Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Released: August 28th, 2012
Freshman Rose Zarelli has rage issues. First of all, her father lost his job, took work as a contractor in Iraq...and never came home. Second, she likes the wrong guy and his super-intense, scary cheerleader girlfriend is now her nemesis. Third, her fashionista best friend, Tracy, is suddenly infinitely cooler than she is--and talking about losing her virginity. (What?!)Rose is ahead when it comes to studying for the PSAT, but she's so far behind socially that she might as well be moving backward. She needs Tracy's help choosing the right clothes, she likes all the wrong extracurricular activities, and she can't even make a decision about which photo of her father to put on the memorial website she's making (and hiding from her adolescent-shrink mother). With her brother away at college and her mother always locked in her office with her messed-up teen patients, Rose struggles to get through each day without inflicting bodily harm on anyone.
Confessions of an Angry Girl is a contemporary debut novel that focuses on fourteen-year-old Rose Zarelli during the year after her father is killed on duty in Afghanistan. It chronicles her freshman year of high school and all the ups and downs that accompany it, from friendship woes to boy problems to anxiety about sex and contraception. Most things are covered here, including a rather unnecessary trip to the gynaecologist that left me feeling quite squeamish!
This book features characters that are slightly younger than I'm used to reading about. Sixteen plus seems to be the in thing these days, but Rose is a couple of years younger. It was a bit of a change for me, but a good one. It a long while since I've been inside the head of a fourteen-year-old, and I must admit I have forgotten what it's like. There's so much angst and worries. I'm so glad I never have to go back to high school!
I liked Rose and her anger issues; I can totally relate to tragedies and illnesses making anger the dominant emotion. I think she deals with her dad's sudden death as well as anyone could, actually, an definitely a lot better than me. She gets on with life, muddles her way through new experiences and opens up to new people like her brother's friend Jamie. Their relationship is sweet and develops slowly, realistically, and I hope parts of it are resolved in the next book.
There's a lot of bitchiness in this book, thanks to Jamie's girlfriend Regina and her cheerleading squad. I could definitely see traces of Mean Girls on the page, and I had to chuckle at the sheer meanness of some of the girls. I think we all knew people like that in high school and, like Rose, I think we all wish we could have punched them in the face!
Confessions of an Angry Girl is a good addition to the growing catalogue of YA contemps; it has a fast-moving plot and is true to life. The sequel, Confessions of an Almost Girlfriend, is due for publication in 2013 and I'll definitely be tuning in to see what fresh hell awaits Rose in her sophomore year!