A Daffodil for Angie

November 15, 2017
GenreComing of Age, Race Relations, Southern
Audience Young Adult
Format Book Length Manuscript
Type Historic Fiction
Word Count 60-80k (average/short)

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Workshopped with Deborah Halverson
Cover design by James at Goonwrite.com
Published Through Amazon Createspace – KDP
Reviewed at Brianna Remus Books
Read a positive review
Displayed & sold at Eagle Eye Book Shop

Reviewed on July 9, 2018

Review by Melody Delgado

The Rundown

Sixteen-year-old, high school sophomore, Angie Finley, must buckle up for a ride when school starts in the fall of 1966. Her father, divorced from her mother, is touring Vietnam. Over the summer she streaked her brown hair blonde and traded in her glasses for contacts. So, on the first day of school, Craig, a junior football-playing hottie, notices her.

Racial tension is also rampant and Angie witnesses an African-American girl, Valerie Franklin, being mistreated. Part of her wants to intervene, the other part of her chooses not to get involved. When Angie gets to homeroom, Valerie walks in. She is the only African-American in class. The teacher, Dr. Kelley, has the students sit alphabetically, so Valerie ends up sitting right behind Angie. The long haired guy to her right, Stan, is the rule breaker who intervened on Valerie’s behalf. Since Angie didn’t do anything to help Valerie, she figures the least she can do is say hi and talk to her.


At home, things are just as complicated. Her former cheerleader mother and sister want her to try out for the cheerleading squad. Even though Angie was a cheerleader in junior-high, she’s not really into it now. Her mother and sister think winning beauty pageants and being gorgeous is the only way to get a man, since snatching a rich, handsome husband is what life is all about, at least in their world.


Stan, the activist, approaches Angie to help with the school newspaper. He seems to just want Angie to be his secretary, because she is a girl, but Angie wants to write stories of her own, and puts him in his place. They become friends and she gets involved in Anti-war issues as well as issues involving racial prejudice.


Meanwhile, football player Craig asks her to homecoming and then gives her his class ring. Things are really heating up between them, but Angie feels like things are going too far too fast. Will she be able to get Craig to cool things down? Will she stand up for Valerie when pranks against her due to her race, go from bad to worse? Will she stand up to her bossy mother and sister who want Angie to live her life their way? Will her father stay safe in Vietnam?

Angie must deal with all of these issues during the coming months.

The Recommendation

Strong writing and story-telling by a capable author who transports the reader back to the 1960s with depth, clarity and humor. Angie is a witty, likeable protagonist who has a heart for others and a mind of her own. She is a feminist being raised by a mother who has a 1950s view of women, which frustrates Angie. While the story deals with meaty topics of racial injustice,  women’s rights and the Vietnam war, with clever brush strokes, as the story goes on, it also begins to touch on several other social issues, which makes it feel, at times, as if the author has thrown in ‘everything but the kitchen sink’. It then focuses less on Angie’s story and borders on becoming more of a diatribe on every cause out there. Also, the character arc was a bit disjointed at times. Angie behaved in a passive-aggressive manner with her family and boyfriend, regarding her own life, but showed bravery and courage when dealing with the plights of others, even people she didn’t know very well. This led to moments where Angie’s actions and those of her mother, didn’t feel believable. There were also minor characters that were introduced in the beginning and crucial to the ending, but because they did not appear in the middle of the book, or did not appear much after that, it was hard to remember who they were. This caused the climax and ending to lose a bit of steam.

Overall, a well-told, engaging story with a strong sense of time and place. Fans of Historical Young Adult novels or novels dealing with social issues, will enjoy this book.

The Rating Reviewer Rating: 4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars (out of 5): Highly recommended. This book is a great read. It can hold its own against any traditionally published novel in its genre, and surpasses many.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Characterization, Emotional, Humor

Author’s Summary

It’s 1966. Mini-skirts are in. Beatlemania is in full swing. And Angie Finley is starting high school with frosted hair and contacts, ready to find a boyfriend. But her dad’s in Vietnam as young men burn their draft cards. School integration turns ugly as a black classmate is bullied. Her mom pushes her to be a cheerleader while women demand to be taken seriously. And a pushy antiwar activist in her class is driving her crazy.

But a handsome quarterback thinks her new look is perfect. And he wants to do a lot more than just make out.

Set against a backdrop of the tumultuous 1960s, “A Daffodil for Angie” is a vivid coming-of-age story about a teenager grappling with what kind of person she wants to be. Should she trust the adults who sent her father to Vietnam? Should she try to do something about attacks on the first black student in her class? Should she let her sexy boyfriend score a touchdown?

The 1960s comes alive as Angie tries to make sense of the social upheaval around her, while struggling to keep a lid on her raging hormones.

Short Description

It’s 1966. Angie Finley has a lot on her plate – the Women’s Right’s Movement, school integration, the Vietnam War, a cocky anti-war activist, a sexy jock. The 1960s comes alive in this novel about a teen-age girl struggling to make sense of the social upheaval around her.


A coming-of-age novel in the tumultuous 1960s

Additional Links

Visit the Official Website
Find it on Goodreads
Like it on Facebook

You might also like...

Contact Us    Visit the original Underground
Quality reviews of independent literature from 2011 - 2018