by Keary Taylor
For most of her life, Jessica has been unable to sleep well. Whenever she falls asleep, she finds herself in the presence of angels, both exalted and condemned. It is her job to stand in the place of someone who has just died and face the judgment of the dead to decide if the soul goes up or down. Every time a decision is made, Jessica suffers from extreme pain and wakes screaming. The scars on her back are proof of her nightmares.
After years of never being believed, Jessica has found a place away from most people where she can fight to stay awake and scream in private when she can't avoid sleep any longer.
When two men appear in her life, Jessica suddenly finds that her dreams are changing and that's not necessarily a good thing.
Final thoughts: This could be so great if the author was better. The idea is fascinating and the beginning of the book sets it up very well. Unfortunately, the writing starts to slip over the course of the book and it just gets worse and worse. There are editing and consistency issues like Jessica's age changing from 24 to 20 in the space of a chapter. Time passes strangely without any clear indications. It starts off pacing over days and then we're suddenly weeks or months later in the timeline. Taylor repeatedly tells the reader things that just don't make sense. "I didn't even notice how the water was ice cold as it hit my skin..." If you didn't even notice it, how could you mention it? She often uses the same adjectives and adverbs repeatedly in the same paragraph. It bugged me no end when she used "amazingly" twice within two sentences. Is there no thesaurus nearby to help find alternate words? The characters started strong and became flat over the course of the book and the ending was rushed, as if Taylor couldn't wait to start on book two. Dull and lifeless at the end, I can't recommend this one to anyone.