Friday, May 8, 2009

All We Know of Heaven ~ Jacquelyn Mtichard review

All We Know of Heaven
Jacquelyn Mitchard
Harper Teen
April 29, 2008
320 Pages

All We Know of Heaven is a case of mistaken identity (the mistake bit of which doesn't occur until quite a while into the book) that happens after a tragic car accident involving two lifelong best friends.

Bridget and Maureen--both sixteen-years-old--have been best friends for years, always together they even look almost identical. But when the car accident leaves one girl dead and one girl, horribly injured, in a coma, they're sure they know who it is: Bridget. They even have Maureen's funeral.

To say too much more would, in my opinion, take away the reason for reading it so I'll get to my review: All We Know was not quite Mistaken Identity the story written by the two families who actually went through the tragedy of having their daughters mistaken for each other (I haven't read the book but I've seen them on different shows so it seems there are really some differences--which makes sense, they didn't know each other & in the book the girls were best friends) and it's not quite a love story...but it seems to try to be both. And hooray for run-on sentences!

I think the problem and why All We Know never really..gripped me was that it was trying to do too many things: show Maureen trying to carve out her own identity and figure out how to live her life, be a love story of sorts, tell a tragic tale of two familes (and a town) torn apart by one mistake. To just tell the tale of the familes dealing with the news of the 'mix-up' would have been a would telling how a girl deals with finding out everyone thought she was dead and the girl lying in the coma was not her but her best friend-and dealing with everyone's reactions...even the 'love story' of that girl and the other character (whom I won't mention) could have been a lot more.

But the way all of those things were included seemed to, not really build on each other, but almost distract from each other. Instead of a supporting b and showing how c was happening so that everything was woven together to simply tell the story, it felt like too much was trying to fit in the story and as a result, nothing quite got its due. (I hope that made sense.) And I wasn't really satisfied with the ending either, but that could be subjective, at this point I'm not really sure.



  1. good review. I've heard of that story, the real story. This book sounds interesting.

  2. Thanks for the review. I've read a few short stories written by Mitchard, but never any of her books. It's good to know that I haven't missed too much.

  3. @Angie
    It was the first thing I've read by her and it wasn't super impressive....I do own The Midnight Twins, also by her, already--from a contest--though so someday I'll likely review that, too. I didn't know she'd written short stories...

    Thanks for commenting (and reading the blog).


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