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Publisher's Summary

In her ruefully funny and wickedly perceptive debut novel, Alison Espach deftly dissects matters of the heart and captures the lives of children and adults as they come to terms with life, death, and love. At the center of this affluent suburban universe is Emily Vidal, a smart and snarky teenager, who gets involved in a suspect relationship with one of the adults after witnessing a suicide in her neighborhood.

Among the cast of unforgettable characters is Emily's father, whose 50th birthday party has the adults descending upon the Vidal's patio; her mother, who has orchestrated the elaborate party even though she and her husband are getting a divorce; and an assortment of eccentric neighbors, high-school teachers, and teenagers who teem with anxiety and sexuality and an unbridled desire to be noticed, and ultimately, loved.

©2011 Alison Espach (P)2011 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

"[A]stute and funny… as idiosyncratic as it is stirring." (The New York Times)
"[An] outstanding coming-of-age novel… one of the funniest books I've read in a long time." (The Wall Street Journal)

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  • DeeAnna
  • Sacramento, CA, United States
  • 05-14-12

A Little Too "Nothing" For My Taste

One reviewer wrote "A book where nothing happens". That about sums it up. I tend to enjoy books that follow a group of people through everyday life and tells their story. I guess those are basically books where nothing happens so I took a chance on this one. Ughhh......no really, NOTHING happens in this book. I mean something happens but it doesn't mean anything. There is no point. Where other books take the nothing and make you care, make you connect and relate. This book was just so blah. I was really shocked that I didn't like it but I just plain didn't. Even with it's semi-provocative main story line it's a bore overall. Not worth a credit.