Review: Confessions of An Angry Girl

Confessions of An Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Releasing August 28, 2012 from Harlequin Teen

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.

My thoughts:

Confessions of an Angry Girls was captivating. The heroine was fourteen, a bit younger than I normally read, but her voice was so powerful I needed to know what would become of her. Rosie has lost everyone all at aonce and just in time for her first day of high school. Talk about a nightmare and a half. Her father was killed while working as a contractor in Iraq. Her mother retreated in her grief under the guise of letting Rose deal her own way, and her brother left for college. The family is a mess. Everyone hurts. Rosie’s left to muddle through, making sense of very little and in full survival mode. Understandably, she’s angry. In general. Life is sucktastic time a zillion.

We learn quickly that Rose is tough. She manages high school, bullies, a crush she shouldn’t have and friends who take other paths. Keep in mind her brother’s gone, her dad’s dead, the town treats her like she’s broken and her mom is MIA.  She keep moving forward. I loved Rose’s sass and perseverance. She’s a survivor, smart, rooted and would make her father proud.

Rozett has a completely unique voice. I read tons of YA, but this was different, the world was gritty and felt dangerous somehow. Despite her mother’s profession as a therapist (obviously they weren’t destitute) the kids were raw. The slice of humanity we see come from all avenues. Not everyone has enough to eat or family to live with. In this, Rose’s blessed. Meanwhile, others have more than than everyone else. Another detail that added to the realism for me. No one lives in a bubble surrounded by like people. Rozett shows this. The relationships in COAAG bled on the page. She packed a punch with every single character. They all hurt in their own ways and my heart broke repeatedly, not just for Rose’s family but for others with love not returned, those unable to see where they were headed. The whole book was fun and hard. Not an easy combination to pull off. Rozett did it well. I will definitely be in line to read the sequel. I feel invested in her characters. I want to know they’ll be okay. This author is one to watch out for.

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