Friday, October 30, 2009

Book Review: Dirty Little Angels by Chris Tusa

Dirty Little Angels
Chris Tusa
Format: e-book

Acquired: from the author through contact via email

I want to start off by stating that this book is NOT a young adult book. The reason that I have a review posted on my blog is that I was contacted by the author to review his novel. I agreed and part of that agreement was to post it on my blog. With that said I do not encourage middle school students to read this book as it is not appropriate for middle school students. However, I did find this book to be a good read. Additionally, I was uber excited to be contacted by an author to read their book.

From his website

“Dirty Little Angels is the To Kill a Mockingbird of 2009. Brilliant, tender, engrossing, compassionate and challenging, Chris Tusa’s Dirty Little Angels marks the debut of a brave new voice in contemporary American literature.” –
Burl Barer, Edgar Award winning author of The Saint, Mom Said Kill

Set in the slums of New Orleans, among clusters of crack houses and abandoned buildings, Dirty Little Angels is the story of sixteen year old Hailey Trosclair. When the Trosclair family suffers a string of financial hardships and a miscarriage, Hailey finds herself looking to God to save her family. When her prayers go unanswered, Hailey puts her faith in Moses Watkins, a failed preacher and ex-con. Fascinated by Moses's lopsided view of religion, Hailey, and her brother Cyrus, begin spending time down at an abandoned bank that Moses plans to convert into a drive-through church. Gradually, though, Moses's twisted religious beliefs become increasingly more violent, and Hailey and Cyrus soon find themselves trapped in a world of danger and fear from which there may be no escape.
To read samples of Chris Tusa’s work, visit his website:

This novel is a gritty, raw, and a realistic read in terms of what can happen to people. This is a dark book. There is little positive to be found, but this I believe was done with the intention of making the reader stop and question how we can impact our own lives. Our choices lead to the life we live. We are in control despite the circumstances we are born into.

His descriptions of different scenes in this book were some of the best I have ever read(even though some made me squirm). I loved the writing style of this author and look forward to watching him continue his career. I reread several scenes just because I loved how he crafted his words.

This book fits into my profile of books I like because it was not a happy warm-hearted read where everyone becomes friends at the end. There are some real negative events that arise. I think what makes the book appealing is that everything seems so real. I have not lived a life at all like any of these characters, but I know several people who have had similar circumstances.

If the blurb above sparks your interest, then I suggest you give this book a try. Like I said, I would NOT give this book to any middle school students as there are references and scenes that deal with adulterous parents, criminal siblings, sex, drugs, and friends. These ideas are woven into the story to have the reader think and ponder, “What would I do in a given situation?”
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