Book Review: "Angry" by Laura L. Smith

Summary from Watching her parents go through a divorce is devastating for Emma and has turned her life into a tailspin. She’s angry at everyone around her. She’s angry at her siblings because she's always stuck baby-sitting them, her parents for ruining her life, and herself for not measuring up to anyone’s standards. Will she turn her torment over to God and put her trust in Him before it’s too late?

Teen angst. I know parents dread it coming. Unfortunately almost every teen is going to face it sometime in their life. It be nerve wracking for everyone as they are on pins and needles trying to avoid be blasted and yelled at from the surly teenager. For the teen, this can be the worse time of their life unless they know how to handle it correctly. Emma is going through that part of her life right now. And not handling it in the right way.

Even though I was a big fan of Smith's previous books, this one didn't feel as if it held up as well as its predecessors. The biggest draw for me with Smith's books is that I feel that she writes just how a real teen girl would talk and act. In this book, I didn't get that vibe with Emma. I just never felt that she was acting like a teen girl. There were some parts where she acted very young for her age and other times when she sounded like an older woman. While I understand her anger at her parents, it just felt like she was PMSing quite a bit.

Books about divorce are never fun. I know that this probably happens all the time but I really hate it when the kids blame the mom for the divorce and think that their dad is perfect and in the right for leaving her. I didn't feel as if the situation with Emma's mom got fully resolved. It just sort of ends abruptly. Actually the same goes with the whole faith aspect of the story. Emma gets angry with God and then pretty much calms down immediately. Her parents make no mention that they share her faith. It gets a little preachy at some points which can be a turn off to those that pick up the book that don't share the faith.

Overall, it's a good read but not my favorite of the three books that share these characters. I don't think that general market YA fans will welcome this one as much as the others. I wonder if this time if the length of the book (160 pages) hinders the story as I felt that more characterization and development of Emma would have helped the reader be able to understand her more. I do think that this is a good read for teens in general as it tackles issues that they face every day. I don't think any of the topics mentioned in the story are too much for a YA audience. In fact, I would have welcomed more talk of it to make it more realistic. I do want to read more of Smith's books in the future and am looking forward to seeing what other relevant topics she will tackle.

Angry by Laura L. Smith is published by NavPress (2010)

This review copy was provided by the publisher


  1. Maybe I'll look into the author's other books -- but gosh I do remember teen angst like it was yesterday. And I already can see that my daughter will have it, too. Yikes!


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