Book: Angel

Cliff McNish
2008 (Lerner)

Angel tells the story of three teenagers. The first is a girl who has believed herself to be destined for greatness and connected to angels all her life, but who has taken that belief to the extremes only allowed by mental illness in the past and is now recovering. The second is her older brother who is regularly bullied, but never mentions it. The third is a girl who has always been overprotected and homeschooled, but is now being thrust into the public school system and doesn’t quite know what to do other than believe that her guardian angel will protect her. Their stories intertwine and angels, of course, play a big part, but the plot is rather more complicated than can easily be explained (there really isn’t even a description on the inside flap or the back of the book itself).

I thought that this book was odd. The concept of the angels was incredibly interesting and the writing was excellent, but I just didn’t enjoy the story. I disliked all of the major (and most of the minor) characters throughout the entire book, which isn’t always a problem, but without the plot to support that it just doesn’t work for me. And the plot just wasn’t there on this one. It was a little too convoluted and felt too pointless and too helpless for too long. I realize that feeling of helplessness was part of the intention of the book, but, again, when that drags on too long without the story to support it the story stops being interesting or enjoyable to read and becomes almost painful.

I really felt like there was potential in the idea behind this book and the author is clearly very talented (I would consider reading other things by him just based on how good the writing was), but this was not a good book. I can see it being interesting for a discussion of interpretations of angels or something, but short of that I would stay away from it.

- Publisher’s Description

- Cliff McNish’s Website

- Buy it from Amazon

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