Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall by Wendy Mass
4 Stars on http://teensreadtoo.com/ (also reviewed for Hip Scouts)
When 16-year-old Tessa sees the orange dodgeball flying at her from across her high school gym, it never even occurs to her to duck. Soon after, she finds herself floating towards heaven, which looks just like the mall where her parents work and where she has spent a good deal of her life.
She is led to the Lost and Found, where she is given a bag of items: items that she has taken home from the mall during her lifetime, and each item takes her on a journey to her past. She relives several memories, many of which she'd rather forget, and she realizes that it is up to her to sort through her life up until the moment the dodgeball hits her and finally answer the most important question of all.
I really enjoyed HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL, and would definitely recommend it, especially to fans of stories like A CHRISTMAS CAROL. It is written in verse, but if that's not your thing don't let it stop you. About a quarter of the way through I stopped noticing the verse because I was so engrossed in the story, and Wendy Mass does a wonderful job making the reader feel for Tessa, even if she's not always the most likeable person. Whether you're looking for a fun summer read, an interesting verse novel, or a deeper story about life and death, you shouldn't miss HEAVEN LOOKS A LOT LIKE THE MALL.