Chris Tusa’s “Dirty Little Angels” follows Hailey Trosclair, a misguided, impressionable fifteen year old through her flirtations with promiscuity, violence and drug use. She has an unemployed, alcoholic father that spends all his time in pool halls and strip clubs, a mother who is clinically depressed after a miscarriage and a brother that introduces her to a whole cast of miscreants. I would recommend to anyone wanting an intimate look into the lives of a dysfunctional family.
As a parent I was deeply disturbed by the acts committed by the urban teens and by the lack of parental involvement. I also couldn’t help but think that the protagonist, Hailey, could have avoided many of her problems if instead of the self centered adults she had in her life, she had just one positive role model. I think the author intended to make family friend, Verma, out to be a savior, but the character development just wasn’t there.
The only suggestion I would make is to increase the length of the novel to include details of what happened to the characters. I feel there were a couple of unfinished story lines to which I didn’t feel closure.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and would highly recommend it. Some books with similar storylines and/or characters are “Catcher in the Rye,” “Running with Scissors,” and “Angela’s Ashes.”
To me, the definition of a good horror movie is not one with a lot of blood and guts, but one that scares you more by the things that are not shown like Paranormal Activity or the Blair Witch Project. I thought that the stories in Ghost Plane... were definitely in that realm. I devoured the collection in about an hour and with each story, the images Ms. Tyrpak caused me to conjure up in my head were scarier then anything she could have expressly written. It's definitely worth the read.