SHORTLISTED FOR THE NORTH EAST TEENAGE FICTION AWARD
TAYSHAS READING LIST
'What a book. I simply couldn't put it down ... at moments, it reaches the sublime. I loved it.'
Jill Murphy, The Bookbag
'Outstanding prose is married to a suspenseful plot and a quiet humour.'
Amanda Craig, The Times
Two girls are inextricably linked by destiny.
Stephanie is friendless, strange, a misfit.
Freya can't stop seeing angels.
But when one of those angels begins to stalk her, its
shadow following her everywhere, Freya is forced to
make decisions from which there is no turning back.
I wanted to create a secular angel
Angel is my first novel written explicitly with a teenage audience in mind. I've even flirted with romance — a first for me. I think I've always been interested in the concept of angels (who wouldn't want to have their own guardian angel?).
But I didn't want to write about religious angels, commanded by the will of God. Interesting as that notion is, it's been done endlessly. What I wanted was a deeply spiritual being, but secular.
And I thought it would be interesting to have a girl who exists betwixt the angelic world and our own: half human and half angel. There would be advantages (she can fly, for a start) but what about the disadvantages? What about all those people as an angel she's meant to care for? What if it is too hard? What if she wants to give up? Can she? How can she possibly live up to the expectations of the angels when she has her own human problems to deal with?
The notion of the dark angel/light angel contrast — one apparently malevolent, the other a classic altruistic angel — came to me early. I wanted to play with these notions.
I thought that a real human being would lie somewhere between them as well. I tried to make Freya, my main character, reflect those human qualities: a decent person, but as selfish as the rest of us; wanting to do the right thing, but afraid of making mistakes and endangering herself.
In the end, this story became a kind of moral fable about my view on the right way to behave in the world. I didn't mean it to, but books sometimes take on a strange life of their own.
'Stands out for its original subject and plot ...each book takes McNish into new territory, and this one is both assured and thought-provoking.'
Nikki Gamble, The Bookseller
'Tense, quirky and highly individual, this story has plenty going for it.'
Nicholas Tucker, TES
'A deft construction — McNish vividly portrays two worlds in the light of each other, creating a thin space between them that makes for a moving and thought provoking tale.' Huw Thomas, Books for Keeps
'A fascinating read.' Carousel
'This neat combination of teen angst and behavioural ethics is — complex and charged.'
The Daily Telegraph
'What a book. I simply couldn't put it down ... a highly charged look at personal spirituality... the writing is effortless and elegant and as it slips between character perspectives, Angel never loses an air of authenticity. And at moments, it reaches the sublime. I loved it.' Jill Murphy, The Bookbag
'This unusual fantasy is made plausible by a very strong depiction of the underpinning pattern of teenage anxieties and everyday angst.' Lesley Agnew, The Bookseller
'Haunting and thought provoking.' Cy Mag
'A fantastic read.' Jo Griffiths, Waterstones
'If you love stories about friendship, this one's a must!' Bliss