Summer & Books: Angelhood

Inspired by the A to Z Blogging Challenge this past April, I have decided to blog about books for the month of June. I will be sharing tidbits about my own books and the other books on the Catholic Teen Books website.

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Are you concerned that the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why might be detrimental to teens? Here is a novel for teens that deals with suicide in a life-affirming manner: Amy Cattapan‘s Angelhood.

About the Book:

Seventeen-year-old theater geek Nanette believes her life is headed toward stardom on Broadway. But when her dream theater college rejects her and her best friend dies in a terrible accident, Nanette decides the world would be better off without her.

Unfortunately, the afterlife offers something less than a heavenly situation. Trapped between alternating periods of utter darkness and light, Nanette is stuck following a high school freshman around. Soon, she learns she’s a guardian angel, and the only way she can earn her wings is to keep her young charge, Vera, from committing the same sin she did—taking her own life.

But Nanette is missing more than just her wings. She has no tangible body or voice, either. Frustrated by her inability to reach out to Vera and haunted by memories of her old life, Nanette wants to give up, but then she sees what happens when another Guardian at the high school turns his back on his charge. The shock is enough to supercharge Nanette’s determination. She’s going to find peace in the afterlife…as soon as she can convince Vera that living is what life is all about.

Author A. J. Cattapan shared some “behind the scenes” with me about this book.

While she planned on writing Seven Riddles during NaNo 2011, the plot wasn’t working out and she ended up writing Angelhood!

“I was so frustrated and depressed that my writing career was over before it had begun, that three days before NaNo started I got an idea for a story about a girl who believes her acting career is over before it’s begun. In 3 days, I had all the characters mapped out and the story outlined, so that become my NaNo project instead of Seven Riddles.”

Many of the plays mentioned in the book are plays that A.J. Cattapan performed in high school or after college. And the basilica where the guardian angels meet, Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica, is a real church in Chicago that she visited while doing research for Seven Riddles to Nowhere.

I’ve heard many good things about this book, and I love Cattapan’s writing style (I read Seven Riddles to Nowhere), so Angelhood is on my “to read” list. But since I haven’t read it yet, I’ll share a review from Amazon.


“This is a YA novel but it will appeal to adults as well. Parents, this YA novel is completely safe to share with your kids in middle school and up. It’s a powerful and compassionate look at suicide as seen through the eyes of a teenager who does the unthinkable. In this story, “purgatory” means that a person becomes the guardian angel for someone else contemplating the same fate. Purgatory ends when the ultimate choice for life or death is made.
A.J. Cattapan has written a great story with terrific characters. I was carried away by Nanette’s battle to keep her charge from giving in to the darkness and evil that tried to surround her.
This is a difficult and dark subject but the author has written a story based on hope, not darkness.” ~Barb Szyszkiewicz

Connect with A.J. Cattapan:


Instagram: A.J.CattapanTwitter: @AJCattapan

Facebook: A.J. CattapanPinterest: A.J. Cattapan

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Have you stumbled upon a favorite book this summer? Tell me about it in the comments. Feel free to share a link.


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