Vicky Angel

Vicky Angel

4.5 4
by Jacqueline Wilson

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Jade is so used to being with and agreeing with Vicky, her larger-than-life best friend, that when a tragic accident occurs, she can hardly believe that Vicky’s gone. But Vicky is a spunky girl who’s not going to let a small thing like death stop her from living life to the fullest. Whether Jade is in school, running, or tentatively trying to make new


Jade is so used to being with and agreeing with Vicky, her larger-than-life best friend, that when a tragic accident occurs, she can hardly believe that Vicky’s gone. But Vicky is a spunky girl who’s not going to let a small thing like death stop her from living life to the fullest. Whether Jade is in school, running, or tentatively trying to make new friends, Vicky makes her presence felt, and it’s not always a good thing.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
PW wrote, "Wilson here poignantly addresses a tragic and traumatic experience: the death of a friend." Ages 8-12. (Feb.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
A curious mixture of realism and fantasy, this story is the classic friendship tale where one friend wants all of the attention to the detriment of the other. Jade witnesses her best friend Vicky being killed by a car when they have a disagreement after school. While Jade grieves, Vicky turns up as a ghost and helps her by insisting they can still have fun, shop and hang out together. But the ghost of Vicky gradually begins to take over Jade's life. Vicky is jealous of Jade's possible friendships, of her joining school clubs, and of her making friends with Fatboy Sam, who is not so fat after taking up running. As Vicky becomes more evil and controlling, Jade manages to break away with the help of a funky grief counselor who, while not denying that Jade sees a real ghost, nonetheless says it is Jade's choice whether Vicky goes along with her. While the ending resolves some of Jade's issues (Vicky accepts her death and "ascends"), the story leaves unanswered the question of why Vicky suddenly gives up her possessive friendship. Girls who enjoy stories about death will find this one a refreshing change of pace on the familiar stages of grief, and the adults in the story behave in a variety of ways, some helpful and some intended, just like in real life. Wilson describes British family life, school friendships and people in ways that readers will identify with. All in all, it is an above average story by one of Britain's best known writers. Sharratt's illustrations appear only around the chapter numbers but depict the increasing malevolence of Vicky as she flies around Jade, a nice extra touch for readers to contemplate. 2001, Delacorte, $15.95. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer:Susan Hepler
Vicky and Jade have been best friends since nursery school. Now in Year Nine (roughly equivalent to the freshman year of high school) at school, they are inseparable. When Vicky, Jade's seemingly larger-than-life best friend, meets with a tragic accident, Jade hardly can believe that Vicky is gone. Nevertheless Vicky is not the kind of girl who will let a small thing like being dead stop her from living life to the fullest. Vicky begins to appear to Jade as a ghost and follows her everywhere. Parents and teachers begin to think Jade has a mental problem. It is hard for Jade to talk to anyone or visit the place where the accident happened. This moving and entertaining novel follows Vicky as she leads her friend through a series of fun times and memories from the past, never losing her sense of humor. Jade learns how to take care of herself and also learns that Vicky's pranks, advice, and counseling from beyond is really her own healing from the guilt and pain of losing her best friend. Because the setting is in Britain, some of the slang the girls use is different but easily understandable. The novel also treats the subject of death in a sensitive manner. Middle school and junior high school media centers and libraries will want to add it to their collections. VOYA CODES:4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses;Broad general YA appeal;Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8;Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Delacorte, 171p, $15.95. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer:Anne Liebst—VOYA, December 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 5)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-Jade and Vicky are as close as sisters and have been friends since nursery school. However, while Vicky is outgoing and bubbly, Jade is quiet, and definitely the follower in the relationship. As the teens are leaving school one day, they have an argument. Vicky flounces off in a huff, crossing the street without looking. She is hit by a car and dies in the hospital. Remorseful, Jade returns to the spot where the accident happened. She encounters Vicky, now a ghost, who over the next several months takes to tormenting Jade, getting in the way of homework and new friendships. A teacher suggests that the young woman might benefit from grief counseling. In the final pages, when she gives evidence at the inquest, Jade, who has felt responsible for the death, allows herself to remember the events leading up to the accident. This is a well-written book by a popular British author, but somehow it just doesn't work: the ending is facile, as is the implication that her sudden recollection of what happened makes her "OK." Also, the idea that she would see a grief counselor without her parents' approval is interesting, but Mrs. Wainwright seems a little too good to be true, and the relationship and trust between the two develop too quickly. Still, the book may prove popular with reluctant readers who enjoy novels that portray teen angst.-Marlyn K. Roberts, Torrance Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Jade and Vicky are best friends, "closer than sisters," and although the cover openly reveals Vicky's death, it does not prepare readers for Jade's intense reactions. Immediately Vicky dies, and Jade begins to see and hear her spirit. But this story is not the typical: friend dies and appears as gentle ghost, protagonist grieves and heals, and friend's ghost quietly disappears. At first ecstatic to be reunited with Vicky, Jade quickly becomes tormented by her, a girl who, readers discover, often manipulated their friendship. Vicky's spirit demands Jade's loyalty; forces her to talk cruelly to those trying to help her; makes her laugh at inappropriate times; pinches and prods her, causing her to fidget incessantly; and constantly reminds Jade of her death, even insinuating Jade's culpability. With marital problems of their own, Jade's parents cannot comfort her, but a loving teacher introduces the girl to a grief counselor. Through counseling, Jade confronts and learns to control Vicky, taking charge of her grieving. In addition to this theme, Wilson (The Story of Tracy Beaker, p. 873, etc.) tackles myriad responses to Vicky's death from her mother's anger to all-out hysteria. What makes this story successful are its honest characters and dialogue, its unique coverage of grief, and its ability to unite readers with Jade's healing process. (Fiction. 9-12)
From the Publisher
"A brilliant writer of wit and subtlety whose stories are never patronising and often complex and many-layered." — The Times

