Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Angry Girl is a young YA book. YA covers a huge range of sub-genres, many of which can be counted as cross-overs between YA and adult reading. CoaAG, however, is definitely strictly YA. So, as an adult reader I'm not sure I can really give it a fair review. I'll give it a go anyway, but please bear in mind that I'm about 20 years older than the target audience. Wow, that makes me feel old!

I actually enjoyed the book, even though it's too young for my taste. Rozett's writing is at turns witty, touching, sweet and bolshy. Rose, the central character, is a fourteen year-old girl who reminds me a little of myself at that age. She's not popular at school, but she has a couple of close friends. She knows her own mind pretty well though, which is something we can all aspire to, whatever our age. Rose has suffered loss and it's made her grow up in some ways, while in other ways she's still young and naive.

As can be expected, the book deals with issues such as under-age drinking, losing your virginity (or not), bullying and the attraction of older boys. Now I'm a bit out of touch with my fourteen year-old self, but I think these subjects are dealt with in a realistic and sensitive way. Rozett is brave enough to admit, and make obvious, that telling a teacher isn't always the best answer when it comes to bullying. Brave is what this book is in a lot of ways - it's not afraid to show the real and sometimes unsavory side of teenage life. Kids will try alcohol and get ill. Girls will agonise about whether or not to 'do it' with their boyfriend, and the won't always make the right decision.

Being American, there are a few references that didn't really scan for me - I still get confused with their schooling system - what's a freshman, what age do kids start secondary school? What age do kids learn to drive? Cheerleading is something I can't get my head around, but it seems that Rose at least agrees with me on that one! School system aside, Rozett's writing actually felt more like a Brit book than an American one. The writing is more real, and there's a lot less elitism than is usually found in US school-age books.

My main issue with Angry Girl, is that someone seems to have stolen half the book! I was reading a NetGalley version online and wasn't taking notice of the page numbers, so when I came to the end of the book it was a real surprise. It only took me about an hour to read, and I was kind of confused by the way it was just left hanging. I guess I'll have to look out for the next installment to find out what happens...

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