Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dirty Little Angels - Chris Tusa

Summary: Set in the slums of New Orleans, among clusters of crack houses and abandoned buildings, Dirty Little Angels is the story of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. When the Trosclair family suffers a string of financial hardships and a miscarriage, Hailey finds herself looking to God to save her family. When her prayers go unanswered, Hailey puts her faith in Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Fascinated by Moses’s lopsided view of religion, Hailey, and her brother Cyrus, begin spending time down at an abandoned bank that Moses plans to convert into a drive-through church. Gradually, though, Moses’s twisted religious beliefs become increasingly more violent, and Hailey and Cyrus soon find themselves trapped in a world of danger and fear from which there may be no escape. (Summary and cover photo from

My Review: I was sent a link by the author to read this novel in PDF form and then review it. I was a bit leery of the title and not thrilled to be reading ebook style. For me flipping through the pages of the book is half the joy of reading. But after skimming the summary I decided to check it out before turning this one down. By the time I finished the first chapter I was hooked. I had to spend more time with these characters.

Hailey is a girl of 16 trying to discover who she is. Hailey's circumstances are harder than most - she comes from a lower class family with an alcoholic father and an emotionally unstable mother who are having major marital problems. Yet it's easy to relate to her basic struggles. She thinks as a typical teenager - narrowly, failing to consider that simple decisions can have drastic consequences. Hailey feels alone and is longing for something to believe in. She must choose the path she will follow while trying to figure out her own beliefs and her own fit in this world.

Hailey's passive choices take her spiraling into a path of self-destruction, as the novel gets darker and darker and ultimately comes to a very ugly ending. I feel the author took the story a bit too quickly as I would have enjoyed more depth in spots, and some of the situations were not realistic. However the writing flowed nicely and shows true potential. This is not an enjoyable book but it is one I have thought about frequently since finishing. I will be sure to check out his next work.

My Rating: 3 Stars **Sensitive readers - I'm sure the title has already given you a heads up that this one is not for you. There are lots of 4 letter words within these pages along with some fairly lewd situations.

Sum it up: A dark tale of one girl's struggle to take control of her own destiny.


Lisa said...

I've got this on PDF, too but can't seem to find that time to read it that way because I have to do it on the computer. One of these days!

Heather said...

I actually broke down after the first couple chapters and printed it. It was much easier to read this way, (not that this book can claim to be an easy read!)


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