Dirty Little Angels Review
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I don’t read many mainstream coming-of-age novels, but when I run across something like Chris Tusa’s Dirty Little Angels, I am so glad I did. Not many authors can blow me out of this world with their first attempt, but author Chris Tusa most certainly did.

Sixteen-year-old Hailey Trosclair lives somewhere in the slums of New Orleans, where she shares a house with her parents and her brother, Cyrus. Her dad lost his job, and he now spends his days shooting pool or at the race tracks—that is, when he’s not messing around with the redheaded waitress at Nacho Mama’s. Hailey’s mother used to be a nurse, until she threw her back out lifting a patient from one bed to another. She also had a miscarriage, so now she spends her time rotting away in bed, using her religion as a crutch.

Confused and worried that her family is falling apart, Hailey turns to God for answers—though she’s not even sure that she believes. Hailey and Cyrus become friends with Moses Watkins, who plans to run a drive-thru church in an old bank, so people can get a dose of salvation on the go. But Moses becomes ever more violent and unstable with his religious beliefs, dragging Hailey and Cyrus down a dangerous path that they may not be able to escape.

Raw and endearing, Dirty Little Angels draws you into the messed-up world of a young girl who just wants to do what’s right. Despite the choices she makes, and the questions in her heart, Hailey is an appealing character. You’ll want so badly for her to find what she’s seeking, even knowing that life seldom brings answers to the tough questions.

Though Dirty Little Angels is dark and depressing, it’s still a spellbinding read, full of refreshing honesty. I simply could not put this novel down for even a second. I knew that Hailey was headed full-blast toward a cliff; what I didn’t know was what would happen once she reached it. When it came to an end, the conclusion shocked and delighted me—it’s the best twist I’ve ever read.

Dirty Little Angels is Chris Tusa’s first novel, and I highly suggest reading it. It’s rare to find an author of this caliber—and you won’t want to miss out.

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