High school freshman Angie sees herself the way everyone else does, as “Fat Angie,” until KC Romance, “a model kind of beauty beneath the bad-girl garb,” breezes into her small, conservative Ohio town. Angie is relentlessly bullied at school, as well as belittled by her mother and adopted younger brother. Angie’s heavily medicated family can barely communicate with each other, let alone face the loss and presumed death of Angie’s older sister in Iraq. When Angie and KC bond—first platonically, then romantically—over broken homes, classic TV shows, and their respective troubled pasts, Angie gradually becomes motivated to change inside and out. Charlton-Trujillo (Feels Like Home) offers a hard-hitting third novel that swings between incredibly painful low moments and hard-won victories. The abuses Angie suffers are hard to stomach—her mother can be truly cruel (“No one is ever going to love you if you stay fat,” she tells Angie at one point)—making the happiness the teenager is able to find, both through KC’s help and her own persistence, come as a relief. Ages 14–up. Agent: Andrea Cascardi, Transatlantic Literary Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/14/2013 Release date: 03/12/2013 Genre: Children's
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