Dirty Little Angels

Dirty Little Angels

by Chris Tusa


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604890303
Publisher: Livingston Press
Publication date: 03/01/2009
Pages: 170
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

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Dirty Little Angels 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 347 reviews.
reader170 More than 1 year ago
Chris Tusa puts you in the mind's eye of 16 year old Hailey from the slums of New Orleans. Written in easy to read, flowing text, Hailey's miserable life experiences pass before you. You can't help feeling what she feels or seeing what she sees. It is not all pretty! Murder,conflict, abortion, ignorance, alcohol, abuse, abuse, abuse.It hit me on so many levels. This story is well written and could be the life of any poor sixteen year old.... in any city in America. It is rich and genuine and makes you appreciate what you may have. We have much more to read from this talented writer.
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
Chris Tusa has a captivating writing style. The characters are so real that they almost pop off the pages. Tusa's unique descriptive text paints a vivid picture without being overly wordy. The story moves along at a quick pace and his writing made me want to read every word. The story doesn't have a strong or complicated plot. Instead, the characters are the draw. The reader is drawn into the world of 16-year-old Hailey. We follow her along and find out what happens when a teenager from a screwed up home is allowed to run free.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Chris Tusa writes some descriptive narratives in his book, Dirty Little Angels. It is written from the point of view of Hailey, a sixteen year old poor girl from New Orleans. She talks us through her family life, her school life and what she does for fun. But this book is not fun. It deals with sex, murder, suicide, revenge and death. It also didn't seem to have a plot. There is a lot of talk and then some action about two/thirds of the way through the book. I didn't care about the characters or their situations, although Chris develops them very well. I believe that Chris has potential but this book didn't fulfill me.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa is about a troubled teenage girl named Hailey who is trying to find herself in the slums of Louisiana. Her brother, Cyrus, is constantly getting into trouble. Her mom had a miscarriage that sent her spiraling down with depression. Hailey's parents hardly speak, let alone look at one another. She cries out for help but her cries go unanswered. When she finds out that her dad is cheating on her mom with a trashy waitress, she becomes angry and blames him for all the problems her family has. That is, until she finds out about her mother's past. She finds it hard to cope with the cards life has dealt her and ends up in Charity, a psych ward, after taking too many pills. Her parents are worried about how they are going to pay for her to get ongoing treatment because her father doesn't have a job and her mother stays in bed all day. But when Verma, a friend of the family finds out, she pays for treatment. Cyrus finds himself in over his head until Hailey takes matters into her own hands. It makes you wonder, how far would I go to save my family? I really enjoyed reading this book and think you should check it out!
ZareksMom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable, but disturbing read. Great descriptions and realistic dialogue. I'm not sure I would classify it as young adult, although the main character is a teen, but I'm sure that teens would relate to Hailey.
KWoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This e-book seemed to drag in some places, drawing away the enjoyment of simply reading it and making it difficult to get thoroughly involved in the storyline. Characters were somewhat hard to follow as well at times, making it confusing.
unknown_zoso05 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tusa's "Dirty Little Angels" follows the sixteen year old Hailey Troslcair journey in trying to save her family. In dealing with her parents' infidelity to each to each other, her brother hanging out with a criminal minister, and her personal relationship with a nineteen year old guy, Hailey discovers what it means to take matters in her own hands. Tusa's descriptions of Hailey's everyday life is very realistic and gritty. I couldn't help but feel sympathetic for the leading characters. While the plot is certainly well written and is clearly defined, I wish the novel was longer.
dele2451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This could possibly be the darkest novel I have read in years. It is amazing that Mr Tusa could cram so much despair and brutality into 147 short pages. If you're looking for a book that will reaffirm your faith in humanity, I recommend you steer clear of this one. I cringed thinking about any teenager growing up in this dismal, grossly dysfunctional environment, but I have to admit the story captured my attention and didn't give it back until page 147. Yes, this story is very bleak, a little flawed, but also oddly beautiful -- kind of like a water-stained black and white photo of a concentration camp. I'll be interested to see what else this author publishes in the future.
