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My Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt

My Book of Life by Angel

by Martine Leavitt

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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14614116,834 (4.21)1



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» See also 1 mention

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
This was just so beautiful and sad. ( )
  UDT | May 1, 2018 |
  dbruscini | Apr 8, 2016 |
In this novel-in-verse, mature high school readers will learn the sad story of Angel, a teenage runaway. Angel meets Call in a mall, who gets her hooked on drugs. She runs away to be with him, and soon is forced into prostitution.

Read the rest of my review at: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/my-book-of-life-by-angel-mart... ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
Teen readers today can turn to stories like Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Children and Martine Leavitt's My Book of Life by Angel (2012): well-written, multi-layered, beautiful and challenging stories about the experiences of women and girls walking the street.

Martine Leavitt explains that the characters in her novel are invented, but "inside my made-up story is much that is true".

Some common experiences are outlined, but "[e]ach girl's story is different".

"Her man, the one who found her, lonesome,
said to his friends,
it's the ones from good homes
who follow orders best --
it's the ones from good famiies
who have the best social skills,
who have never learned how to fight -
they make the best money."

That's Serena, but it fits for Angel as well. The language is common and familiar and unsentimental, which brings the emotional resonance of the story to the fore.

And not that the more general topic isn't harrowing and disturbing (abusive relationships and child prostitution), but The Book of Life by Angel plays out on the eastside of Vancouver, before Robert Pickton was arrested and charged.

Following the story, there is a list of the missing women of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, collected in 2007, which reminds the reader that Angel's experiences might be made-up but these experiences are certainly real.

"He said, Angel, do you love me?
Just do this for me, for us-
soon we'll be taxpayers,
we'll have the neighbours over, we'll volunteer.
You with me, baby?"

Similar to Baby's experience in Heather O'Neill's novel, Angel finds an outlet in her writing. (She finds another kind of inspiration in the story, too, but to discuss that would reveal a significant spoiler.)

"I got my notebook
and figured out
when you want to write a poem
you don't know where it might go.
It's an act of faith to write a book of you,
to believe a poem
is something you could do."

This aspect of her experience is one of the major reasons why this book is easy to recommend; the devastation and destruction has a counterpart.

There is no tidy, satin-bowed resolution, but Angel possesses a strength and determination which makes her story resonate beyond the page.

It is both a difficult story to read and a difficult story to set aside: well done, indeed.

This review originally appeared on Buried.In.Print.
  buriedinprint | Jul 8, 2014 |
5Q,4P (my VOYA codes)
Haunting. Poetic. Tragic. Beautiful. Angel, a 16 year old girl who finds herself emotionally vulnerable after the death of her mother, gets herself into some trouble and walks into the conning arms of Call. He reels her in, feeds her "candy" and she prostitutes herself for him. After one of her street friends disappears from the streets of Vancouver, presumably murdered and no one seems to care, Angel vows to get clean and find a way home. In her weakest moments of withdrawal, Call brings home Melli, an 11 year old girl he wants Angel to teach "tricks" to. She refuses and finds strength and courage to try to keep Melli safe and save them both. Their relationship is quiet but powerful and ultimately, healing. Leavitt's novel-in-verse gives more power to this story than a traditional novel ever could.

Angels' story and the women she represents will stay with me for a very long time. ( )
  candr | May 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
My book of life by angel was one of those books that I challenged myself to read. Angel is a character to open this world us. She is not free of blame, it is clear that she myriad of bad decisions that led her to her current state, but as she becomes more and more determined to break free of the life she has let herself be bound to it becomes so easy to root for her. Angel chillingly aware of number of women of her profession that have gone missing and the belief that a murderous man is behind these disappearances. They insisted these disappearances were not the work of a serial killer, and did nothing to stop or solve cases they deemed unimportant because the women involved were sex workers.
added by Veronica.Ubario | editThe Los Angeles Times, Veronica Ubario (Sep 16, 2012)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Martine Leavittprimary authorall editionscalculated
Balbusso, AnnaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For the families of the Eastside angels
First words
When Serena went missing I looked in all the places she might go and she wasn't anywhere, just like a lot of the girls weren't anywhere.
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Disambiguation notice
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374351236, Hardcover)

When sixteen-year-old Angel meets Call at the mall, he buys her meals and says he loves her, and he gives her some candy that makes her feel like she can fly. Pretty soon she's addicted to his candy, and she moves in with him. As a favor, he asks her to hook up with a couple of friends of his, and then a couple more. Now Angel is stuck working the streets at Hastings and Main, a notorious spot in Vancouver, Canada, where the girls turn tricks until they disappear without a trace, and the authorities don't care. But after her friend Serena disappears, and when Call brings home a girl who is even younger and more vulnerable than her to learn the trade, Angel knows that she and the new girl have got to find a way out.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:49 -0400)

"16-year-old Angel struggles to free herself from the trap of prostitution in which she is caught."--

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