Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After reading the blurb for this book you might be led to believe it is about God or religion. Really it is a coming-of-age story of a young impressionable girl looking for answers and something to believe in.
Hailey is a 16-year-old girl living in the slums of New Orleans trying to find a way to fix her broken family. In this process, she questions religion and tries to make sense of all of the different views on the subject. Basically, she is a confused young girl trying to figure out why things are the way they are. With parents who are too busy with their own problems to even begin to think about hers, having no real positive role model and left on her own to find answers, Hailey turns to her older brother and his friends for support. This book follows Hailey as she maneuvers through life looking for something or someone to help her make sense of things.
This story is told basically through a stream of consciousness with Hailey as the navigator. I love the descriptiveness the author uses in the way Hailey sees things. The use of imagery is impressive and really paints an imaginative picture for the reader.
Though there isn’t much action in this book, it is a compelling read, brutally honest in what a young girl in Hailey's situation might face with no real happily every after. Ultimately what Hailey discovers through her experiences is that no one can be counted on and if you want something changed you have to take action and do it yourself.
That all being said, I really would have loved to see the ending taken a little further. Where the author chose to stop the story left me wanting more, to find out conclusively what happens to Hailey and her brother. Ultimately, I think wanting more is indicative of a great story!
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