08. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Courtney, Teen Books

My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt, 256 pages, read by Courtney, on 12/31/2012

Oh. Wow.
Angel was a normal girl who lived in a “pretty house, with pretty parents”. But she liked to steal shoes. Not pairs, just the single ones from displays. She’d been busted a few times, but the last was by Call. Call took Angel under his wing and introduced her to “candy”. He asks her is she loves him. Because if she really loved him, she’d help him earn money. So she does. She works the streets now. Then Serena went missing. Angel knows she’s dead because her “going-away money” is still where Serena left it. Angel wants out and begins to quit the candy. Then Call brings Melli home. Melli is eleven. Just a little girl. Angel is determined to keep Melli from the fate that has befallen her. Angel has to earn “enough for two” or train Melli to earn. Angel just wants to get Melli back home, but Call tells her that he’ll hurt Angel’s little brother, Jeremy, if she does anything other than what she is told. Bit by bit, Angel kicks the candy and attempts to save both herself and Melli.
A brutal story told in some of the most beautiful language I’ve seen in a long time. The poetry format adds to the hallucinogenic quality of Angel’s narrative and makes it all the more human. Angel is a character that will haunt you. She may be fictional, but her story is not. This is a deeply affecting novel. Recommended for fans of Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott, Ellen Hopkins, and Sold by Patricia McCormick.

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