Boobalack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I did not feel that I wanted to try to read a complete book on a computer screen, and I didn¿t want to print it on my printer, so I ordered a hard-copy of this novella. It¿s not long enough to be called a novel.Many years ago, I would not have believed people such as those portrayed in this book existed. Now I believe every word of this book. I¿m certain that this segment of society has been around for a very long time. It¿s just that we didn¿t hear about it as much. Today nothing is left out of the news, and we are bombarded with the horrible side of life daily. We just thought the teenagers in Blackboard Jungle and in Rebel Without a Cause were rough and tough little hard cases.If you thought ¿dirty little angels¿ referred to the teens in this book, you¿d be wrong; however, that phrase would be an apt description of them. They were innocents led astray by life and by the society in which they lived, not to mention by Moses ¿ an older Black ex-con and a charlatan to his core. He epitomized religious hostility and racial resentment and was able to get these teens to do just about anything.I wanted to shake all the children until their teeth rattled, all the while feeling very sorry for them, especially Hailey, a pretty girl with low self esteem who had to cope with her mother¿s withdrawal after a miscarriage, her father¿s philandering and drinking, and her brother¿s delinquency, to name a few problems in her life. I wanted to yell at her and tell her to stay the hell away from Moses and to stop fooling with Chase behind her friend Meridian¿s back. Then I wanted to hug her and tell her things would get better.The events in this book ran the gamut from drug use to rampant sex to theft to murder to you-name-it. Reading it was a frustrating and a harrowing experience. The story was dark and gloomy, even when the action took place in the sunlight. If it were a movie, it would simply have to be in black and white, which would add to the feeling of despair and hopelessness evidenced throughout the story.The ending was almost as if the author simply got tired of writing, and it was not very satisfying, at least to me. There could have been more plot, instead of endless scenes of the same thing over and over. Still, what there was of this novella was quite gripping, so the author probably has a great novel running around in his brain. I hope he lets it out soon.
asmccandless on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I began reading Chris Tusa's Dirty Little Angels I will admit I wasn't sure what to expect. I was however plesently surprised. This is a gripping comming of age tale following 16 year-old Hailey and various influences on her life. A depressed mother post miscarriage, an unemployed father of galavanting around and a brother who can be overprotective. The precher they meet and help is an interesting charecter as he unfolds, and not what you expect. There are a few other major players, but I can't do them justice, you'll have to read to truly grasp them.Hailey deals with the tumultous issues of growing up in a city and being a member of the current generation. She is often debating what is just and what is right, but who really has the answer to that? This gripping tale was a somewhat brief and wonderfully thought provoking read that was definately worth every moment. I'm still awe-sturck by the fact that this is Mr. Tusa's first novel. Every moment and every character easily came to life for me with and ending I'd never expect, the true sign of a wonderful writer."
IntrinsiclyMe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A little slice of life-the hardships, hopes and pains of a family struggling with their own demons. Very well written
grem458 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a great first novel for Chris Tusa. Maybe it's just because I grew up in the South, but he seems to make the "white trash" folks of New Orleans feel like people you really know. The way Hailey and her brother Cyrus speak and react to the world around them is close and familiar, but take away the music and car references and the Gothic roots of the novel show themselves plainly. There are family secrets, religious mania, physical brutality, mental illness and degenerate characters enough to make Flannery O'Connor proud. Tusa manages to wrangle all that into a nice, succinct storyline without over-explaining the motives of the principal characters. Good for him that he lets the reader decide the whys and the rights and wrongs and just let the characters play out there drama in front of us. I look forward to the next novel by Tusa. Hopefully it will be another slice-of-life of New Orleans characters.
madforbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tusa brings us into the world of a 16 yr old girl suffering from mental illness. There is much going on in her life to inspire craziness. Her family is in a dire financial predicament due to her fathers inability/unwillingness to find a job. Her mother is also unable to work due to her own unraveling mind. A brothers predilication for violence and getting into trouble causes grave concerns. A cast of degenerates and sociopaths fully complicates the protagonist's descent into madness.This is not a totally dark tale, there are scenes where decency does prevail, however it is not recommended for the faint of heart. It is a brutally honest and moving portrayal of how society marginalizes the people who live on it's fringes and also how the use of sex, drugs, violence and religion can escalate into psychosis.The novel is fast paced and holds interest throughout. I wished for a little more detail into some characters but otherwise found the story fascinating. I was particularly impressed with the last chapters as they hurtled toward the climatic conclusion. I would advise mental health and social work practictioners especially to read it.
lildrafire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Told from the point of view of 16 year old Hailey in modern day New Orleans, Dirty Little Angels hits you in the gut with every gritty detail this girl reveals about herself, her family and her life. Her story is the story of many young girls, but Chris Tusa makes this novel pop with his use of graphic, sometimes nauseating, visual imagery and the quick wit of the characters' dialog. The characters are wholly believable and I wanted to know more about their lives, more about what made them make the choices that they made. Tusa only hints at motivations, letting the reader evaluate why the characters act as they do and where their flaws (and strengths) originate. This novel is a fine example of contemporary Southern literature and I look forward to reading Tusa's next effort. Recommended.
kainlane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dirty Little Angels is a small piece of life of sixteen year old Hailey. She lives in a fairly downtrodden piece of New Orleans and her family situation mirrors that. Her father is a loser that has too much pride to get a job and support his family. His mother is a loser that has too much pride in her maiden family name, of which she has been disowned. Her brother isn't as bad as the rest, but he is a loser in his own right. Her best friend is a big fake loser that can't stand not being the center of attention at all times. In amongst this is the pretty typical sixteen year old Hailey who is mostly ignored and belittled. She tries to be part of people's lives, but they just call her a dumb kid. She has one person, Verma, to look up to, who is elderly and sick, but has the most sense out of any character in the story.At first I didn't really know where this story was going, but I later realized it didn't really matter. It was just a slice of life and somehow I was intrigued to keep on reading. It is more the story of confusion in a teenage brain amongst all the real life turmoil that erupts around her. As the character puts it, she feels roaches crawling around inside her head, and this is a great analogy of the feeling. She wonders whether her parents will become divorced, whether they will lose their house, about her parent's cheating on one another, and so on. I began to really feel for her character and really dislike her parents as they obviously knew nothing about her, not to mention their other problems. But the situations she gets herself in, both by her own misdirection and the losers that she is with, is really sad. Chris Tusa's prose is easy to read and the story is rather short, so this was quite a quick book. I like the occasional graphic detail and analogies that he uses, though he sometimes went too far in his explanation of the analogies. The discerning reader should pick up on these well enough without further explanation. I did also note a few grammatical and spelling errors, though minor.Nothing was overly surprising in the plot, though the ending was rather satisfying. It took a little bit to get into it, but I often found myself wanting to continue on, which is the ultimate decider whether it is a good read. I recommend the book and rate it 4 of 5 stars.
scooter13 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What I found interesting when looking at the reviews quickly at Amazon, was that a few had compared it to ¿To Kill a Mockingbird¿. It has been too long since I read the classic Harper Lee novel to make a comparison myself. The author himself had mentioned it being similar to ¿The Virgin Suicides¿ by Jeffrey Eugenides. But I think they are rather different.The one thing that ¿DLA¿ does is bring in a realistic look at the grimy world. As absurd as on might think things are in novels, you must remember that a lot of times ¿truth is stranger then fiction.¿ This book depicted a family that is falling apart, where members are in trouble on various levels, whether with others, or struggling to make ends meet, or the law itself. In a quick, but well produced story, Mr. Tusa tells a chilling tale of life in one of these troubled families. As much as you might cringe reading some of the things the characters do and go through, there are probably many that have gone through very similar circumstances.The book is rather short. It's 170 pages, and the font was rather generous in size, as were the margins. But in many respects, this is a good thing. There are too many first time authors out there, especially in some genres (:::cough::: fantasy :::cough:::) that write these 600 page debuts. What is worse, they are only book one of a series. It¿s refreshing to see someone just tell a good, if dark and grimy, story, and leave it be. He described what he needed to, in well written prose, but didn¿t dwell. No ¿see-my-writing-chops¿ passages here. And the characters, for the short time they were there, had enough room to develop their own voice and personality. The story is first person from Hailey, and I personally would have liked to see deeper into her psyche. But given the length of the book, and what seemed to be the goal, her development was certainly good enough.Even through the issues and many flaws of the characters, I found myself liking them. It comes back to the realism. Hailey¿s brother Cyrus comes across as a thug. But given his desire and actions to take care of Hailey, you can see the conflict behind him. All the characters have that effect, even if some are annoying. It¿s part of their character and they play a significant role.I think this is a very good start to what could be a very good career. I am looking forward to Mr. Tusa¿s next novel.
