Warning: This review reveals the end of the book. Read at your own risk
I enjoyed it. I'm not sure it deserved all the attention it received, but it was a good story.
The author's view of heaven was interesting. I'm not sure it's a place I'd particularly want to be though. But since you more or less create your own heaven maybe my heaven would be a place I want to be. But I can't imagine a place as "heaven" without loved ones that have already passed on. And it's interesting that although there's a heaven there's never any mention of hell. Even at 15 (13?) I'd have been curious about that.
And it seems like once in heaven you no longer mature which causes some problems if you think about infants who have died or babies who were miscarried or aborted. But I think that kind of thought is well beyond the scope of this book.
I liked all the characters in the book. Their reactions to the tragedy were believable, complicated, tragic, messy and above all, human.
I was a little disappointed by the end of the book though. Sure, Susie gets her closer, but I'm guessing the rest of the family will never know that Ray is dead so they'll never have the kind of closure that she gets. And I'm not a big fan of the death penalty, which is pretty much what he received. I'd rather have him sit and jail and suffer for his crimes.