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Angie by Pat Bezzant

So I'm wandering the aisles at my local library, looking for that perfect read, when I stumble across this little gem. I know, I know, the picture to the left is small and blurry, but do you get the gist? The title is what caught my eye first, for the obvious reason. Just a short while ago I was lamenting the sad lack of leading ladies with my name and then--BAM! Here one is. Right on the heels of the title, my senses are assaulted by the awesome font, the pleasantly blurry mid-90s art--an innocent girl leans against a trellis as a mysterious, yet surprisingly clean-cut young man brushes back her hair in order to...what? Whisper in her ear? Bite her neck? Who can tell? I immediately snatch the slender volume off the display shelf in happy anticipation. It's when I read the cover blurb, though, that I almost expire with joy.
Angie had a problem that made her shy.
Oh my word. The mockability factor is simply too good to be true. I check it out then and there, determined to read and review it on my blog.

So here's the basic rundown. The problem that makes Angie shy is that she has LD, which stands for learning disabilites or, as Angie prefers, learning differences. School is hard. In fact, school is an absolute nightmare. Every minute of every day revolves around just getting by. She spends hours every night on her homework, if she can remember what was assigned to begin with. She's got a mother who's determined to see her successful, a father who'd rather not think about her issues too much, and two sisters who are ashamed of her. The one good thing in her life is her two dogs who she walks faithfully every day. They're the only ones who don't seem to judge her for her shortcomings. Then one morning her next door neighbor Steven catches up with her on her way to school. He asks her questions and actually seems interested in her answers. He wants to walk home with her. And things go rather the way you might expect them to from there.

The thing about this book is that it really has no mockability factor whatsoever. It's a simple, very sweet story about a girl who struggles to get by and is ignored by all her peers. And it's a story about the one boy who takes the time to get to know her and falls in love with what he finds. There is, of course, something Steven isn't telling her. But the whole thing's so darn genuine and thoughtful that it's hard not to simply let yourself sink into the simplicity. Most of all I enjoyed Angie's thought processes. A favorite passage:
Have you ever noticed once you decide not to think about something that that very something pushes everything else from your mind?
It's like not thinking about food when you're on a diet. I only have to contemplate losing five pounds to be absolutely overrun with visions of food. What it looks like, what it tastes like, the aroma, the texture, how many calories are in each tiny serving. Meal planning rises so high in the hierarchy of ideas that everything not related to food pales and wanes away. Certainly the underlying causes of the Revolutionary War are incapable of overthrowing even one imaginary banana split.
Maybe I should consider dieting. Maybe my mind will fill with thoughts of food, leaving no room for worries about Steven. Why should I worry about him anyway? He's no different a person today than he was yesterday. So he walked to school with me. So he asked me to walk home with him. What's the big deal?
I feel better. French class goes well. Chorus goes well. Math. We're studying trigonometry. I might as well think about Steven. Triangles are dangerous things.

I just like how her mind works and I agree. Triangles are dangerous things. I have always thought so. Angie reminded me of Madeleine L'Engle's And Both Were Young. Another book I pull out and read whenever I'm feeling a distinct lack of hope or need to be reminded things are beautiful and people are too. So even though it wasn't what I expected (or wanted), it was lovely.

Comments

  1. And now I want this book. Thank you, Angie.

    erm...

    Angie.

    heh.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Okay so..I put the author's name in the yahoo search and a bunch of mormon links pulled up. Is Steven mormon? Is that the secret? I gotta know. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Okay so..I put the author's name in the yahoo search and a bunch of mormon links pulled up. Is Steven mormon? Is that the secret? I gotta know. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous4:43 PM

    awesome. i need to find an Elisa book.

    ReplyDelete
  5. AL, lol. It can get confusing.

    Princess Allie, I believe the author is Mormon. But there is nothing religion-related in the book and no, that is not Steven's Big Secret.

    Matt, you really do. I will keep my eye out...

    ReplyDelete

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