Pizza Girl, a pregnant pizza-delivering eighteen year old, is nonchalantly trying to blow up her life despite the support from her golden retriever boyfriend and her Korean mother living the American Dream (through her). With the ghost of her alcoholic father haunting her off her own cliff, she grabs on to the last branch of safety: a crush on a middle-aged housewife. Ugly & uncomfortable, unwinding & gripping, set against the backdrop of the lazy, hazy suburbs of Los Angeles. Takeaways: tender but sharp writing for a debut and, screw pineapples on pizza, let's talk about pickles on pizza.
One of the best novels I read this year. A beautiful story about trauma, family expectations, love and found family. Story unfolds in a way where every character feels real. Makes you want to call your friends, grab a drink and catch up. Loved Loved Loved!!!
Even with a character who can see the future, love is unpredictable. In this coming of age story, Ray and Laurie are forced to face their flaws, their desires, and each other.
Let me be honest: I am not a romance reader. I find it difficult to read when my eyes are rolling across the floor at some of the dialogue or character descriptions. I am, however, a MASSIVE fan of rom coms (embrace your contradictions!), and this book delivers. Two characters with chemistry and emotional barricades that need to be torn down during a fake relationship on an English university campus, genuine and beautiful female friendships, and enough song references to build a reading soundtrack? Honey and Spice deserves a handful of popcorn with every turn of the page.
This is about growing up, and finding new versions of yourself, and the people who bear witness to your metamorphosis. If you have sisters, I’m begging you to read it. Also, I mean – look at the cover.
From Cali to Brooklyn, Angel has her new classmates, her Uncle Spence, and her music playlists to help heal her broken arm and her spirit from her troubled past. We also see her make a home within the words of Toni Morrison, Tayari Jones, and James Baldwin, discovering Black authors through the guidance of her teachers. Browne's novel shines as a beautiful balance between the light and dark sides of being a teenager.
This beautifully crafted, inter-generational story follows two childhood friends during their final year of high school in a small Mojave desert town. I was instantly drawn into the lives of Salahudin and Noor as they navigate grief, the unpredictability of their parental figures, racism, isolating secrets and fears. Told in alternating perspectives, you cannot help but rage against all the obstacles they face. Sabaa Tahir tells their story so eloquently, you will not be able to put it down and it will stay with you long after you’ve read the final page.
An unfiltered account of addiction that does not glamorize the disease of addiction. Some of the best writing I've read in a long time.
To the chagrin of plenty, when people ask me about Miriam Toews (and when they don't), I often say her name in the same breath as "greatest novelist writing in English today" and "the best writer on grief and loss living on this continent," superlatives that surely test my credibility and raise eyebrows, but I stand by them. So help me. It's easy for me to articulate what makes Toews so compelling: her acidic humor, her total inability to play by the rules, always one eye on the specter of death. Rivaling some of Toews's best novels (All My Puny Sorrows, Women Talking, A Complicated Kindness, to name a few), FIGHT NIGHT is the most invigorating work of art in Toews's oeuvre thus far. Come for Toews's unparalleled knack for writing sour grandmothers; stay for Swiv, the precocious child narrator who says things like this: "I don't know why saying bowel movement and stool is better than vag and piehole. It doesn't matter what words you use in life, it's not gonna prevent you from suffering."
"That is our 'pointed task. Love & die." So says John Berryman, the pre-eminent lovedrunk poet and the central obsession of Andrew Palmer's debut novel, The Bachelor, a book that is, yes, partially about romantic love in the age of reality television. But what if you're not a fame-starved Instagram model, and instead a brooding but friendly millennial type, recently void of artistic ambition? Palmer's brilliant work is full of insight and romantic mistakes, like reading the best of Andrew Martin, Ben Lerner, or Elif Batuman. Palmer extracts the language of love for what it is—its hollowness! its empty repetition! ("I've never felt this way before." "I think I'm falling for you.") It's a difficult thing to watch, as it starts to indict us all.