Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A is For Angst


Haworth-Attard, Barbara. 2007. A is for Angst. (Read in 2007. Reviewed in 2008)

The first thing you should know about this review, is that I feel slightly out of place reviewing it. I read it the week before Christmas. I've read about nine and half books since then. So it is what it is. A is for Angst has an unusual beginning to say the least. Not many YA books begin with a narrator playing with dolls. Let alone playing dirty with dolls. But A is for Angst isn't your typical book. Our heroine, Teresa, is fourteen and practicing what it would be like to be in bed with a boy. Her boyfriend is borrowed from an old friend, Barbie. Yes, that's right. Her mother catches her making out in bed with a naked Ken doll. (Talk about embarrassing!)

Her family is half-Maltese, half-English, completely Catholic, and 100% crazy. Her mom, at the possible detriment to her health at the ripe old age of 42, is expecting an unexpected “Boo-Boo.” Her shy father can’t even say ‘boo.’ Her beloved gnome-ish grandfather can’t remember who she is. Her sister is a wedding bridezilla, and her brother is sub-human (barely). No wonder Teresa must pray to the HP (Higher Power) to get a boyfriend, namely AAA (Achingly Adorable Adam), who is an AN (Above-Normal), A.S.A.P. (you know what I mean). No amount of list-making can possibly keep this all straight. Welcome to her life!

But that is just the prologue. In twenty six chapters, Teresa's life unfolds before all. Each chapter begins with a different letter of the alphabet. A is for angst. I is for Introspection and Idiot. Etc. The book deals with familiar topics...school dramas, friendship stress, family relationships. All of the plot lines have been done before in some way or other. But that isn't a bad thing. The book, the story, is entertaining. It doesn't have to be unique, groundbreaking, or original. If I were to compare it to other books, I would say it vaguely reminds me of Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging. Vaguely. Let me explain. Teresa like Georgia is fourteen. She's a bit self-occupied at times. And she has trouble relating to her parental units. She also has a tendency to get into really embarrassing situations. And she's crazy about a guy who doesn't know she's alive. And while she can't have the one she really wants, she's content to have a practice boyfriend of sorts. But not everything is similar to that one novel. Add in a mix of wants-to-be-popular really really badly taken from countless other novels, and you've got A is for Angst.

I sincerely enjoyed the book. It held my attention. It was a pleasurable experience. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to teens who can't get enough of this type of fiction. But it's not one that I love, love, love either.

(If you're looking for a "clean read" look elsewhere. I mention this only because since I review books for the Deliciously Clean website, I know some of my readers find my site through those links.)

I just have to mention that this cover belongs in one of the trends of 2007. Featuring Mattel dolls on book covers. See also Anatomy of a Boyfriend and Fake Boyfriend.


1 comments:

MotherReader 4:00 PM  

I'm going to keep a lookout for this title. It sounds fun.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

My Blog List

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP