Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Adults - Alison Espach

The Adults - Alison Espach - 320 pages
"Children's lives are always beginning and adults' lives are always ending."
This novel is emo; it should dye its hair black and listen to My Chemical Romance all day. That's not funny. This book is not funny. This book is melancholy. I take that back. This book is funny and it's melancholy. It's like a psycho ex-significant-other that breaks into your house and cleans it.

The novel follows Emily Vidal from preteen to young adult. Emily is insightful and wonders all the things that all teenagers and young adults wonder: what is life? what is love? what is death? what defines a relationship? All the while watching the drama of the adults around her unfold.

Then there's her affair with her high school English teacher. Tisk tisk. This is no average affair. Emily is a wounded human being; she doesn't have many people to fall back on. Not her father who has divorced her mother and moved to Prague; or her mother who has fallen into depression because of said divorce.

There is alcohol abuse, drug abuse, child abuse; adult abuse in this novel. Each one is both a warning and acknowledgement of the fragile relationships that surround us; how each one can fall apart with a bad word or a gentle kiss.

This is Alison's Espach's first novel. I'm not saying it's the best first timer novel of the year. I am saying it's a contender for my "Stole My Freakin' Heart" award, though.

Favorite line:
"Ester was Catholic and thought I was a slut, but since she was also a psychologist, she was careful never to phrase it like that."

Reminded me of:
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (Aimee Bender), Seinfeld (TV show).

Cheesecake. Because it's just freakin' good.


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