"Jacqueline Wilson has a rare gift for writing lightly and amusingly about emotional issues." — American Bookseller

"She’s so good, it’s exhilarating." — Philip Pullman

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
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Random House
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Vicky's my best friend. We're closer than sisters. They call us the Twins at school because we're so inseparable. We've been best friends ever since we were at nursery school together and I crept up to Vicky at the water trough and she pulled a funny face and then tipped her red plastic teapot and started watering me. Vicky got told off for being mean to me but I didn't mind a bit. I just stood still in the sudden downpour, honored at her attention. Mum was cross because my gilt hairslides went rusty but I didn't care. Vicky hadn't said anything but I knew we were now friends.

We stayed friends all the way through primary school and then we both went on to Downfield. Even Vicky was a bit quiet that first day in Year Seven when we didn't know anyone else. We know everyone now in Year Nine and they're all desperate to be Vicky's friend but we mostly just stick together, the two of us. We're going to be best friends for ever and ever and ever, through school, through college, through work. It doesn't matter about falling in love. Vicky's already had heaps of boyfriends but no one can ever mean as much to us as each other.

We walk to school together, we sit next to each other all day, and after school I either hang out at Vicky's or she comes home with me. I hope Vicky asks me round to her place today. I like her home far more than mine.

It's time to go home now but we're checking out this big notice on the cloakroom door about after-school clubs. We've got a new head teacher who's fussed because Downfield is considered a bit of a dump and so he's determined we're all going to do better in our exams and get involved with all these extracurricular activities.

"It's bad enough having to go to school," Vicky says. "So who's sad enough to want to stay afterlike, voluntarily?"

I nod out of habit. I always agree with Vicky. But I've just read a piece about a new drama club and I can't help feeling wistful. Ever since I was little I've wanted to be an actress. I know it's mad. I'm not anyone special. No one from our housing development ever gets to do anything glamorous or famous, and anyway, even the richest, prettiest, most talented kids can't make a living out of acting. But I just want to act so much. I've never been in anything at all, apart from school stuff. I was an angel in the Nativity play way back in Year Two. Vicky got to be Mary.

Miss Gilmore, who's head of English and drama, had us all in, Toad of Toad Hall when we were in Year Seven. I so wanted to be Toad, but Miss Gilmore chose Fatboy Sam. Typecasting. Though he was good. Very good. But I have this mad, totally secret idea that I could have been better.

Vicky and I were just woodland creatures. Vicky was a very cute squirrel with an extra-fluffy tail. She did little hops everywhere and nibbled nuts very neatly She got a special cheer and clap at the end. I was a stoat. You can't be cute if you're a stoat. I tried to be a very sly sinister stoat, lurking in the shadows, but Miss Gilmore pushed me forward and said, "Come on, Jade, no need to be shy."

I didn't get a chance to explain I was being sly, not shy. I tried not to mind too much. Even Dame Judi Dench would find it hard to get a special cheer if she had to play a stoat.

I didn't want to be an animal. I wanted to play a person. When I'm at home on my own-when Vicky's busy and Mum's at work and Dad's asleep- I parade round the living room and act out all the soaps or I'll do Claire Danes' lines in Romeo and Juliet or I'll just make up my own plays. Sometimes I'll act people I know. I always end up acting Vicky. I close my eyes and think about her voice and when I start saying something I sound just like her. I stay Vicky even when I open my eyes. I can feel her long thick bright hair bouncing about my shoulders and my green eyes are glittering and I'm smiling Vicky's wicked grin. I dance up and down the room until I catch sight of myself in the big mirror above the fireplace and see my own sad pale skinny self. A ghost girl. I always feel much more alive when I'm being Vicky.

"Come on, Jade," Vicky says, tugging at me.

I'm reading the Drama Club notice one more time. Vicky's getting impatient.

"You're not interested in that weirdo club, are you?"

"No! No, of course not," I say, although I'm extremely interested and Vicky knows I am. There's a little gleam in her green eyes like she's laughing at me.

I take a deep breath.

"Well, maybe I am interested," I say. I know I shouldn't always let her walk all over me. I should try standing up for myself for once. But it's hard when I'm so used to doing what Vicky wants. "You wouldn't join with me, would you?" I ask.

