Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 8, 2012
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "It's the summer before senior year and the alluring Angel is ready to have fun. She's not like her best friend, Inggy, who has a steady boyfriend, good grades, and college plans. Angel isn't sure what she wants to do yet, but she has confidence and experience beyond her years. Still, her summer doesn't start out as planned. Her good friend Joey doesn't want to fool around anymore, he wants to be her boyfriend, while Angel doesn't want to be tied down. As Joey pulls away, and Inggy tours colleges, Angel finds herself spending more time with Inggy's boyfriend, Cork. With its cast of vivid and memorable characters, this tale from the Jersey shore is sure to make some waves."
Early reviews that I've read really tore Jersey Angel apart mainly because people loathed the main character, Angel. Yes, I can admit that Angel is self-destructive and all around annoying; however, I accepted her and overall enjoyed exploring her crazy world. Readers must get past that Angel has major character flaws, such as her obsession with sex, her lack of morality (she cheats with her best friend's boyfriend) and her overall lack of motivation with regard to improving her life. I got past all that and just allowed the story to unfold and I was entertained much like I am am entertained with celebrity gossip magazines; Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman was mind dessert.
Angel's life is tough; her mom is pretty much a dead beat and they live at the Jersey Shore year round. Her mom is not a role model in the very least and her father doesn't play an important role in Angel's life. I think that is partly while Angel is so out of control. She lacks parental support; in fact, for half of the year she lives on her own in another house separate from her mother and siblings. You can imagine what any teenager would do with that kind of freedom. All in all, Angel finds herself craving boys and sex all in order to feel and gain some sort of control.
There are a lot of sexual scenes in this book, so I would definitely not encourage younger teens to read Jersey Angel; however, I could see many juniors/seniors really enjoying this one at the beach this summer or the pool. The mature scenes are intense and had even me blushing, but that is what makes a summer read so delicious sometimes!
Part of this story had me feeling sad, because I felt if Angel had guidance and support (this is the teacher in me speaking) I bet she wouldn't self-destruct as much. She walks out on the SATs, wants what she can't have and engages in volatile relationships. I wish she had some type of adult that help her out, but I guess this is the reality for many teens out there.
I was hoping for some closure at the end of Jersey Angel, but don't expect it. Readers must take this book for what it is and recognize that Angel is a tragically flawed main character that will take readers on a journey of sexual escapades. So, if you want a summer read that has a questionable main character, some scenes that are blush worthy and some moments where you find yourself saying, "Oh-my-god....she did what?!" then pick up Jersey Angel this summer.
*Buy Jersey Angel