Jersey Angel was included in the best summer books lists of Publishers Weekly, Boston Globe and The Horn Book.
Jersey Angel will be published in Germany by Carlsen. Yay!
“A delicate and very real story about the way a teenage girl grows up.”
The New York Times Book Review
“An acutely intimate portrait of a girl’s efforts to better understand herself and her relationships….One can almost smell salt and sunscreen in the air in this soulful and insightful coming-of-age story.”
Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
“With this honest and compelling character, Bauman has rewritten the rules for teen romance.”
“Angel…is a rare but welcome type of protagonist in young adult literature: a girl with a healthy libido and no shame about following where it leads.”
The Horn Book
“Smart and sexy.”
“Bauman…has a wonderful eye and voice.”
New Jersey Star-Ledger
“This novel is Jersey Shore with heart.”
School Library Journal
“This quick read will please readers looking for both nuance and heat in their beach books.”
Random House/Wendy Lamb Books, $15.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-385-74020-3
Bauman (Rosie and Skate) returns to the Jersey shore for her second YA novel, an acutely intimate portrait of a girl’s efforts to better understand herself and her relationships. The summer before her senior year, Angel Cassonetti is enjoying her freedom. Her family owns three houses on the shore, two of which they rent out to the tourist “bennies” who swarm the area every summer. Angel spends her days hanging out with friends and her half-siblings and working at her father’s marina gas station. Nights, she bikes over to her ex Joey’s window, trying to get back with him after she’s rebuffed him one too many times. While her best friend Inggy goes on college tours, Angel, whose sexual self-confidence contrasts with her insecurity about her future, has a steamy fling with Inggy’s boyfriend, Cork. “It won’t count,” she tells him after they have sex for the first time, during a boating trip. “I want it to count,” he replies. One can almost smell salt and sunscreen in the air in this soulful and insightful coming-of-age story. Ages 14–up. Agent: Tina Bennett, Janklow & Nesbit. (May 8)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2012
Mary O’Connell’s The Sharp Time is a perfect winter read. She captures the bitter cold of a January in Kansas as 18-year-old Sandinista, newly alone in the world, grapples with her mom’s sudden death. The taut plot centers on one week in her life when a cruel teacher pushes her to the limit, and Sandinista leaves school, gets a gun, takes shooting lessons, nurses revenge fantasies, and gets a job in the hip and whimsical vintage store the Pale Circus where she befriends a glamorous boy. The will-she or won’t-she question builds the story’s tension, but what makes this book shine is Sandinista’s resiliency; we root for this smart and funny narrator as she bravely faces her days and finds comfort in unlikely places and people. “What can any of us do but try?” she wisely observes. And while there are no easy answers for a young woman who’s lost her only parent, she comes to the tough realization that “you just have to take it, you have to feel it. There is nothing else.” Grace is ultimately bestowed in kindness, connection, and small surprises along the way.
The best YA novels aren’t limited to teen readers. The best YAs are simply about people and reveal truth and beauty in the human condition; O’Connell’s book does just this.
Also check out O’Connell’s first book, Living with Saints, a laugh-out-loud funny, sharply observant, and often blasphemous collection of short stories about modern girls and the Catholic saints. Every story is a gem.