In his debut and self published novel Xavier Leret, takes the reader to the dark place of child prostitution and the light that one girl encounters when she starts to interact with a proper 16 year old boy. However, her life may be too much for either of them to handle.
Sixteen year old Carlo has been raised in a very religious family who thought that it was best to hide the realities of the world, but this does not mean that he does not see the differences from his privileged life compared to other. He is constantly seeking something different, away from the religious restraint that his parents have over him and when he sees Daisy, a child prostitute who has grown up in the hard life on the street and has never felt love from anyone. Carlo knows that he has found someone who will be a profound impact on his life.
Heaven sent is not an easy book to read, it touches on topics that other authors may be afraid to touch, talk about or give a different view than the norm. I also did have a little bit of trouble getting into the book, though I think the book becomes better as the story unfolds and Leret found his stride as an author and storyteller. The Ending literally left me breathless.
Leret excels within this book is his ability to take the reader on an emotional roller coaster where you do not know what is going to happen next. I think the emotions a reader will go through is how they personal few the situation, but I went from happy, sad, confused, disgusted ect. There really was too many emotions to state. I also enjoyed the dynamics that Leret show between the victim in the predator, he shows them in several different lights, actions and in some ways the acceptance of who these people are. It was very dynamic and dramatic. Leret does touch on the aspect of pedophilia and described it in a different way where at times you almost (and I stress almost, I don't think you could ever feel anything good towards them) feel sorry and pity for them but you can't forgive or understand something like that especially if they continue to take part in child prostitution (pedophilia no matter how it is described and used is still completely wrong).
I had trouble connecting with the characters because of the decisions that they made and their though process as to why they took those actions was so contrary to mine, that the connection just wasn't there. I think the overall reason I had trouble connecting with the character was because of their age, both I believe are 16, and went through the thought process of a 16 year old (though even as a 16 year old, I do not think I would make the same decisions). Granted I did not grow up on the streets or in a religious family home, so my own life experiences (or lack of similar ones) could be what was hindering this connection.Others I think would be able to relate to these two characters as they are very well developed, especially Carlo, and his struggle to understand the world and love.
I also had trouble reading Daisy's parts within the book, especially in the beginning. Leret keeps his writing authentic by having Daisy talk like someone would who grew up and is living on the streets and never went to school, but I found reading the abbreviated, slang, and misspelled words, trying at times (though I will give Leret major props for being authentic about this part of his book, if Daisy would have spoke perfect English and the storyline was the same, I would have put the book down for it not being realistic enough).
This book grew on me the more I read. It took me a bit to get into the book and really the last bit had me needing to know what was going to happen and how the book was going to end. I am unsure if I would read another book that was similar to this in premise or storyline. I believe that Leret has a talent for writing, and I believe that the more Leret writes and prefects his craft the better his novels will be, and I think if the character were older, not teenagers, then I would read another book by him.
I think people who enjoy a book with an emotional journey, and one of self discover of youth and love will like this book. If you find you are unable to connect with characters who are younger in age than you, then I think you would have a hard time enjoying this book and find it a struggle to get past the first half of the book. This book is NOT for Young Adults or for the faint of heart.
Note: This book has aspects of child prostitution, and the situations do go into some detail, therefore, if you even had trouble just reading the words child prostitution this book is not for you.