Book Nerd Interview
I appreciate that Kirkus ‘got it,’ that they knew there could be an angel story that was a sibling book and a main character who didn’t have any special powers at all, who in fact wasn’t the angel. I, too, love the tension that comes from Jenna being wholly human and having to navigate the world of angels, especially when she catches her brother Casey trying to research the word on Google, which doesn’t give her much hope for whoever Upstairs is running the show.
Still. It’s a year later when THE A-WORD opens up. Jenna is turning 15. And her mild but mentioned interest in one Ryan Sloboda from book 1 has developed into a full-blown crush. Which I for one had very much been looking forward to writing and hope that you all are very much looking forward to reading!
I don’t want to give away too many details, but let’s just say that Jenna has met her match in Ryan Sloboda. He’s athletic and sweet and she delights in the small, goofy things, like how he spells out all the words when he texts her. She thinks there’s something special in the fact that he TAKES HIS TIME about things. She thinks he’s smart and funny and loyal and cute as can be. Of course the problem is: Jenna’s got this huge A-Word secret hanging over her head and driving her to school every day and still sharing the bathroom with her. Her lunkhead brother Casey. And it’s kinda hard to have your first real boyfriend when you can’t tell him the most basic of truths about your life.
I hope everyone enjoys the Ryan/Jenna romance. I also love that I get to spin it out in contrast with all the book’s other not so good or doomed relationships—and there a bunch of them! Makes it that much sweeter, I think, knowing that not everyone is lucky in love, at least not all the time.
I’ll leave you with one of my favorite, not too spoiler-y Jenna quotes in regards to Ryan: “A million thoughts had been dancing in my brain: Did he like me? Was my breath fresh? Was that really Axe he’d spritzed on himself?”
Except now Casey's begun to wonder why he's still hanging around—not that he minds protecting Jenna. She's a handful, but there's got to be a bigger picture, right? Something to distract him from his on again/off again, doomed relationship with cheerleader Lanie Phelps, who has no idea her boyfriend is, well, dead. After all, he can't use his angel wings anymore. Neither can Amber.
Enter Bo Shivers, Amber's "angel boss"—a mysterious A-word guy Jenna and Casey didn't even know existed. Whiskey-guzzling. Handsome in a grizzled way. Unpredictable. Okay, make that crazy. Bo lost his angel wings in an earthly flight a long, long, long time back—and he's been a thorn in Angel Management's side ever since. But Bo knows something is coming. Something big. Something that was worth forfeiting wings for Jenna... something that might just change everything for everyone.
Fifteen-year-old Jenna may be young but she’s already been through a lot. On top of the fact that her family is broken and her brother came back as her guardian angel, she can’t vent out her problems to her best friend. She tries to live a normal life and pursues a relationship with Ryan. Written in her POV, she has definitely grown since the last book and has developed more self-confidence. She’s more aware of what is stake and is more willing to stand up for herself and say what’s on her mind.
Preble’s storytelling is absolutely wonderful. The amazing character building enhances the story as she brilliantly takes you into a familiar world laced with unique twists of her own. The writing delivered a steady pace and never ran into a dull moment. The excellent buildup to the climax will have readers on the edge. As answers are delivered, more questions will arise. The A-Word is a unique twist in the angel world with tremendous excitement, fun, and heart-stopping adventure.