Trigger warning! Rape culture, racist undertones, religion
There is a scene of guys trying to smoke the girls out of a shed. Just guys being guys, of course. You see, they had a problem and needed the girls. Horrifying in itself, but what adds to the grossness is that some girls invited the main character Angie and her friend to the party for the sole purpose of them being for the boys "to get to know."
I don't want to assume, but what else were those boys going to do to those girls, but assault them, even rape them? If they were willing to go so far as to smoke them out of the shed; they REALLY wanted Angie and her friend Cris. Also, another disgusting thing is that they seemed to have a fetish for "the Mexican one" and Angie was just there as an extra.
I do think the boys would have hurt Angie and Cris had they not got out of the back of the shed. The shed catches on fire and now the boys are worried about being arrested. Ugh! It's brushed off as not a serious thing. This book is written like it's meant for middle grade.
This book is also highly religious, which I find odd that a book so much about God, trusting in the Lord, praying and stuff had such disgusting rape culture scenes, let alone had them and just let it go like it never happened. If you're not a religious person, I think some of the things they say about sin and relationships (divorce...etc) might upset you, or trigger you. I don't always know where I stand in the religious front and I really felt uncomfortable reading this.
This book had the mindset that you can pray everything away. It doesn't work that way. It is lovely to have someone to believe in and if prayer comforts you, that is great.
I don't think the book handles mental health well, either.
As far as writing style. It was a quick easy read, but it was sometimes phrased oddly and sometimes it felt like Angie just thought random things that had nothing to do with the plot. I don't know if that is because of it being so old or something else.
"I want to tell you about Cristella and her family. They are part Mexican. They live and talk just like anybody's family." Well of course they do!
"I will say this about Mary Jane. She is more "up" compared to what I am. She is a girl you could see in car with a high school boy right off." What does "up" even mean? What I do understand here is that we're basically slut-shaming an 8th grader?
"Also, she was forever and a day asking me if there weren't "any other little girls in my class besides Cristella." She didn't mind Cristella the way you may think--like some people don't like Mexicans or whatever." Why did this line even need to be put in the book?
**This book is so obscure that I had to add the info into Goodreads, picture, summary. I've had it since I was 12. The proof is inside the cover where I wrote my name, age and phone number. What was I thinking!? I read this at least once as a kid. It is so interesting to see what books you read that nowadays nobody has a clue about. Also kind of sad.
(However since I've now reread it, maybe this one can stay hidden...)