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Just Like Heaven [Mass Market Paperback]

Marc Levy
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 26 2005

What do you do when you find a stranger in your closet; particularly when she's surprised that you can even see her -- and she can disappear and reappear at whim? What if she tells you that her body is actually in a coma on the other side of town? Should you have her see a psychiatrist or should you consult one yourself? Or do you take a chance and believe in her, and allow yourself to be swept up in an extraordinary adventure?

This is the beginning of the dilemma that Arthur, a young San Francisco architect, is faced with after a long day, when he discovers Lauren in his apartment.

Arthur is the only man who can share Lauren's secret, the only one who can see her, hear her, and talk to her when no one else so much as senses her presence. So when doctors prepare to end Lauren's physical care -- which would destroy the magical bond she and Arthur cherish -- Arthur must find a way to save her. For, after all, it is only her love that can save him.

If Only It Were True is a heartwarming love story impossible to forget, an adventure that is breathtaking and hilarious -- a captivating tale that evokes the essence of romance and our boundless capacity to believe.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This is the book, by a French architect based in San Francisco, that made a huge Hollywood deal, and then a seven-figure sale to Pocket Books. It's an interesting study in the difference between a movie concept and a novel. One can imagine it as an offbeat romantic comedy on the screen, with charismatic actors and some nifty special effects, but as a book it's slight and one-dimensional--and it doesn't help that Levy has no ear whatsoever for American speech patterns. The gimmick at the heart of the story is a mixture of the movie notion of "meeting cute" and the Invisible Man tradition. Arthur, a young architect in San Francisco, finds a beautiful girl hiding in the closet of an apartment he has just bought. The problem is, only he can see her; she is, in fact, a spirit emanation of Lauren, a nurse who is lying in a coma at a nearby hospital after a near-fatal accident; the apartment used to be hers. After initially rejecting her explanation, Arthur begins to fall for Lauren, and determines that he must remove her comatose body from the hospital before her grieving mother can bring herself to cut off her life support. Helped by his skeptical business partner, Arthur accomplishes this with a borrowed ambulance and Lauren's knowledge of how the hospital works. Then the "body," along with the attendant invisible Lauren, is spirited away to the Carmel hideaway Arthur has kept since his beloved mother's death from cancer. (Life with mother is rendered in a series of saccharine scenes that would embarrass a maker of life insurance commercials.) George Pilger, one of the most improbable American police inspector ever to grace the pages of a novel, gets onto Arthur's escapade and goes down to Carmel to confront him. Will Arthur be arrested? Will Lauren die? In a gentle fable like this, there can be no real surprises. What is surprising is that so slender a tale, which actually reads more like a draft of a screenplay, should have appeared as an (almost) full-length book. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-First-time novelist Levy scored a bestseller with this book in his native France. It is a light, frothy tale of love conquering all, even a coma. Lauren Kline, a medical resident at San Francisco Memorial Hospital, is young, beautiful, and content with her life. Then a faulty steering mechanism in her old clunker of a car causes her to suffer head injuries in a shattering car accident. As she later explains, she could hear everything around her in the hospital recovery room, but could neither move, see, nor speak. She learns that she is languishing in a coma, having somehow survived being pronounced dead. Enter Arthur, an architect and partner in a restoration firm, who recently moved into an apartment and finds it comes equipped with an unexpected bonus-Lauren. Well, her spirit, anyway, since her body continues to reside in the very hospital in which she worked. She's not dead, so the apartment-dwelling Lauren is not actually a ghost, and she seems to have form and substance, but only Arthur can see and hear her. Readers learn that for months she has been psychically transporting her spirit all over the city until she finally comes back to her own apartment-now Arthur's. This feel-good story is an easy and engrossing read, and it should be particularly popular with teen girls.
Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice easy read May 3 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Nice story with a nice ending. My international student recommended I read it as it is her favourite book. I enjoyed it and it was a light read. Bought one for my daughter too and she enjoyed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up! Feb. 2 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I thought it was a very cute, funny movie. I would recommend this movie to girlfriends. It's what you call a chick flick.
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1.0 out of 5 stars what gives chick lit a bad name Nov. 16 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are some books classified as chick lit that are really good reads with quite redeeming qualities - this ain't one!!

I felt like I was reading something meant for a 12 year old - if it was, why didn't the book cover say so??? It was so unbelievable and,in my opinion, badly written.

I had to read it for a book club that I had just joined. It was all I could do to not to laugh out loud when some of the ladies said they loved it & it made them cry. Oh well you can't love everything, can you?

Apparently this writer has a huge following - so there you go!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Story To Remember! April 6 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lauren is in a car accident and slips into a coma at a local hospital. Arthur moves into her apartment and find her in his closet. He thinks his best friend is playing a joke on him, but Lauren has to prove that she is alive at the hospital. The more time they spend together, the more they begin to fall in love. Arthur decides to find a way to wake Lauren from her coma, but his mission turns into a wild and unsafe escape. Will she live to meet Arthur in the flesh or will she die? The answer is in the book "If Only It Were True." You will laugh and cry thru out the entire book! Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A catchy read Dec 30 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Okay, so we know from other reviews that this book is on its way to Hollywood (I personally see Lauren played by Mira Sorvino and Arthur played by Michael Vartan), but read the book before the movie comes out.
Some people seem to try too hard to make this novel something it is not: a complicated, hard-to-read book. If Only It Were True is a charming love story revolving around the death of a San Francisco doctor and her predicament of being stuck between life and death.
The leading man, Arthur, is the only one that can see the comatose woman in her ghostly state. They embark on a journey to find out how to get her soul back into her body. The tale is sweet and memorable. Read the book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars How do things like this get published? June 2 2003
By Joe
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished reading this book in the original French version, so I know that my disappointment was not due to a bad translation. I had heard that this was the best-selling book in France a couple of years ago and I'd read some good reviews, so I was expecting much more.
What an amateurish mess. Although the central premise could have been interesting, the book doesn't really work on any level. The writing is extremely pedestrian: the cops eat donuts, the sidekick makes wisecracks, and all the cliches appear just where you expect them. The characters don't behave like any human beings I know. There are huge, careless gaps in the plot (for example, why does Lauren's "soul" bother to hide in a bathroom closet if no one has been able to see her?) and the author doesn't even bother to get the geography of San Francisco right -- a quick look at a map would have shown that it is Post Street, not Polk Street, that runs along Union Square.
Of course, none of this really matters because the book reads like a sketchy proposal for a throw-away romantic comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. And I have a feeling that's exactly what we're going to get. *sigh*
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4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, witty, and unexpected! March 4 2003
By Mira
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I admire the author's imagination; how he turned an 'Impossible' situation into a 'Could-happen' one. There are smart jokes, and the ending is unexpected. Right when you think it has come to an end, you are surprised and relieved that there's a final twist to spice up the 'epilogue'. I recommend this book for people who like smart jokes, and simple romance. Of course, you should keep an open-mind as you read this. It could happen to any of us! Marc Levy is brilliant.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If Only It Were True Feb. 14 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What a wonderful book. I just happened to pick it up at the sale table and have recommended to everyone. I love the fantasy aspects as well as the romantic, and I especially love the surprise ending! This is just a great, feel good, book! Read it as soon as you can!
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