Robin's Reviews > Jersey Angel

Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
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really liked it

What a lovely, well-written book about complex, believable relationships among high school seniors at a specific point in time, within a specific place on the east coast. Angel and her friends live in a seaside town that is mainly taken for granted by others and "operational" two or three months out of the year. By staying put after the "bennies" (vacationers) leave, Bauman allows us to see a complete ecosystem. By boldly taking the focus off of sex (but definitely not ignoring it), Bauman illustrates several lives at a universal turning point without all the usual "noise." And at the center is a young woman, Angel, trying to find her place, define love, grow up with rather uninvolved parents (but still, present)and all the anxieties that come with the end of high school. These are quiet characters who stay with you; their lives seem particularly fluid, and many times I wished I could hop on my bike the way Angel does. The author doesn't judge, the characters don't judge, and it's best if the reader doesn't, rather letting the characters unfold the way Bauman seems to have intended. I'm not a typical YA reader but I picked this up because I like Bauman's writing, and she has a talent for revealing beautiful girls confronting tough subjects in a way that isn't condescending, overwrought, or moralizing. There are no heroines, superheros, dramatic turns, but by the end, I feel as though I've gotten to know a group of friends, and wonder, as they do, what their futures will hold.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 12, 2012 – Shelved

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