Monday, July 2, 2012

Book Review: Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman

Carefree, fun-loving Jersey girl Angel Casonetti knows she's awesome.  Boys love her, girls love to be her friend even if they are a little jealous of Angel's pizzaz. Little brother Mossy dotes on her, and Angel's baby sis Mimi wants to be just like her when she grows up.

It's summer, and summer on the Jersey shore means nothing but popsicles, boys, bikinis, friends and fun times.  Even if bestie Inggy is off on a Ivy League college tour road trip with her parents, Angel figures she'll keep herself occupied by working at her dad's marina, helping her mom manage the summer rentals to the tourists, hanging out with friends Carmella, Kipper, Sherry and Inggy's boyfriend Cork, and getting on-again, off-again boyfriend Joey Sardone back again.  Angel's had a ton of boyfriends - but in the end, she always comes back to cute Joey.

But when Joey tells Angel that this time it's over for good, and Inggy's long-term boyfriend Cork suddenly getting a lot closer to her, Angel's summer of fun suddenly gets a lot more complicated than she planned.  Still, Angel's sure that Joey will come around - eventually (so what if he's dating Carmella?) - and she keeps telling herself that whatever's going on with Cork doesn't really mean anything, anyway.  She'd never hurt Inggy.  And as long as she and Cork are just having fun, and Inggy doesn't know, Angel can just keep having fun.

Angel Casonetti is exuberant, big-hearted and larger-than life, and even when she's doing stuff that will make you want to shake her, you can't help but love her.  Definitely for older teens, this short, fun beach read is a snapshot of the summer before senior year for a girl who knows college isn't for her (the SATs just freak Angel out), even as she's enthusiastically cheering her BFF on to bigger and better things.  Entirely comfortable with herself and who she wants to be, Angel still has to figure out what it means to be the one who's staying behind when big changes are coming up for everyone else.  Grab your bikini, some sunscreen, a whole lot of lip gloss and glitter and hit the sand with Angel and company this 4th of July!

(now cooling off with Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler - ice skating mixed with cupcakes? Yes, please!)

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