"You've got to be joking!" says Vicky. "Miss Gilmore's running it. I can't stick her."

Nearly all the teachers think Vicky wonderful, even when she's cheeky to them, but Miss Gilmore is often a bit brisk with Vicky, almost as if she irritates her.

I know Miss Gilmore's dead boring," I agree tactfully. "But it could be fun, Vicky. A real laugh. Go on, please, let's. I bet you'd get all the best parts."

"No. I wouldn't. Not necessarily," says Vicky. "I don't like acting anyway. I don't see the point. It's just like playing a silly kid's game. I don't get why you're so keen, Jade."

"Well ... it's just ... Oh, Vicky, you know I want to be an actress." I feel my face flooding scarlet. I want it so badly I always blush when I talk about it. I look awful when I go red. I'm usually so white that the sudden rush of blood is alarming, and a terrible contrast to my pale hair.

I quite fancy being on television-but as myself. Can you see me as a TV presenter, eh?" Vicky starts a wacky telly routine, using the end of her tie first as a mike and then turning it into a little kid's puppet, making it droop when she tells it off for being naughty.

I can't help laughing. Vicky's so good at everything. I think she really could get on television. She could do anything she wants. She'd have no trouble at all making it as an actress.

"Please, Vicky. Let's join the Drama Club," I say.

"You join the silly old Drama Club."

I don't want to join by myself."

I always do everything with Vicky. I can't imagine joining anything independently. It wouldn't be the same.

"Don't be so wet, Jade," says Vicky. "You go. We don't always have to be joined at the hip." She gives her own hip a little slap. "Stop growing, you guys," she says. "I'm curvy enough now, right? And as for you, Big Bum!" She reaches round and gives her bottom a punch. "Start shrinking straight away, do you hear me?"

"You've got an absolutely perfect figure and you know it, so stop showing off," I say, giving her a nudge. Then I slip my hand through the crook of her elbow so we're linked. "Please please pretty please join the Drama Club with me?"

"No! Look, you wouldn't automatically join anything I wanted to go to, would you?" says Vicky, tossing her hair so that it tickles my face.

"Yes I would. You know I would. I'd join anything for you," I say.

Vicky's eyes gleam emerald.

"Right!" She looks up at all the notices for clubs. "OK, OK. I'll go to the dopey old Drama Club with you if ... you'll join the Fun Run Friday Club with me."

"What? )y

"There! That's settled. So it's drama on Wednesdays after school and fun running on Fridays. What a starry new social life!" says Vicky.

"You are joking, aren't you?"

"Nope. Deadly serious," says Vicky, and she whips out her felt pen and writes her name and mine on the Drama Club list and for the Fun Run Club too.

From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

Jacqueline Wilson is a bestselling author in Britain. She has written several award-winning books for children.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Vicky Angel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was about Jade, a middle school girl whose best friend, Vicky, died when she was run over by a car. There is one more twist though. Jade can see Vicky's dead ghost! The story goes on and on about Jade and Vicky's 'adventures' together and I thought that it was a very good book to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What would you do if your best friend died? In VICKY ANGEL Jade's best friend Vicky dies in a tragic car accident. Jade is with her when it happens and can't believe that her best friend is suddenly gone. Vicky Angel was the most popular girl in school. She's also Jade's best friend in the whole world... the two were like sisters. As if losing your best friend isn't enough, Vicky's parents begin acting strange around Jade. Then all of the kids at school start saying Vicky was their best friend too. The only person who seems to understand what Jade is going through is Fatboy Sam, the class clown. Jade doesn't know how she can go on without Vicky. Then, like an answer to her prayers, Vicky appears to Jade as a ghost. Jade is surprised, well shocked, to see Vicky. The two catch up and are soon skipping school to go shopping and having fun like they used to. The only thing is that it looks like Jade is talking to herself. People begin to look at Jade like she is crazy. But Jade figures it's a small price to pay for having her best friend back. At first, it's wonderful for Jade to have Vicky back. But soon, more problems arise. Jade never knows when Vicky will appear and what kind of mood she'll be in. Some days she's moody and mean and won't let Jade talk to anyone else. One day she tries to talk Jade into jumping off of the subway so that Jade can join Vicky in Heaven. Jade begins to realize that this Vicky isn't the Vicky she knew and loved. Jade also begins to realize that she listened to Vicky too much and that she never really developed her own person. A schoolteacher recommends that she see a counselor although her parents don't like the idea. Jade soon starts meeting with Mrs. Wainwright. Mrs. Wainwright is easy to talk to and doesn't force Jade to talk about anything that she doesn't want to. The only problem is that Vicky is sometimes there, guarding over Jade and keeping her quiet. Eventually Mrs. Wainright is able to break through the silence and help Jade with her situation. As Jade takes control of the situation, she also begins to take control of other aspects of her life. She makes friends with Madeline, Jenny, and the other girls that Vicky Angel wouldn't let her talk to. She also learns that she likes the attention of Sam (without Vicky around, he's no longer Fatboy Sam).