The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable
At age 16, Ange Jones has experienced more than most adults. When the book opens she is going in for her second abortion after her 23-year-old boyfriend badgered her into having unprotected sex. Her mother, a callous beauty queen, recently suffered a stroke, and Ange has been her primary caregiver while attending school and working. Inspired by a social activist's kindness and resentful of adults' condescending attitudes, Ange changes her look from goth to nerd and heads for Washington, D.C., to dedicate herself to political activism, with no intention of returning to school in the fall. She stays at a hostel, takes a job at a deli, and gets her GED, relishing her independence. Participating in a nonviolent antiwar protest, Ange is arrested and put in a juvenile detention facility, which raises the book's central issue of teenagers' lack of rights. Bramhall's first novel gets bogged down by extraneous details and takes too long to reach the central conflict; dialogue is often stilted, and Ange's character is little more than a vessel for the author's message. Ages 12–up.