Thursday, December 2, 2010

Young Adult Fiction: Angry by Laura L. Smith

Having been a reader for my entire life, I've read my fair share of young adult fiction. Ah ... the Christy Miller series by Robin Jones Gunn! I chose Angry by Laura L. Smith to see what young adult fiction looks like these days. I was pleasantly surprised!

Angry is a short, quick read. The third book in the THINK series, readers follow Emma as she learns of her parents' divorce. Struggling with taking care of her five younger siblings, dealing with her anger at her dad and his new girlfriend, wondering why her mom is drinking so much, and fighting to fit in with her friends, Emma is generally angry. (Hence, the title of the book.) Things begin to look up when she makes the school play, but will she figure out that God is in control of everything and look to Him for guidance?

This book read a lot more realistically than much of the high school fiction I read back in the day. It addresses difficult issues and reveals feelings that most youth can identify with. This series is probably for a more mature teen reader as this book alone mentions/addresses teen pregnancy, eating disorders, divorce, adultery, and alcoholism. An involved parent or youth leader would be useful in discussing the issues brought up. The writing style of the author is in-tune with teenagers. Told from the perspective of Emma, I felt like I was in the midst of a high school girls conversation for most of the book. Well done! The only complaint I really had about this book is that it wraps up a little fast. Emma suddenly recognizes her need for God and jumps to the conclusion that everything is going to work out in the last two very short chapters. Just seemed a bit quick and neat for me. Overall, though, this was a great read! Check out the first two books in the series if you like this one: Hot and Skinny.

Read a sample chapter here.

4 stars (out of 5)

I received a free copy of this book from NavPress in exchange for my fair and honest review.

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