Series: Everyday Angel #1
Published by Scholastic Inc. on May 27th, 2014
Genres: Middle Grade
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
There’s more to Aria than meets the eye. She’s a guardian angel. And to earn her wings, she’ll have to help three different girls.
Aria’s first mission is Gabby Torres. Gabby’s brother is sick, and Gabby’s been so worried about him for so long, she’s forgotten who she is. When a new school offers her a fresh start, Gabby learns it’s hard to make friends while keeping half her life a secret.
Then Aria shows up. Aria, who knows exactly what to say and do to make Gabby feel better. Can Aria help Gabby find herself again? And will Gabby still trust Aria when she discovers what her new friend really is?
~ I am a fan of Victoria Schwab, and while I don’t read much Middle Grade, authors like Schwab make me take chances and read outside of my usual reading parameters. This one surprised me, since I’ve come to expect a certain out of grim, eerie, dark stories from the author, but she can also do heartwarming and quirky, which she proves with this book.
~ Aria is an angel, trying to earn her wings. She has the most amazing shadow (which in truth probably deserves some of it’s own recognition below in Timeless Characters), and she also has the super-power of being able to change her clothes and physical features at will (um, yes, please, THAT is the super power I’d like most). She cannot fly. Yet
~ Gabby Torres is Aria’s first assignment. It was so easy to relate to Gabby, she’s a good daughter, a loyal sister, but she’s lost, lonely and invisible to her mother. Since her beloved older brother has gotten ill, Gabby has found herself defined by his illness, and overlooked by her mother. So, she feels a lot of guilt, over her own feelings and the fact that there are things she can do that her brother can’t.
~ Gabby and her mother and brother have moved to a new city so that Marco can get proper treatment he needs. This, in a way, is a major relief to Gabby. While she misses her Abuela (her grandmother), starting over at a new school where no one knows that she’s Marco’s sister, or that her brother is even ill, is a guilty benefit for Gabby.
~ Meanwhile, Aria must befriend Gabby and to try to learn how to be human all at the same time. Which is hard, because this is Aria’s first time on earth and her trip did not come with a Frommer’s Guide book. 😉 She even has to make up a last name (she chooses Blue, which I love- Aria Blue).
~ Gabby and Marco have such a great relationship! It was my favorite part of the book, besides Gabby making new friends. I love my brothers, but our age differences are much bigger, and we are close now as adults, but in a lot of ways I was mostly an only child. Gabby and Marco understand each other, and his illness doesn’t seem to really get in the way 0f that. While Gabby is sad that her mother is putting Marco above everything else, she also understands. So, she’s not, you know, stepping on his IV lines or trying to pull the plug like some more resentful sisters might try to do.
~ Although Aria helps steer Gabby in the right direction, it really is Gabby herself that shines. Aria’s a bit like Mary Poppins or Nanny McPhee, she’s there to help, but you know all along she can’t stay. Which makes me sad, because she and Gabby are kind of adorable together.
~ When Gabby has to start a journal for English class, she finds herself writing not what is really happening in her life, but rather what she feels should be happening- Marco should be playing soccer in high school, everything should be going great. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when you find yourself lying to your own journal. But her first entry, the one she throws away, is heartbreaking and honest. What happens when you lose the things that make up who your thought you were?
I do love how Gabby and Aria try all the after school activities, kind of like Goldilocks picking her way through the Three Little Bears house, finding things that suit her just right.
~ If I could sing without making dogs cower and howl, then I would love to play “vocal hot potato”.
~ While Gabby and Aria click, their friendship is put to the test in the most extreme way. It’s very sad, and very realistic, the way Gabby reacts.
~ Although I would not have read this book if it weren’t by Victoria Schwab, I’m glad I did. It was sweet and funny, and while it could have been too cloyingly cute or non-secular, the book manages to strike a nice chord. So if you like your angel books without a lot of religion thrown in, then this book fits the bill. It’s about Gabby finding her own voice and not being afraid to live her life even while her brother struggles to keep ahold of his.
Gabby- not just your average angst ridden tween, our main character is struggling to climb out of the shadows of her brother’s illness.
Aria- an angel sent to help Gabby, this is her first task. Tends to eat foods of all one color and change the color of her shoelaces at will.
Marco- Gabby’s older brother, waiting in the hospital to get a special treatment for his cancer.
Charlotte- blonde and funny, she’s also in choir with Gabby.
Sam- Charlotte’s charming, short, piano playing friend.
Mr. Roberts- assigns Gabby and her classmates to writing a journal.
Henry- a very sick boy and friend to Marco.
Normally my Midnight Moment happens later in the book, but this one happened very early on. Gabby comes home from a visit with her brother, and even though she knows no one is home she still says hello. Her abuela taught her this custom, of greeting the ghosts in a home when you first get in. I thought it was a cute, slightly morbid, custom. Which works for me. 🙂
Also, the scene later in the book where Marco kind of loses his shiz over some news. He’s so
Stop the Clock:
If you have a tween, or about to be a tween, this is definitely a book you want to check out! Or if you just like angel books, because Aria’s type of angel is pretty unique. Or if you just want to support the awesome Victoria Schwab and know that despite the fact that she dresses on in black the author has the heart of a fluffy kitten inside. And while the book is sweet, it also has Gabby going through some tough times in a fairly realistic way. Remember those Scholastic catalogs you use to order books from in school? When younger Midnight Book Girl would have been all over this book.
New Beginnings (Everday Angel #1) gets a Midnight Book rating of: