Emma is angry. She's angry at her siblings, who she always has to baby sit; her parents, who are divorcing and ruining her life in the process; and herself for not measuring up to anyone's standards.
With her simmering feelings ready to spill over at any time, Emma's self-worth plummets and her faith in God in the face of overwhelming hurt threatens to send her over the edge. Can she turn back in time?
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I looked forward to reading this book as divorce is so rampant in our current culture, and teenagers are not immune to the ravages of family separation. In fact, many times they are wounded nearly beyond measure. As a counselor, I am always interested in books that will be realistic, yet offer hope and means of coping.
The story line of escaping the realities of life by living the life of another character on stage was a good release mechanism and cleverly done.
However, I was sincerely appalled at the utter selfishness of the main character, a teenage girl who was the "second mother" for her siblings. She shows no thought for them and how the separation would affect their lives. Also, her self-centeredness even prevented any true concern for her mother who had been deserted. I felt the family dynamics were not those that would help readers find their way in a similar situation. I was depressed by them-I can't imagine what a teenage reader might feel.
Thrust into the center of her parents’ bitter divorce, Emma Monaghan is surrounded by pure anger and confusion, in Laura L. Smith’s Angry: a Novel. Being the oldest of six children, she has the weighty responsibility of caring for her siblings. Things only get more intense as her father seems to spontaneously have an affair and leave their family. Emma feels as if everyone is blaming her for the divorce. Her only escape comes from the theatre as she assumes the role of Eponine for Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. The play serves as metaphor for Emma’s own life.
Many teenagers will be able to easily relate to Emma’s experiences. In addition to divorce, the short novel addresses many other serious issues such as adultery, alcoholism, eating disorders and teenage pregnancy. Mixed into these issues are the average teenage concerns of fashion, cars, friends and gossip. Although religion does eventually play a large role in the novel, it does not dominate the text. Emma finds herself turning to God during hard times, but does not seem to devoutly believe in Him. Her conversations with God gradually move from casual comments to heartfelt exchanges. Angry is a great novel that accurately describes what it is like to be a teenage girl. I highly recommend this book to teenagers looking for a novel to identify with. Adults wanting insight into the teenage girl mind will also benefit from this great novel.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Written from the perspective of 16 year-old Emma, "Angry" by Laura L. Smith is a perfect book for teenagers to read. Emma is struggling with her parents getting divorced, her dad's new girlfriend, her mother's drinking problem and caring for her younger siblings. Along with this, Emma is involved with the school play and "drama" with friends and boyfriends. Emma prays to God throughout the book when she is in the midst of crisis, however she does not really appear to have a real relationship with God or really rely on Him. However, she is on a journey to really placing her trust in God.
This is the third book in a series that deals with teen issues. I thought this book was a quick, easy read and would hold the attention of a teenager. This book could be a great resource to use with a youth group, probably with the girls, as I felt like I was part of a group of teenage girls as I was privy to their thoughts and conversations. I think that by using this book, great discussions could result. Emma deals with real issues and her reaction to everything going on in her life is typical, teen girls would be able to really relate or know someone who could.
*I received this book free from NavPress Publishers as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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.
I received a free copy of this book from NavPress in exchange for my fair and honest review.
Angry is a young adult novel written by Laurel L. Smith which tells the story of a well adjusted, "normal: 16 year old girl who seems to be very much "into" drama. Her parents are getting a divorce and Emma lives for the school play. Divorce is a topic that many teens can relate to in today's society. Considering that this is a teen novel all of the emotions are one-sided and the parents point of view is not considered. Divorce is difficult for anyone but in this read it is hard to feel sorry for Emma the beautiful, popular, talented young lady with the leading role in the school play. Like most teens of today Emma has a vehicle of their own, a Jetta. She babysits her siblings as a job, a way to earn money. Throughout the book there are references to a past relationship that Emma had with a boyfriend the year before which left her with a month of feeling that she might be pregnant. Obviously, Emma doesn't lack for male attention or dates. I guess, a lot of "secular" teens might have this attitude but does a christian teen live this way? Other than the divorce of her parents, Emma seems to be a secular character that many girls would envy. Dispersed throughout the book are quick prayers that Emma makes to God during the difficult times she faces with her parents. And because of the crisis going on in her family, Emma is disrespectful at times. As I read I couldn't find anywhere in the book where Emma is a christian or that she has placed her trust in the Lord. It worried me that teens may think just because one talks/prays to God s/he is a christian. Oh,no! Only a personal relationship with God through Jesus is acceptable (I would have liked to see this established in the story). I did find it disturbing that a "christian" young lady who prays to God apparently has sexual relationships and "worldly" ways that are opposed to the christian lifestyle. I found the ending to be slightly trite in that Emma decides not to let her parents divorce get the better of her because she has other talents and abilities...especially in drama. In my opinion, Emma is angry because her life is a wreck and not because her parents are getting a divorce.....but that's just my opinion! The book is well written and this 155 page story is a fast read. I just found the story line to be non-traditional for a christian young person and considering the title Angry, Emma doesn't seem to be abnormally angry. I, guess, I was expecting a real.angry.tear.jerking. story from the title. Maybe, Emma's parents divorce was a catalyst for Emma to seek a more productive outlet such as acting, rather than sexual relationships, to find fullfillment in her own life. I give this read a 4 star rating for writing. * As a blogger for Navpress I recieved a free copy of this book for the purposes of this review.*