I took Rebecca Cornish Talley’s Heaven Scent with me on an ambulance transfer a few weeks ago, knowing I would have two and half hours to read on the way back. After having to put the book down (way too late at night), I had been anxious to get back to it. The story is about eighteen-year-old Liza who loves basketball. It has been her dream for many years to play for a local college team, and it looks like she’s about to get her wish as a recruiter comes to talk to her after her free-throws win the state championship game. Meanwhile, she’s angry with her father for dedicating his whole life to his work and virtually ignoring his family, and her big crush finally starts noticing her both in and out of school.

Just as things start to look up at home, and she thinks her family has a real chance, one more broken promise causes a tragedy that turns her life upside down.
I used many a tissue on this book, and thought Liza’s reaction to life, to her family and the difficulties she faced was very realistic. The dialogue is natural and I love Liza’s relationship with her brother. Because the tragedy is mentioned on the back cover, I kept trying to decide what it would be with every plot twist, but I was still surprised at the direction it took.

I look forward to seeing what other stories Rebecca Talley has up her sleeve. For younger readers, check out her picture book Grasshopper Pie.

And now for the drawing: Answer the following questions from Rebecca’s website and email them to me before July 4th at heather@heatherjustesen.com to be included in a drawing for a copy of Heaven Scent.

1: What kind of dancing did Rebecca perform as a teenager?

2: How many children does she have? Girls? Boys?

3: List the name of one link on her link’s page.

That’s it!