The Angelica Touch

L. J. Sedgwick is a well-known name in screenwriting circles. Anybody with young children will be aware of Punky, possibly the first mainstream animation worldwide to focus on a main character with special needs. This, her latest book for young adults, is set on a wild peninsula in Donegal. Angelica is the titular main character, a 14-year-old girl with big plans to rescue her mother from lonely single motherhood, through joining forces with her crush Dylan’s older brother (a computer whizz) and her best friend Grace whose talent is Art and Design, despite her professed interest in hairdressing.

This is a fresh, contemporary story which manages to engage satisfyingly with a remote setting and motley crew of characters. Sedgwick’s warmth towards her characters and location brings the book to charming life. She doesn’t patronise her characters, but instead taps into a contemporary teenage experience with just a touch of magic realism via the perspective of narrator Angelica. This is an enjoyable and light-hearted read, recommended for readers of 12 upwards.