Saturday, March 29, 2008

Angel's Choice by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Summary
All I remember is the sensation of things slipping away from me....

In one night Angel Hansen's life changes forever: She has sex for the first time. Not that she remembers the act itself -- not the pain or the pleasure. But she is left with something that will never let her forget it: an unplanned pregnancy.

Angel must make a choice. Abortion? Adoption? Keep it? None of these choices are easy and none of them are perfect. But there is one thing Angel is sure of. Whatever choice she makes, it must be the right one for her. Braced with that knowledge, Angel faces the toughest decision of her life.


Grade: A - Roxstatic

In fifty words or less, why is this book so great?
The protagonist, Angel Hansen, is strong, courageous, and most importantly, genuine. Given the book's subject matter, it'd be easy to either create a whiny character or come off with a preachy narrator. However, Lauren Baratz-Logsted does neither; she lets the real Angel shine through.

Review time yet? (Hell yeah!)
To me, the most important factor in any book is the characters and their voices. This book, judging by how much I love it, really delivered.

Angel Hansen finds herself pregnant in the middle of senior year, and while everyone else is worried about getting into college, their SATs, usual high school stuff, she's got much bigger things to worry about. Does she ever complain about it? No. Does she ever let herself wallow in self-pity? Again, no. She is, throughout the book, met with many conflicts that she does not wiggle herself out of--she combats them full-on. By no means is her pregnancy easy. Being a pregnant teen in today's society means you're constantly the object of judgment, ostracism and alienation. It takes its toll on a person. But, again, does Angel cower away? You guessed it--she doesn't.

The choice she makes has strong repercussions in very important relationships in her life--with her best friend, Karin, her parents, her aunt, and Danny, a guy from school who is more than a friend but less than a boyfriend. This is what makes this novel so, so authentic. Nothing comes without a certain weight.

And of course, Angel is a truly identifiable character. Sometimes while I read this book, in the many times I have read it, I was struck by how many introspective passages sounded like my own thoughts and my own reasoning. She's got her weaknesses, her fears, her imperfections, all of which perfect shape an admirable heroine.

All in all, this book's got it all: superb writing, characters you can relate to, authenticity, and one great main character.

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