LivelyLady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very gritty and real story, hard to believe it is fiction! Showing a cross section of life not often described, author Chris Tusa takes us to the back streets and back roads of New Orleans people and society through the life and times of a 16 year old girl. This can best be described as a combination of [Icy Sparks] and [Lord of the Flies]. While not a "feel good" ending, this does linger with you long after the last page!!!
bwoodreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Chris Tusa, author of Dirty Little Angels, contacted me via LibraryThing to review his book. I hadn't heard of the book before, but I am happy to have read it and to be in contact now with a talented new author. I enjoyed the story about 16-year-old Hailey, living in a lower class area outside of New Orleans with her family which is falling apart. Her social life isn't great either, as she doesn't seem to really like her best friend, and the boy she has chosen to be with couldn't be a worse fit. Hailey's mom is depressed, her father is having an affair, her caring brother is hanging out with a shady cult-like figure, and everyone is making bad choices about how to behave. I liked the characters, but I wanted more. I found myself wondering why I couldn't really get to know Hailey. I wanted to understand her better, and although I hate to say it, I was very conscious that it was a male author writing from the female perspective. I never felt close to her, and although I understood her motives, I didn't understand her mental health issues very well. I liked the book, but I wish it were longer. The 147 pages weren't enough for me to get the depth I wanted to get from the characters, especially Hailey, but also her mom and brother. However, the story was so suspenseful and intriguing, I wouldn't want to take anything out. I could see it being a great movie. [A few typos marred the text. I don't believe mine is an advance copy, and to have at least 3 errors is a shame.]
Shoosty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was hard to put down as it always kept me wondering what is going to happen next. Hailey, a 16 year old girl, is growing up in a poor district outside New Orleans. Her world is starting to fall apart; her mother just had a miscarriage that she cannot get over, her father recently lost his job and spends most of his time at the pool hall and her brother is hanging out with a dangerous crowd. And it just goes downhill from there.I liked the characters and the story itself it gritty and realistic, no sugar-coated happy endings. I wish it could have gone on longer. I felt like I was just starting to get to know the characters and their motivations when the book finished. This is not the book for you if you want a feel good story, but if you are looking for something realistic, dark and thought provoking I would recommend giving this book a read.
PghDragonMan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received an invitation to review Chris Tusa¿s Dirty Little Angels because I had read Clockwork Orange. The author alluded to the fact that both books deal with gangs and violence. Dirty Little Angels is nothing at all like Anthony Burgess¿ memorable work nor is it anything like the classic gangster movie, Angels With Dirty Faces, but there are some common threads tying these together.Tusa introduces a small group of characters and quickly we learn the relationships needed for the story to develop. We learn that Hailey is one short step away from becoming just another juvenile delinquent girl like her friend Meridian. Working like a quick sketch artist, we get glimpses into Hailey¿s troubled home life, the rocky relationship between her parents, her brother¿s association with ex-cons and drug dealers. There are some other peripheral characters, all of whom are sketched nicely in three dimensional detail in a very short time.My main problem is that the story does not seem complete. There is conflict, there is tension and there is a confrontation, but the resolution seems incomplete and the story comes off as the first draft for a longer piece or as a work in progress. I also had trouble deciding on the underlying theme for the story. There are elements of a salvation story here, but no one changes their ways. Some other themes suggested themselves, but none were carried to fruition.Overall, I liked Chris Tusa¿s writing style, I just do not like the way this story seems unfinished. I think he is an author to watch for in the future, his conflict resolution just needs to mature a little more. Because the ending detracted so much from the story, I can¿t give this the four stars I think his concise writing style deserves. It is still better than average, so we¿ll call this 3½ stars.
