Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review of On The Bright Side S.R Johannes Tour Stop

Welcome to my stop on the Tour! 
I have a Guest Post and Review for ya..

Coleman & Stott

On the Bright Side is a hilarious road to guardian angeldom paved with so much drama and due-paying that it makes middle school look painless.

As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, Skyphones and InnerNets are all the rage. Until Gabby finds out she has to protect Angela, her school nemesis, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven. Problem is, Angela is now hitting on Gabby's should-have-been boyfriend. (awkward!)

Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (like tripping is a sin?) at the hopes of cooling off the new couple. At first, they seem harmless until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, her Celestial Sky Agent, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, puts Gabby on probation, threatening her eternal future. 

Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death.

Paperback will be available in Feb.

To buy the Kindle ebook - The ebook is .99 for the first month and can be purchased at amazon or B&N for now.

Book Trailer:

Guest Post from S.R. Johannes:
Making Strong Girls Real

I tend to write feisty girl characters. I don’t know why it ends up that way. Maybe it says something about me. I am pretty feisty and outspoken. And just like my characters - with me – it’s pretty much what you see is what you get. I feel very strongly about “The Power Of One” so my characters are usually going up against a larger system that they think is unfair in some way – big or small.

Making strong girl’s feel real is the hard part. They can be tough, but they still have to be relatable and lovable.

In Untraceable, Grace fights town authorities and tribe officials. She openly goes against their requests (or demands) to let her investigation on her father’s disappearance go. She goes with her gut and is willing to accept the consequences. Yet Grace has a soft side. Her vulnerability is shown through with her feelings for her dad and her mom. I think you hurt for the confusion and unfairness in her life, even though she tries not to complain about it. She is also very vulnerable when it comes to nature, she would do anything to fight for the environment and animals. Including risking her life without stopping to think about it. Yet, she tries to pretend she isn’t the slightest bit “weak” or sensitive. I think that internal struggle to stand strong when really she just wants to crumble makes her endearing.

In On The Bright Side, Gabby struggles with her situation and thefact that it isn’t “fair”. She does a great job at having a ‘woe is me’ mentality mixed with “grass is greener on the other side” for part of the book. Her main struggle is that she is jealous so she lashes out by challenging authority figures and new rules. She is tough in that she does what she wants, knowing the trouble she could be in. She goes with her emotions and therefore loses her way for about ½ of the book. But in the end, she digs deep when she has to and turns it around (even though she ends up putting all of heaven and earth in great peril :).

Gabby is grumpy and mischievous (which I find funny since she is an angel) yet you feel sorry for her because she died and shouldn’t have. She wants to follow the rules but her heart leads her (which is strange b/c she has no heart – she’s dead after all). Her silly antics and the way she looks at life (and death) is too funny, which allows us to laugh at a deeper topic - death.

Gabby was much tougher to write than Grace. I struggled with the tween voice at first. I think I am much more comfortable doing teen. You see (and I know this make come as a big shocker! :) – I too am snarky (waits for gasps of shock). Snarky can be misinterpreted at bitchy sometimes. And having a snarky tween is tough because middle graders are reading your book and they are often not as grumpy or rebellious as teens may be. There is a huge difference between 10 and 14. So I struggled with how to make Gabby funny yet disgruntled, while still making sure she wasn’t too whiny or mean.
Thanks so much! I love getting inside info on how you all come up with great compelling characters!

*I got a little long with this one*

What a great tween book! It's funny, refreshing and you will feel right there with Gabby!

I will be telling my kids school they HAVE to add this for the middle grades books. "tweens" will love it, it has everything I remember from being that age. Besties, jealousy, trying to do the right thing.

Gabby is a great girl. She is loyal, strong, and caring...and also I found her very funny. While she is in training well she gets everything all messed up and needs to fix it. This helps her grow as a person and you will love her.

Jessica is amazing! She is such a great friend and the "voice of reason" in the relationship trying to guide Gabby. 

Michael ... this poor boy. I feel his pain. At any age it's hard to loose someone. I think he does a great job at being Gabby' best friend.

Angela... Well she is one of "those" girls from school. Who has it all and wants more, esp. what everyone else has. But is there more? READ THIS BOOK

Very well written characters. Each is brought to life in their own unique way and Johannes does this wonderfully! The world she has created in this story ... well I want to visit that and play with the SKYfone and all the other cool gadgets!! 


  1. On the Bright Side seems like a really cute book. It's hard sometimes to find a fun tween book w/a positive message. This would be a great book for young readers. Great review!

  2. This sounds like such a cute story! Thanks for the great review and guest post! oh! I added your button to my blog roll.


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