The night that Heaven lost her heart was cold and moonless. But the blade that sliced it out was warm with her dark blood...
David Pettyfer is taking a shortcut over the dark rooftops of London's brooding houses, when he literally stumbles across Heaven: a strange, beautiful, distraught girl who says that bad men have stolen her heart. Yet she's still alive...
And so begins David and Heaven's wild, exciting and mysterious adventure - to find Heaven's heart, and to discover the incredible truth about her origins.
I wish this photo of the cover did it a bit more justice because it's odd and strangely beautiful, which perfectly sums up the story it enfolds.
Obviously the premise is really unusual, paranormal without any kind of power struggle or super powers per se. Fantasy, but not really. Romance, but not in the stereotypical YA way. Instead this story reads a bit like a modern fairy tale, poetic, both scary and full of unpleasantness but ultimately a beautiful tale that feels like someone is reading it to you, instead of you reading it to you. It's possible this stems from it being a translation of a German story, giving it a cultural je ne sais quoi about it, a romanticism that's wholly un-North American. But maybe it's a personal style of the author, either way it's hard to say without being familiar with any German YA or Marzi's other works.
Both Heaven and David are charming characters, but the host of secondary characters in this story are equally lovely, and they left me wishing I could meet some of them for tea and chats about books. Miss Trodwood and Mr. Merryweather were my especial favourites, and I can honestly say I would love more stories involving them particularly.
Not your average YA read, I highly recommend picking up Heaven, if only to be swept away somewhere new for awhile.
Heaven, by Christoph Marzi
Published by Orchard Books, February 2nd, 2012