Title: More Than Anger
Author: Lexi Bruce
Genre: Literary Fiction, Teens & YA
Publisher: West 44 Books
Release Date: 1st December 2019
BLURB from Goodreads
It is no secret that Anna's parents are going through a rough patch. When that rough patch turns positively volatile, Anna starts to wonder why her parents are staying together at all. Will their anger destroy everything Anna has ever known? Can Anna allow herself to fall in love when she sees how it can turn so easily to hate?
This book is another Hi-Lo reading style book, which my rough understanding of the term means a high interest plot with a lower difficulty words for those newer to reading. These books are available for a wide range of ages from young children to teens and adults too.
I really like the cover of this book, it being red, a colour associated with anger. There is also the electrical wire sparking featured prominently on the cover, which fits in with the More Than Anger title and plot with Anna’s parents arguing. The sparking of the electrical wire also really represents the point in the book where Anna finally lets her feeling known to her parents very well.
The main character in this book is Anna, her parents have been growing apart and arguing more for some time. In fact, their constant arguments are actually having a negative affect on Anna’s school grades as she is finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate to do her homework. Then she is worrying at night and not sleeping well which has a knock-on effect on her performance at school. Her father then admonishes her for her falling grades and even goes so far as saying she isn’t allowed to attend the school dance. Though when her father proclaims unless her grades improve back to the A’s he is used to her getting she is not going her mother takes the opportunity to say of course she can go to the dance, continuing on to excitedly suggest they need to go shopping to get Anna a new dress and so on. Anna and her best friend Jess used to take it in turns to do their homework together at each other’s houses, but because of the arguing Anna feels ashamed and avoids inviting Jess round to her house anymore. Anna quite literally feels she is living in a war zone. Anna goes to Jess’s house more and more yet has to think of excuses to prevent Jess coming to her home as she doesn’t want everyone to know about her parents continual disagreements. Anna feels too ashamed to talk to Jess or anyone else about her parent’s relationship issues.
When Anna’s mother announces they are going on a family camping holiday, Anna is dreading it. The last great family holiday they had was a camping trip many years ago and to Anna it feels like her mum is trying to recreate that. Sadly, the arguing and sniping at each other doesn’t stop. During an argument at the cabin Anna’s dad leaves in the car. Anna goes walking alone and ends up making friends with some other teens on holiday, though they are staying at the opposite side of the lake. Anna soon becomes friends with them. She enjoys their company and actually opens up to one of them. After talking to her newly found friend and confidante and her parents yet again arguing when she returns to the cabin, she really loses her temper and just shouts at them both that if they are so unhappy together maybe they should just end their relationship and get divorce.
I felt sorry for Anna, though she portrays that is such good friends with Jess and goes to her house as a sanctuary that you would have thought she would have confided in her about her parent arguing. Then on the other hand Anna comes across as maybe not as confident as her friend Jess. Anna does gain confidence and has her first kiss with one of her new friends that she meets whilst on holiday.
My immediate thoughts upon finishing reading the book were that this was a really good example of a great Hi Lo reading book. The subject, plot and characters were all interesting and were presented in an easy flowing reading style. Though these Hi Lo books are generally quite short they do have a lot of content and you do become attached to the characters in the same ways you do with longer books.