E. Summers’s “Beneath Angel’s Wings” is a wonderful new addition to the YA/LGBT world.
Title: Beneath Angel’s Wings
Author: E. Summers
My Rating: [X] of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
This is a coming of age book about a gay teen. It’s not a story about supernatural beings or a Christian text. Also, while love is part in the plot, the book is not classified as a romance.
Bullied and friendless, with little love or support from his parents, seventeen year-old Adam has reached his breaking point. Just as he’s about to take the irrevocable last step, he meets Angel, who helps him see another path.
Angel’s life has been a series of tragedies and barriers. He has no time to take on other people’s problems, but when he recognizes Adam’s desperation, he can’t turn away. On the spur of the moment, he becomes the younger boy’s protector and introduces him to a new group of friends who help Adam develop the strength and self-confidence to confront and overcome his fears.
The two boys from different backgrounds have little in common, yet their newfound friendship propels them both toward achieving their dreams. Angel embarks on a road to independence while Adam, for the first time, finds love. But just when things can’t get much better, Adam is faced with his worst nightmare and has to make a life-altering choice.
This book contains themes that may trigger negative responses in readers, such as attempted suicide, discussion of background character’s death, physical and verbal bullying, discussions of sexual practices, including safe sex, and potentially offensive language. Some themes in this book may not be appropriate for readers under fifteen years of age.
It starts in a very dark place – and then Angel appears. Adam, at 16, is at the end of his rope, pushed there by bullying at school and his parents’ seemingly hostile indifference to his plight. He is poised to take his own life, but Angel stops him, and offers him the one thing he’s never felt – friendship.
From this brief, critical act of salvation Summers’s book unrolls into a fascinating, touching and ultimately powerful story of creating a family that crosses lines of race, ethnicity and social class in a way I’ve never experienced in a YA novel. Written in the typically “non-literary” style that one sees in YA novels, the power in this book is its narrative, the interweaving of Adam’s story with those of other people who, because of Angel, become increasingly important in his life.
Summer uses both Adam’s and Angel’s points of view, repeating an episode in the plot through different eyes. It’s a wee bit jarring at first, but then becomes an interesting technique for showing the reader how the two main characters understand what’s happening around them.
I am always a little sad when parents become negative archetypes, and Adam’s fit that bill. But the book makes up for it in a very powerful way that I won’t reveal. Not all happy endings are achieved without cost, but life is like that.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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