Tracey1970 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dirty Little Angels has a strong religious undercurrent. It is also based in modern times with modern everyday occurences. The two mixed together make for an interesting read. The main family in this book are divided by religious views and modern arguments, as are any other family. This is a great book from a fabulous author. This would make an interesting movie.
Litfan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Dirty Little Angels" is a dark and fast-paced novel that grabs you tight and doesn't let go until it crashes to its shocking conclusion. Set in New Orleans, the novel is narrated by Hailey Trosclair, a 16-year-old caught in the middle of a very dysfunctional family. Her parents' marriage is in trouble and Hailey optimistically believes that she can do something to save it. In the meantime, she is also drawn into two other relational triangles: her brother's tangled relationship with Moses, an older ex-con with ambitions to start his own drive-thru church, and her best friend Meridian's relationship with Chase, an rich 19-year-old smooth talker. There are no squeaky clean characters to be found, and it's the dark side of each of them that makes them all fascinating. The novel explores the lengths that ordinary people will go to, to protect what they love. It is gritty and original, and even I-- who can often see the ending of a novel coming from a couple of miles away-- couldn't have predicted the way this one turned out. Turning the final page feels like reaching the end of a roller coaster ride-- and what a ride it is!
akvranish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I tend to look for books that seem realistic and like they could actually happen. This book certainly fit the bill in that respect. I liked the pace at which the book flowed, although sometimes I felt that the characters were somewhat one dimensional, as I never really became attached to any of them...with the exception of Moses who really creeped me out! I was pleasantly surprised by the ending of the book though, and it made me wish there was just a bit more to read...maybe a part two!?! I would recommend it to anyone who craves a look into someone else's crazy existence.
bcquinnsmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
New Orleans' down side of town provides the backdrop for this very short novel, which focuses on the lives of an incredibly dysfunctional family, the Trosclairs. Mom is suffering through major depression, dad lost his job and now spends the bulk of his time in a pool hall drinking. There are two teenaged children: Hailey and Cyrus, who themselves have incredible problems: Cyrus hangs out with a very bad crowd, and Hailey hears buzzing in her head. The family is on the brink of getting thrown out of the family home by Mom's brother, who only cares about the dollar signs in front of his eyes. It's not pretty. The book focuses on Hailey for the most part, and her attempts to cope with various situations that her family life brings upon her. She also has to contend with her brother, whose involvement with some pretty sketchy and shady characters is putting him in danger either with the law or with the bad guys themselves. There are very few novels like this; it is dark and disturbing and harsh. There's very little in the way of redemption here, so if you want all's well at the end kind of a story, skip this one. I have only a couple of issues with this novel. First: I would love to have seen the characters more fully fleshed out. For example, Hailey as a central focus would have been much more realistic if I had known her a little bit better, and for that to have happened, maybe her family needed more fleshing out as well. Second: I wasn't quite sure what readership the author was trying reach. At times I thought maybe it was geared to older teen readers, but at others I wondered if he was going more for like a 20-something type audience. On the plus side, the prose is very simplistic, making it more believable from the perspective of a young, teen-aged girl.The action moves quickly so there's never a drag. If I had to give this one a label, I might be inclined toward "modern southern gothic," if there is such a thing. Overall, I think it was quite good, but I'm not sure which audience I'd recommend it to. I hope the author continues to write, keeping it simple, but offering more in the way of characterizations. It is realistic and believable, which is a good thing. Considering that this is the author's first novel, I'd venture to say that he has some good things yet to come forth.
YolaNL on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very surreal and detached. I guess it shows what the world would look like if people weren't capable of feeling. There is a lot of violence in the book and many terrible things happen, but because of the detached style, it all seemed to be quite normal rather than shocking.