Friday, 27 July 2012
I have a confession to make...about Confessions of an Angry Girl!
Confessions of an Angry Girl
"Bad things happen whether you're scared or not, so you might as well not bother being scared. It's a waste of time.”
Rose is a straight-A, word-a-holic.
Rose has erythrophobia (n) - a fear of blushing or turning red
Her (popular, cheerleading-loving) best friend Tracy is intransigent about the fact that being popular = life's meaning/divine calling.
Rose isn't popular.
Rose Zarelli has enough on her plate, simply by being a teenager going to what people call 'high school' but what should be renamed 'the Tenth Circle of Hell' - but to top it all off, she has had the worst summer of her life. Why? Because her father died, leaving her family in a mess, earning sympathetic looks and leaving Rose to deal with more anger than she's ever felt before.
Anger at her mum.
Anger at her brother.
Anger at Tracy.
Anger at her school.
And anger at herself.
But when Rose gets seated near Jamie - her long-standing crush, with his dark hair, brooding demeanour and ink stains on his hands from his artistic scribbles - in study hall, she begins to realise that maybe she feels more than anger. Maybe she feels loneliness, helplessness, hurt and even love.
Rose struggles to sort out her feelings, whilst having to deal with the pressures of school, friendship and family. Everyone seems to expect something from her - they all seem to expect Rose to be someone she isn't sure she knows; that she isn't sure she is. Rose feels like the people around her are moving on and changing, but doesn't allow for the sliver of a possibility that the person who has actually changed is her.
This book is flawlessly written to deliver a raw recount of what it feels like to be in what I like to call an 'emotional rollercoaster with no restraints' - when life throws you curveballs you weren't expecting and suddenly you have more emotions than you know what to do with, pressures from every angle, tears stuck behind your eyes that you can't let out and that strong wish that everything could be the way it was.
The 'angry girl' part struck me too. Alot of the time, Rose is seen as the 'straight A' girl, her 'brother's sister', the 'dead soldier's daughter', the 'psychiatrist's daughter' - so many labels, just like many teens today get either from belonging to a certain cliche or from being associated with certain things. But sometimes, we want to break this label.
And after her father's death, and the anger associated with it, Rose labels herself as the 'angry girl' - though not directly - and because she believes that this is what she is, she continues to feel a sense of helplessness and grief. She feels stuck. But when she sees what others - e.g. Jamie - see about her, and when she comes to terms with what has happened, she realises that labels that are self-given cause as much harm as labels that others give you.
Maybe she doesn't like being the 'dead soldier's daughter'. But being the 'angry girl' is even less appealing.
I loved how down to earth the book was, with Rose's fiery temper and yet her quiet longing for something more. Like every human being at some point, she gets stuck and she resists change. The change in Tracy, the change in her brother, the change of her family life, the change in school, the change in her feelings - all these changes scare her, but resisting them, she realises, is futile.
Confessions of an Angry Girl is heart-warming, movie-worthy and will make you 1.) laugh at the jokes, 2.) shake your head at the antics, 3.) cry at the heartbreak and finally 4.) get angry at the injustices. And perhaps you'll drop your own labels and start channeling more positive emotions too :D