Kathleen's Story (Angels in Pink)
By Lurlene McDaniel
Genre: Young Adult
Published 2005, Delacorte Press
Hardback, 227 pages
It’s the summer after sophomore year and Raina has convinced her best friends since the sixth grade, Kathleen and Holly, to spend their summer as “pink angels” in Parker-Sloan General Hospital’s summer volunteer program. Kathleen is reluctant to do it—she has enough responsibility at home caring for her sick mother. But when she meets Carson, a cute and flirty fellow volunteer, she is happy that she joined the program. Or, at least, she thinks she is. Carson’s “old friend” Stephanie keeps showing up at all the wrong times. And Kathleen’s mother keeps complaining that she needs Kathleen at home. But with friends Raina and Holly by her side and her Pink Angel t-shirt on her back, Kathleen is able to realize that helping others also allows you to help yourself.Even though this book is supposed to revolve around one of three best friends, Kathleen, I found that it was divided pretty evenly between the three girls. Kathleen's mother is afflicted with multiple sclerosis, which adds a human interest element to the plot that makes the reader sympathetic to Kathleen's struggles. This is also makes it quite understandable as to why Kathleen would be attracted to bad-boy Carson -- she lives such a controlled life that she needs some rebellion and unpredictability to make life more interesting.
The three girls volunteer for a program at the local hospital, called the Pink Angels. This makes for great background material as there is plenty of fodder for creating obstacles and conflicts. It was also somewhat familiar to me, thanks to what I've gone through with my youngest daughter's two hospital stays. My heart especially melted at one of the girl's interactions with a boy sick with cancer.
The characters were not overly unique and some were more likable than others. What really bothered me the most was how the book ended -- it just sort of cuts off. I understand that this book is part of a trilogy, but as it attempts to focus on one particular character, Kathleen, the plot lines pertaining to her should be resolved.
The Cover: The cover simply shows the face of the main character in this particular book, Kathleen, complete with red hair and freckles. At least it fits the plot.
First Lines: "'Are we ready?' Raina St. James asked. She looked expectantly at her two friends."
This is a particularly bland opening for any book. What is there to entice?
Read For: Twenty-Eleven Challenge