Book Review: My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt

     Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)   Published Sept. 4, 2012           256 Pages

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Published Sept. 4, 2012
256 Pages

I don’t usually read realistic fiction but I made a promise to review more of these genres.

16 year old Angel meets Call at the mall when he sees her shop lifting. Instead of turning her in he buys her food and tells her he loves her. After some time he offers her candy (drugs) and Angel no longer thinks about her mother who died and pretty soon she is addicted.

Kicked out her house, Angel moves in with Call and begins working on the corner to receive more candy. When her friend Serena disappears and Call brings in a new girl, Angel decides a stand must be taken.

This book is told in verse so it was a fairly quick read but that doesn’t mean it was any less emotional. But because this book is still a fiction novel I have to judge it as such and state what I felt was wrong with it.  I felt that there should have been more detail as into why Angel began stealing. I understand her mother passed away but did she have friends?  If not, why? How close was she to her mother? We obviously know she wasn’t close to her father but was she no old enough to not take drugs? She is 16.

I am not stating that it cannot happen it just didn’t seem realistic to me that is all. Also when Angel spoke it was if she never went to school a day in her life. As if she was always living on the street.

What I enjoyed about the book was the emotions. You felt Angel’s pain, and confusion. It was powerful. Do I think it would have better if the book wasn’t written in verse? No, I think if it was written as a typical novel the author would have to stretch Angel’s before and after story.

Overall, I thought the book was a good scared straight tactic which I am assuming was the point of the story. I give it an 8 out of 10. I needed a bigger reason for why a 16 year old girl made the decision she made.

Pickles

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