Angie is a magnetic protagonist whose journey of self-discovery is enhanced by her ability to achieve success when she decides to singularly focus on goals such as improving her swimming or helping Dominick win artistic acclaim. In unvarnished, often evocative prose (“She popped back awake and rolled her window down halfway and drove with the cold air breathing energy back into her face”), Ames highlights how the ups and downs of Angie’s life stem from her decisions—driving drunk, terminating a pregnancy, leaving town—and her relationships with a variety of friends, lovers, and strangers who can be kind, cruel, or distant.
The novel ends abruptly on the fourth anniversary of Angie’s father’s death as Angie prepares to open a new chapter in her life. After following Angie through so many trials, readers may want more certainty that she will really find happiness; it’s too easy to read this hopeful moment as another risk that could end well or badly. Despite this sharp cut-off, fans of coming-of-age novels will warm to Angie’s journey and hope that a future installment will see her comfortably settled at last.
Takeaway: This evocative story of four years in a young woman’s life will grip readers looking for a nuanced tale of choices and consequences.
Great for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing.
Design and typography: B
Marketing copy: -
Girl With A Future by Parker Ames is the story of a young woman's search for herself and her place in the world. She thinks she might have a destiny, but what that is, she doesn't know yet. We get to tag with her as she goes through different life experiences and we see how she deals with the challenges life throws her way.
Girl With A Future is a fast-paced read, and that's thanks to the author's formidable writing skills. It's hard to believe this is a debut novel. The pacing is perfect and the writing taut and sharp. There's nothing boring about this book. You will turn the pages just as fast to keep up with her and not get left behind. Angie, the lead character, is a strong woman with high self-assessment skills. Yes, she made a lot of mistakes, as we all do, but there's nothing whiny or pathetic about her, and I liked that. You are not required to pity her as you read, but instead, you'll cheer her on until the last page.
Parker Ames has written a novel that is profound. At first glance, it might not seem that way but this book will surprise you. As she relates Angie's story, you might find yourself relating to her doubts and wonderings. The author might name emotions you have not acknowledged before, if you're brave enough to admit it. It's powerful in its honesty and simplicity and I admire the author's perceptions and insights. A worthwhile read. Recommended for new adults and adults alike.
Girl With A Future is the debut novel by author Parker Ames. We are introduced to Angie Cohen as she navigates the rite of passage that is high school. From a small town in Canada, Angie is an achiever and one who loves competition, be it athletic or academic. As a nationally recognized swimmer, Angie has the pick of scholarships to all the best Canadian universities and even a few U.S. Ivy League schools. The premature death of her father, though, throws Angie into personal emotional turmoil and after building up her late father’s fledgling company and selling it for a good price, Angie decides to eschew her scholarships at least for a year and travel to Europe in an effort to “find herself” and hopefully discover the true direction of her life. She embarks on a voyage of discovery that will open her eyes and also reinforce some of her deeply-held beliefs about life. Angie is a girl on a mission but, unfortunately, she has yet to figure out exactly what that mission will be.
As a reader, I was immediately struck by the breadth of the main character in this story. Angie Cohen is the Girl With A Future but the more time that passes, the less clear it becomes as to what that future holds. Author Parker Ames has imbued this character with a range of characteristics from shockingly naïve and innocent right through to that of a deep thinker and philosophizer. Angie thinks she knows what her future should hold but when her father dies and she fails at a national swim meet, her core beliefs are seriously challenged. At times one felt like shaking her and telling her that this is real life and she needs to get with the program. However, Angie is determined to forge her own new path. Any writer that can involve a reader so intimately in the characters has done an excellent job and, certainly, that is what Ames has done in this story. Most people would shelve this story as women’s fiction or literary fiction but it deserves a broader category than that. It is an examination of life, its meaning and our place within it. I was pleased the author indicated this is not the last we will hear of Angie Cohen and I certainly look forward to the next iteration. I can highly recommend this book for those that like to ponder as they read and also enjoy a touch of romance here and there on the side.
Girl with a Future by Parker Ames is the story of a woman who lost her direction in life, one tragedy at a time. The story follows the life of Angie Cohen, a young woman who is tested beyond her limits by life. Angie had her whole life planned and ready to put into action. She was going to graduate from high school, get into college, get a job, get married and have kids. The plan was foolproof and she knew she could do it all. However, she was not expecting her father to die. That one event unraveled her in a way from which she was never able to recover. Now she is fumbling and gasping for breath, trying to make her life work in any way possible. She doesn’t have a direction anymore, she doesn’t have a plan and now life is taking her away on a journey and she has no idea how it will end.
This is one of those novels where you find a piece of yourself in every page. Angie is a well-rounded character, she has her ups and downs and she has the issues that she works through as any other person would. She is overdramatic at times, she is sane and honest and she acts just as any regular human being would, and that is what makes her a beautiful character. Her development was enormous and the author made sure that the reader was with Angie through it all. I never wanted to put the novel down because I was invested in Angie’s story and how she was going to tackle life. I loved reading this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Brilliant!
Girl with a Future by Parker Ames is a coming of age story that follows Angie Cohen’s life, a seventeen-year-old girl who is suddenly thrust into more complicated situations than she can handle. As the story opens, Angie loses her father, and that is the first tragedy in her life. But there are failed relationships, too. There are her sexual escapades and booze. Angie is a girl whose life is set for success, but can she complete school with flying colors and go to university? With the pain of loss etched in her heart, can she make sane and positive decisions?
This is a fast-paced, breezy read and I particularly loved the short chapters and paragraphs that are carefully crafted to reinforce the drama. The short chapters make it easy to read, each ending with a note that drives home the sense of suspense and pushes the reader to the next page. The grammar is stellar and the phraseology designed to showcase the intense drama that permeates the writing. Parker Ames is deft at crafting dialogues and these augment the level of entertainment in the story while helping to deepen character and plot. I enjoyed the way relationships are explored in this novel, especially the one between Angie and her mother. I looked forward to the role the mother plays in the young girl’s life after the death of her father. Girl with a Future is emotionally rich, suspenseful, and downright entertaining, a novel that explores coming of age themes, family, personal growth, and relationships. It is as real as it can be!