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Monday, February 25, 2013
My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt
Angel's life took a turn when her mother passed away. Rebellion and anger set in and she would run away, even if it was just the mall. Her father, still grieving, didn't know what to do with her...didn't know what to do with the family. So Angel continued to run.
And she ran into the arms of Call...
He understood her like no one else. He gave her attention and a shoulder to lean on. He fed her, noticed her, played the gentleman for her.
And he gave her candy, the kind that'll hook you, sink you...
And now Angel's life is about survival. What started as just a few favors for Call's friends turned into days on the street, eking out a living only to give all the money to Call. Money for a place to crash, for a meal to eat,
For more candy...
But Angel is creating another turning point in her life. She no longer wants the candy, although she craves it. Her body aches and her mind isn't numb to her life, but she wants out, wants to feel,
Wants her family...
The only family she has now are the other girls and women on the streets in Vancouver - Serena, Nena, Connie. But they are also deserting her, leaving her on the streets alone,
While their bodies are found, one by one....
But Call has other plans. Not only for Angel, but for another girl he has found. Angel knows the blackness in Call and has decided she won't allow him to create another victim.
Another child on the streets...
But can she? Are Call and the candy he gives so readily that easy to turn away? And will her family still want her back after all she's done?
Martine Leavitt has written a gritty novel-in-verse based on real events of missing and murdered women who worked Vancouver's downtown Eastside between 1983 and 1997. The characters are fictional, but the reader will very much feel for Angel and the others. Emotion runs high for both characters and readers as well. While Angel is living the horror, the reader, like me, can't quite fathom how this horror can exist. Not since Scott's Living Dead Girl has provocation crept into my reading like it did with Leavitt's book because of the developed emotional reaction the reader may feel. Leavitt has found a way for beauty and ugliness to exist together. One from the free verse writing she does so well and the other through the life of a young teen girl within the pages. Recommended for mature high school readers.