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Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Review: The Unfinished Angel


Author: Sharon Creech
Release date: Nov 2009 UK
Genre: Fantasy/ Angel Fiction /
Target audience: 9+

Summary from Amazon:
'People are strange! The things they are doing and saying - sometimes they make no sense. Did their brains fall out of their heads?' Angel, not fond of people at the best of times and having an identity crisis, is about to meet Zola - a talkative young girl who makes herself at home in Angel's tower in a village high in the Swiss Alps. 'This Zola is a lot bossy,' Angel thinks. But out of their bickering an unexpected friendship forms, which benefits the entire village, reminding us that magic can be found in even the most ordinary acts of kindness.


Review:
It is hardly a secret that I have a thing for angel stories. I think perhaps I love them so much because angels are innately good, unless they're fallen angels obviously. But even then I love those types of angel books too. Okay, I have no idea why I have an angel book obsession but I do.

The Unfinished Angel is a very quick read. It is just 164 pages long. Yet every single page and every single word were simply a joy to read. Creech has written the most beautiful and endearing story about one Angel who is trying his/her best to protect the people in his/her care. For the purposes of the review I'm going to refer to Angel as a "he" but that is most certainly debatable. It is really hard to not give a character a gender when you're writing about them.

Angel wonders if he has been sent to be a ground angel too early. He worries that he hasn't been given a mission and if he is fulfilling his responsibility to the right people. Angel's voice is incredibly convincing. I actually giggled out loud as I read Angel's musings about peoples. Yes, we are always referred to as peoples. Angel believes he is missing some of the required vocabularly. He believes ground angels should understand every language of the world. Angel's difficulty with English was the most adorable thing to read and I'm sure he would disapprove of me saying such a thing. He is an Angel. I'm just a peoples and I most certainly should not think of him as a cute pet. But I can't help myself, I'm one of the peoples after all.

Zola is a young girl who moves into the Casa where Angel floats and flishes. He finds her bossy but he also admires her and their growing friendship was fascinating to follow from Angel's perspective. As the story develops, Angel shares with us some of the history of the characters that he watches over. There is Signora Divino who puts snakes in the yard of the Casa when she thinks no one is looking and her Grandson Vinny who is constantly making noise and mischief. Each new character adds another colour to the story.

The plot moves very swiftly and in some ways I think the way it unfolds isn't very surprising. There are no twists and turns and for once this is no bad thing. The nature of this story is about discovery and often what we discover about ourselves isn't all that surprising. Sometimes it is what we knew all along.

Overall, The Unfinished Angel is a simple yet beautifully written and well executed story. It is the type of book that you can read again and again just to hear the funny and at times grumpy voice of Angel. I absolutely loved it. This is a book of the highest quality of writing and I cannot recommend it enough. For an angel fan like me, it is a must read!




The Bookette

17 comments:

Charlotte (The Book on the Hill) said...

Oh, sounds good ! I love simple yet beautifully written stories. And I love the cover !

The Book Bug said...

Awesome review, but I don't think its really my kind of book...Maybe I'll try it, though, just out of curiosity.

Shweta said...

Great review.. I came to your blog through Kirthi's blog. I must say your reviews are very insightful ..

runningforfiction said...

this looks so cute!

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I've seen this one around, and I enjoy Sharon Chreech but hadn't read a review yet. Thanks! I'm sure I'll be reading this one at some point.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Great review. I hadn't heard of this one.

Becky said...

Shweta, thanks for your comment. Made me smile "insightful" hmmm...that's a new one folks. Sorry, now I'll be serious thanks for the sweet compliment. It really surprised me.

This most definitely is a cute read and it is very different from the huge number of paranormal romances and vampire series books I've been reading lately. It was a refreshing change and honestly Angel's voice is amazing.

Bookalicious said...

Sounds like an interesting read, but I can't get past the horrrrrendous cover. :(

LovesSam said...

This sounds so so cute!!! I may have to try this sounds really good, and I do like my angels, since we have lots in common

Justine said...

This seems cute! And I kinda like the cover too :P

Lauren said...

This sounds so different from what I expected. I quite like the premise actually, although I'm usually more a fallen angel kinda girl. Sounds uplifting, which is good. Thanks for the review!

The Book Owl said...

I'd heard of this but hadn't read any reviews yet. Thanks for providing your opinion. Now I want to read it! Great review. :)

Book Monster said...

Wait they don't give a gender in the book? Doesn't that bother you throughout the book?
The story sounds cute :) Great review!!!

and answer to the Hold Still comment, it is a sad read but I absolutely recommend it to anyone. You do cry during it and it takes a while to read, but it teaches you a lot of things :)

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Awesome review! Angel sounds absolutely adorable, and the idea definitely unique. I love Sharon Creech (Ruby Holler, Walk Two Moons), and only saw this book for the first time this past Sunday at Borders and wondered what it was about. So perfect timing! ;)

Nina said...

I like the sound of this book, very sweet!

Janssen said...

I heard Sharon Creech read aloud some of t his book at the National Book Festival and it was a hoot. I wonder why I still haven't picked it up?

Steph Su said...

Hmm I love Sharon Creech, have heard mixed reviews about this one, but I still want to read it eventually! Have you seen the paperback cover of this one? It's, like, gorgeously colorful. (Granted, I don't really have a problem with this one; I think it's cute!)