“The Wish List” by Eoin Colfer
“The Wish List” is a quick, fun read for anyone looking for fast fantasy fiction. You might recognize the name of the author. He also wrote the “Artemis Fowl” series.
Meg Finn is a not-so-good, but not-too-terribly-bad kid who dies when she agrees to help a local teen delinquent rob old Lowrie McCall. Belch Brennan decides to kill Lowrie during the robbery, and Meg objects, defending the old man. Both trespassers are killed through Belch’s dim-witted action. Belch zooms through the tunnel to the next world and goes straight to hell as his soul mixes with that of his pit bull. Meg, however, hits the wall where the tunnel branches off between heaven and hell. Her soul is up for grabs—it is exactly balanced between good and evil.
Fighting to claim Meg are Satan and his assistant Beelzebub. They could use a creative mind in hell. However, Saint Peter is also on the lookout for Meg. The good and evil players make a bargain to send Meg back to earth to help old Lowrie carry out his final wishes. If she succeeds, she will earn her way to heaven and the opportunity to see her mother again. Unfortunately, the Belch-dog soul is set loose to thwart her.
Lowrie’s last wishes are pretty wacky and add humor to the book. He learns to face his regrets about life and in her way; Meg is helping him with his salvation, just as he is helping her. The various minions in hell are former movie stars and other love-to-hate-them sorts of folks. If you’ll be offended by an unorthodox look at the afterlife, this isn’t your book. But if you like wacky, you’ll enjoy this read.