Monday, 11 June 2012

Working from Home reviews: Voices of angels by Hannah Davis

Voices of angels is a young adult novel about a 15 year old girl struggling to fit in at home and at school so how did I end up reading it?

It was partly because I read as many different genres as possible to help improve my own writing, but also because it was set in AndalucĂ­a, a part of the world that fascinates me.

So did I enjoy it? Oh yes, I loved it. I can’t see it having the same cross-over success as that Potter boy or the vampire/werewolf stuff and nonsense but it’s spot on for the target market.

Fifteen year old Lizzie Fisher is an outcast at school after falling out with her best friend and neighbour who just happens to be one of those annoyingly popular girls at school. Her secret trysts with a stone angel in a cemetery start to look positively normal when she starts to see black marks over her teacher’s head. Seven days later her teacher is dead.

After being the centre of trouble Lizzie is sent away to live in AndalucĂ­a with her bohemian granny who she hardly knows. In the blistering heat of Spain she falls in love with a talented goat herder and discovers that the insular world of her school and home town is not nearly as important as she thought.

The plot moves quickly, Lizzie’s struggles are instantly recognisable, and the laid-back Spanish approach to problems should strike a chord with people of every age.

I would say that I wished there were books like this when I was 15 but I wouldn’t have read a book about a girl then and I was already devouring adult books. This is a shame as this type of book would probably have given me the confidence I have now much earlier in life.

My one criticism is whether the supernatural element is necessary to the plot. Don’t get me wrong, it’s well executed. However, the concept of stepping away from a troubled place to a totally different lifestyle to evaluate what is important, is strong enough to stand on its own. This would make it resonate even more with troubled teens with 'real-world' body or self-confidence issues.

No doubt other people disagree and want to know how Lizzie comes to terms with her macabre skill. You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Voices of angels by Hannah Davis is available at Amazon here

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