Reviewer: Connie Payne
Title: Coffeehouse Angel
Author: Suzanne Selfors
Release Date: November 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: YA Fiction
Publisherís Age/Grade Recommendation: 12 and up
OUARís Age/Grade Recommendation: 13 and up
Year/Setting: Present day, Norby WA
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Very Mild
Violent Content Rating: None
Suzanne's Website/Blog: suzanneselfors.com
One random act of kindness changed Katrinaís life forever. Sure she was scared when she quickly placed a cup of hot coffee and a bag of day-old Danish next to a stranger sleeping in the alley outside the Coffeehouse. He could have been a serial killer for all she knew, but it worried her that he might be cold and hungry.
How was she to know he was some sort of nut? He popped up when she least expected it, telling her that because of her good deed, done with no ulterior motive, she was to be rewarded with a wish of her heartís deepest desire. Whatís a sixteen year-old girl got to do to get "Malcolm" to go away?
Agree to desire(s) that are in many peopleís hearts, but Katrina isnít like most people. Sheís unique. Her mind is set on whatís right; what should be. She wants things to be the same yet different but has no idea how to achieve that and lets the status quo continue.
Hereís a better picture of KatrinaÖShe works in her grandmotherís coffeehouse, which has remained the same for decades, and feels adrift. Her two, and only, best friends Elizabeth and Vincent, have talents and career goals; she only has a closet full of unfinished projects and equipment for things which she had no talent for.
When the first two "wishes" go totally wrong, practically ruining her life (no kidding there), Katrina is forced to re-evaluate her life and the closet of failures, and the role she has and hasnít taken in it as a whole. She also has to come to terms with the fact that Malcolm is actually an angel whose primary "job" is that of a messenger. A lot of changes to come to terms with in a short time.
Not only did the outcome of the two wishes practically ruin her life, but another life-altering crisis or two were added burdens. Now Katrina had to figure out what she was going to do. Let life pass her by or live.
I canít tell you how absorbed I was with Coffeehouse Angel. Not only was I able to relate to much of Katrinaís feelings and confusion, but I liked her, too. Very much. Looking at life through her eyes and being privy to her thoughts and emotions was a way of connecting the reader to her and the life-changing events occurring around her.
In addition, the sights and sounds of many scenes were tangible. Katrinaís confusion and dejection and anger, the atmosphere of the coffeehouse, are all clearly seen and felt by the reader.
To be able to read an entertaining story, centered around a (subtly and overtly) vulnerable and confused young lady whom you absolutely want to root for, and be reminded of some things that we all should carry with us--like really living and not be satisfied with the status quo--is a gift from the author.
If Suzanne Selfors isnít an author you or your tween/teen is familiar with, she definitely should be.
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