Customer Reviews for

Jersey Angel

Average Rating 3.5
( 15 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

This is a beautiful, unusual book featuring a female protagonist

This is a beautiful, unusual book featuring a female protagonist who we haven't seen before, but who very much exists. Bauman's prose is fresh and zingy, and her anti-heroine, Angel, is a sassy, sexy 17-year old looking for meaning and identity in early love, as so many...
This is a beautiful, unusual book featuring a female protagonist who we haven't seen before, but who very much exists. Bauman's prose is fresh and zingy, and her anti-heroine, Angel, is a sassy, sexy 17-year old looking for meaning and identity in early love, as so many girls do. It's an uncanny rendering of female adolescence and explores many of the pivotal physical and emotional moments experienced by girls this age whose worlds are small, but who are worldly beyond their years. I zipped through this book because it is a good summer read, redolent with all the sounds, smells and languid moods of the season, but it is also more layered than that. It's a bittersweet, poignant story because you can see Angel making choices that will perhaps affect the rest of her life. The idea the book essentially explores, as far as I could tell, is how girls can balance freedom of choice and sexual pleasure with moral boundaries and social judgment. Part coming of age, part cautionary tale, Angel will strike a chord with readers whether they approve of her or not. If you like your YA female leads to be pure as snow, look elsewhere. Bauman stretches the conventions of this genre with a real live girl who knows what she wants and enjoys it...but is that good for her and those around her? A bonus of this book is the sensitively-drawn male characters who are fleshed out with understanding and understatement. As an adult I enjoyed this book, and if I were to recommend it to a younger female reader I would want to know her opinion of Angel's unencumbered sexuality and how her moral choices will impact her later in life. Angel is nicely counterpointed with Inggy, clearly the girl most likely to succeed, and Angel's mother, still trying to find her place in life, so any feelings that the book itself proposes leading adolescent girls astray is really not valid. In fact, the book could spark very productive discussions among both genders of this age group.

posted by Mez123 on July 22, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

I was really looking forward to Jersey Angel, but I had my doubt

I was really looking forward to Jersey Angel, but I had my doubts when the word “Jersey Shore” was linked to this book. I really do NOT like that reality tv show and its people but I still hoped it would be a fun, summer read. Boy, was I wrong. This book has...
I was really looking forward to Jersey Angel, but I had my doubts when the word “Jersey Shore” was linked to this book. I really do NOT like that reality tv show and its people but I still hoped it would be a fun, summer read. Boy, was I wrong. This book has nothing to do with anything except Angel getting it on with every guy she ever made eye contact with, and get this, she is PROUD of that. I mean, setting aside how wrong this is and the message it sends, I don’t think this is YA material in my opinion. I mean if you are looking for the moral of the story? I don’t think there is any, because for one, there is no character development, the Angel (yea that’s her name) at the beginning of the book, is the same one at the end, oh but she’s even worse. She somehow found it in her mind that it is fine to cheat with her best friend’s boyfriend AS LONG as she ’didn’t find out, because if you look at it 30 years from now, we will all be laughing at the time I cheated with her boyfriend’. Yes, I summed up her mentality regarding cheating.
Oh, can I point out she is only 16? There was a scene in the football field where she looks at all the guys she has slept with one by one as if she’s ticking off a checklist and you sense that THIS is her accomplishment and goal in life. This book is wrong in so many ways, I definitely wouldn’t want my younger sister to read this and see how frivolous the protagonist is and how this book was one step away from being an adult book. There is even an explicit scene between her and her best friend’s boyfriend. I really can’t stress how misleading the synopsis is and how wrong the message sends about what normal life for girls of that age.
Overall I did not enjoy this book one bit, I actually have a lot of problems with the overall ‘moral’ of the story and what it is trying to teach the young adult community, which if some may have forgotten, DOES contain YOUNG adults, and not just us old people who still read YA. I am really disappointed in this book and honestly wouldn’t be recommending it to anyone at all.

posted by majibookshelf on May 10, 2012

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  • Posted May 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    An entertaining and fast read with little heart.

    Well. I’ll say this: Angel is not your typical young adult protagonist! She is saucy and opinionated and not afraid to do what it takes to get what she wants. She likes sex and goes after it when and where she feels like it, no matter who the boy may be (or may be dating). So now not only have I described the main character, I have also just described the plot. Not kidding.

    Seriously, there was very little plot to speak of. The novel simply covers Angel’s summer. There was no big mystery (other than how many people she’d sleep with before the end of the book), drama or climax (ha, I made a pun). The book just coasted along, following Angel’s days as she dealt with her not-as-horny-as-her ex, her best friend, her best friend’s boyfriend and various other characters that popped up occasionally.

    Her mother was a hippie with extremely lax parenting ideals (Angel lived in her own house during the winters). Her best friend was wispy in both looks and personality. Her “bed” buddy was a pathetic hanger-on. Her best friend’s boyfriend was an asshat. Her other friend was a drunken waste case. This book was just full of mostly one dimensional characters with no real redeeming qualities. I never grew to care for any of them, though I liked how Angel matured near the end of the book.

    The dialogue was peppered with sex talk, cussing and lots of Jersey slang, though none of it was hard to get. Everyone talked like real people, nothing fake or stilted. There was a lot of sex in this book, but I wouldn’t call any of it hot, romantic or even very sweet.

    The cover is okay. It’s definitely appropriate for the attitude of the book, very light and free. I’m just not a big fan of the bikini covered butt. I wouldn’t really want to read it in public.

    As reviewed by The Busy Bibliophile.

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  • Posted May 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I¿m just ¿eh¿ about Jersey Angel

    I’ll be honest. I’m struggling to find words to explain my thoughts on Jersey Angel. I read it. I didn’t like it much. I didn’t think it was completely horrible since I was able to finish it. I’m just “eh” about it.

    I kind of thought from the cover and from the description of Jersey Angel, it was going to be a beach read. It isn’t really. The book takes place from spring to winter and the author glosses over huge time periods during the summer. The cover is a bit misleading. Just remember that.

    Sex. I can’t get it out of my mind. I’m cool with sex in books and even young adult books. Many readers will be bothered by the sex in this book. It’s talked about in abundance. I kind of wish I would have kept track of how many times the author went into detail and how many times the protagonist thought about it. Again, nothing wrong with it per se, but it’s going to bother some readers.

    Another thing that bothered me and will most likely bother other readers who decide to pick up Jersey Angel…cheating. Angel has sex with her best friend’s boyfriend numerous times. I’m not giving too much away since it says that in the book’s summary. I think it’s the character’s actions after the fact that make it even more upsetting to me. No remorse whatsoever and at the end…still nothing. I was at least hoping for some major change in Angel at the end of the book , but I didn’t get that either.

    While I was reading Jersey Angel, I kept wondering if real teenagers act like this. I’m sure they do, even though that makes me sad. I’ve learned over the course of reading young adult, that I seem to be able to handle reading about teenagers in novels more so than in real life…real teenagers annoy the hell out of me. Then I’m wondering if the author just wrote about real teens and maybe other authors gloss over the nitty-gritty at times. Maybe that’s why I didn’t like the teens in this book. Just a random thought.

    I didn’t like any of the characters. They didn’t have any redeeming qualities. There were a decent amount of characters and teenagers for me to connect with in Jersey Angel, but I wasn’t able to feel much for any one of them.

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