believes. Her last day on Earth, she ruined the life of the person she loves most–her little sister, Emmy. So when Bea awakens from a fatal car accident to find herself on an airplane headed who knows where, she’s confused, to say the least.
Once on the ground, Bea receives some truly harrowing news: she’s in purgatory. If she ever wants to catch a flight to heaven, she’ll have to help five thousand souls figure out what’s keeping them from moving on.
But one of Bea’s first assignments is Caleb, the boy who caused her accident, and the last person Bea would ever want to send to the pearly gates. And as much as Bea would love to see Caleb suffer for dooming her to a seemingly endless future of eating bad airport food and listening to other people’s problems, she can’t help but notice that he’s kind of cute, and sort of sweet, and that maybe, despite her best efforts, she’s totally falling for him.
From debut author Gabby Noone comes a darkly hilarious and heartfelt twist on the afterlife about finding second chances, first loves, and new friendships in the most unlikely places.
ARC provided by Penguin Group via NetGalley for an honest review.
I just love a good story about what happens after we die. This one is pretty good, except that I thought the ending was a little abrupt, but that might have been due more to the fact that there were a lot of blank pages at the end of the e-ARC so I kept thinking there was more? But other than that it was a wonderful story.
The story starts with Bea already dead and on her way to Layoverland. We find out what happened to her, how she died, through flashbacks to what happened on her last day. I started off not liking Bea very much but she did grow on me. In life she wasn’t a very nice person, or at least not on that last day. But she does love her sister, and that came through even when she wasn’t being her best with her. Bea is impulsive and does many things without thinking that get her, and at times, her sister into trouble. Her experiences in Layoverland do start to change her though. I have hope by the end of the story that her after life will change her for the better.
Caleb is such a sweet guy, which we totally get to see as he and Bea explore his memories. I felt so sorry for him, for the way that Bea manipulated him at first. But as she got to know him, her perception of him and of herself changes. Not sure I totally bought into the romance between them, but I did get why they went there.
I also really liked Bea’s roommate, Jenna. She was such a sweet soul who really wanted to be liked and loved. She was just perpetually happy, which was amazing considering how she died and how her life had been. The relationship she develops with Bea was more realistic and fun to watch develop.
I must say that the idea of purgatory being an airport was genius. From the crappy food, everything was encased in jello, to the endless waiting with nothing to do! It was perfect. I also liked that the characters were allowed to see their memories and have help finding out what was keeping them from moving on. Some of those scenes of Bea helping those people were very well done.
This was a pretty fast read, mostly because it was pretty short as well. But it was well paced and hard to put down. The ending was beautiful, even if it was abrupt for me. But I really think that had to do with the fact that I thought there was 10 pages left. If you like these kinds of stories then this is one you will want to take a look at.