Sunday, December 23, 2012

Review: Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has some confessions to make.…

1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate, don't you?

2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is now enragedand out for blood. Mine.

3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)

Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.

(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)

(Sorry. That was rude.)

Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Sexual: Moderate (talk of virginity)

Thank you, NetGalley and publishers, for providing me with an ARC.

When I started Confessions of an Angry Girl, I wanted a break. I wanted a light and quick read to ease my mind off the recent business and things that are beginning to overcome my life. It is a quick read, but what I got after reading this was so much different than I expected it would be.

The thing is, this book defines the word angst. The majority of it talks about sex, drugs, and partying. Oh, and let’s not forget about Rose’s anger problems, but I’ll get to that in a moment. Something I was looking forward to was a complicated relationship in the midst of it all. Yep, it is complicated, but it isn’t fulfilling.

Something about Rose: she’s an angry girl (hence the title). But as I read this, the only anger coming from her is complaints and the occasional tantrums she throws. She is understandable in the terms of her father’s death that last summer (which is the worst summer of her life), her brother moving away to college and seeming to not really care much about her (or that’s what she thinks), and her mother who rarely says a word to her that isn’t therapeutic. But other than this, she seems immature with her attitude, but wise with other things. Strange.

Now for a fun fact: I relate to characters in stories way too easily, whether it’s something I’m reading or something I’m writing. This story really made me connect with the characters. I felt Rose and her family’s pain through the story, all the irritation and the reality of the situations. After reading this, I felt angry, sad, confused, shocked, scared at the right moments, and gleeful at the slim moments Rose was, all through this novel. I even laughed out loud at a few parts, at Rose’s expense. So you can imagine how flustered I made everybody with my reoccurring bipolar attitude through two days I took reading this. Honestly, there were more than a few times that I wanted to slap Regina. I still do, in fact. Yeah, there were a couple of moments that I wanted to knock some sense into Tracy and even Rose, but multiply that by fifty-six and you’ll understand my emotions for the spiteful Regina.

Honestly, I was desperate for things to work out between Jamie and Rose while reading this. I wanted Jamie to come to his senses and stop dating Witch Head-Cheerleader; I wanted Tracy to stop acting like a twit and realize that she’s being a snob; I wanted Regina to “trip” and fall in a hole; I wanted Rose to be happy for once and to stop being so angry, grab hold of her senses and acknowledge the fact that her father was dead; I wanted her mom to actually act like a real mom should; I wanted Matt to join Regina in that hole, but die from the impact of the fall so he can’t be a bigger sleaze-ball than he already is; but most of all, I just wanted everything to run smoothly and have a happy ending.

But I’m afraid I cannot tell you if it ended to my anticipation. I can tell you that some things ended the way I wanted it to, but then, some things made me want to throw the book at the wall. Somehow this author makes me want to scream about the story, but at the same time make me want the second book. That’s talent, right there.

I really don’t know what the second book will be about, but I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

Cover: I like the cover, actually. I think it fits Rose nicely on the whole anger thing and is pretty unique.

Setting: High school. Need I say more?

Characters: I hate to be mean about them, but most of these characters are honestly annoying and self-centered. Rose’s friend, Tracy, is one of the worst, who mostly is only interested in losing her virginity to her boyfriend, Matt (a hormonal jock who cheats consistently, unbeknownst to his girlfriend), and doesn’t listen to Rose when she gives Tracy advice. That annoys me so much. Plus, she doesn’t pull through until the end. That added bonus points to her, but I can’t get over what she did to Rose.
-Another note: the cheerleaders. I understand they’re mean (even meaner than the real ones, especially Regina, the leader), but it seems that Rose has a huge grudge on them, even before she found out Jamie was dating the head cheerleader. Sure, they either ignore or bully her, but why does she seem like she wants to strangle them?
-Jamie. I don’t understand why he’s such a big deal. Yes, he can be really sweet and is overall a good guy, but he cheats on his girlfriend. Whenever there’s a rare moment that he’s sweet, all the other times he’s expressionless and basically a brick wall. Nothing. And yet everyone makes a huge deal about him. Explain why, please.
-Rose. She seems to hate most things. Yeah, her dad died last summer in Iraq, and I understand her pain of getting over it, and yes, she is definitely interesting and has a different personality, but there are few things that interest her or things she doesn’t know, besides relationships. This being said, I realize she is supposedly a geek, but really? Another thing that irritated me about her was how she always complained about her looks, how she wasn’t pretty enough, etc. Have some confidence, Rosie! Even though I’ve come to understand her more, my points still stand firm.
-Peter and the mother: let me get this out there: the mom annoyed the crap out of me. She seemed to be in this shell that wouldn’t break, always going into therapy-attack on Rose. On another note, Peter is anything but in a shell. Not only does he have a major potty mouth, but he also doesn’t act like the older brother Rose knew and loved. He’s like a guy friend, telling her to have fun and party in school because life is too short. Other than this, Peter seems like an okay guy. Not great, but not terrible either.

Storyline: A coming-of-age story about a girl trying to survive high school.

Writing: The writing was okay. It has this strange addictiveness that makes me want to continue the story, even though it annoys me more often than not.

Surprises: There weren’t exactly a whole lot of surprises in this one, besides the cruelty behind the fake smile of Regina and the other cheerleaders, and how Tracy finally came force in the end (after the wreck was ended). Oh, and that last part about Jamie.

Overall: I’m a little iffy with this book. On one hand, the characters get on my nerves. But on the other hand, they make me want to continue on with the series (because I hear there’s another one coming out early next year) and read more about them. I suppose I have a love-hate relationship with it, but I hear a lot of people do. Nontheless, Confessions of an Angry Girl was surprising and I found that, despite my somewhat annoyed review, I did enjoy reading this.

Recommended: I recommend this book for ages fourteen and up, just because of the conversations about virginity and the risks of sex, plus all the language included. But those who love contemporary and coming-of-age novels with a hint of humor and a whole lot of angst will find this one to their liking.

—But I do remember that day in study hall in the beginning of the year when he was drawing that house. Jamie’s a really good artist, unlike me. Which is why, when he grabs his stuff off the shelf in the back of the room and sits right next to me, I feel a little intimidated, along with everything else I feel when I’m around Jamie. (pgs. 246-247)

—“She deserved to get knocked on her a**.” (p. 248) Finally, someone has the nerve to say it!

When he says stuff like that to me, about me, it makes me feel naked. His ability to see right through everything actually makes me a little mad right now, given our weird circumstances. He doesn’t want to be around me, so he shouldn’t get to say stuff like that. (p. 249) Oh, but I think he does want to be around you, Rose.

Bad things happen whether you’re scared or not, so you might as well not bother being scared. It’s a waste of time.

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