IT'S A WONDERFUL DEATH totally reminds me of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, just because of its title. Though the two works of fiction do indeed have a similar title (one word different), they have different themes and meanings. So, no. It isn't exactly for fans of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, a Christmas movie. Not exactly, not completely.
Okay. RJ is a total mean girl. She's the one girl who is always mean to everyone around her, and she is absolutely despicable. (I'm suddenly reminded of myself and my childhood bullies as soon as I read about her.) Some of her actions have been brought upon by peer pressure while other actions have been brought upon by the circumstances. But once she dies and has a second chance to fix those mistakes, RJ totally gets great character development. She changes, and yes, she does change from her evil self to a much better version of herself. And that is totally important. It's nice to see a redemption arc.
The beginning of the story starts off with RJ's snarky commentary. Gosh, she is an absolute riot and her jokes (sarcasm) are just hilarious. I love it very much. Unfortunately, the snark-ism starts dying off towards the middle and the plot turns very serious and a tiny bit dark. It explores the large consequences of a seemingly small action on a person. And like what Clarence from IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE said, a single person affects a lot of people. (No, that isn't an exact quote. You may look it up for the word-for-word quote on IMDB.)
The end of the book is definitely one of the most surprising plot twist of all times. Yes, it is unpredictable, but the way the author ends the book is very satisfying indeed. I absolutely love it, and RJ does get the redemption arc she deserves.
The theme of the book is wonderful. That's all I have to say for it.
The world building is a bit intriguing, but I wish that the author explains more of it. I get that most of the plot twists are built upon what the readers don't know, but I don't exactly like the way I'm held and pulled along by the nose.
Overall, IT'S A WONDERFUL DEATH is an unexpected, wonderful, and fascinating tale of a mean girl who is undergoing her redemption arc. This is definitely the kind of book that'll keep you reading long after your break is up.
Rating: Four out of Five