Thursday, October 08, 2009

Angry Management

Mr. Nak has been hired by Global Community Health as a community counselor; charged with leading an anger management session populated by an eclectic group of students, Angry Management, by Chris Crutcher, tells their stories. Sarah and Angus have highly visible issues, Sarah was disfigured by abuse and Angus is a "big guy." Both slow to trust, their budding friendship evolves into a tentative relationship born during a deeply personal road trip west to help Sarah face her past. Montana writes for the school newspaper covering topics that are more often than not censored by the school board, lead by her adoptive father. Trey is a football star living with his grandmother, a down to earth woman battling cancer. Montana's article about the medicinal use of marijuana sparks controversy within their families and community. Matt and Marcus could not be more different; one deeply religious and the other openly gay, their paths cross when standing up to do the right thing ends in tragedy.

Each story is told in the distinctly different voice of the featured pair and tied together with short transcribed notes by the counselor. And while there are no clich├ęd happy endings, neither are there any real surprises. This is one of those novels where the end is not as important as getting there. It's about the journey.

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