Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier

Published: September 17th, 2020
Publisher: HQ
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio
Genre: Bildungsroman, Coming-of-Age Fiction, LGBT Literature

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for this enthralling debut novel. Thank you to HQ for the invitation to take part and for my gifted copy of the book.

SYNOPSIS:

Named a most anticipated book of 2020 by Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, Time, People, BuzzFeed, Bustle, and more. Perfect for fans of Normal People and Fleabag

Great inventiveness, unfailing intelligence and empathy, and best of all a rare and shimmering wit’ Richard Ford

Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl, our dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She’s grieving the death of her father, avoiding her loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.

Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighbourhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickle-covered pizzas for her son’s happiness.

As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other toward middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.

Bold, tender, and unexpected, Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.

MY REVIEW:

Quirky, funny and refreshing with a dark and gritty edge, this is a coming-of-age story with a difference. The narrator, who we know only as Pizza Girl, is an eighteen-year-old Korean-American who lives in Los Angeles with her mum and boyfriend and is eleven weeks pregnant. When Jenny Hauser calls in a panic requesting a pickle covered pizza that isn’t on their menu, saying it’s the only one her son Adam will eat, it sparks an unexpected chain of events.

Pizza Girl is immediately fascinated by Jenny and finds herself enamoured by the thirty-something mum as soon as they meet. The pair strike up an unusual friendship but Pizza Girl finds herself becoming increasingly obsessed with Jenny. And when lines are crossed things begin to spiral out of control. 

This was an outstanding debut. The author is a fabulous storyteller, the writing atmospheric, pacy and immersive, pulling me into Pizza Girl’s world and taking me on an emotional journey alongside her.  The characters are richly drawn and achingly real, their pain, loneliness, disappointment, love and joy radiating from the pages.

I quickly fell in love with Pizza Girl. Her inner monologue is laced with both humour and despair. She’s a lost soul who is full of questions and doesn’t know where her life is going; she’s just plodding along and internalising her feelings. She brought out all my maternal instincts and I just wanted to wrap my arms around her and comfort her. To listen to the things running through her mind. I loved the decision to only tell the story from her perspective as it reinforces the sense of isolation that surrounds her. I also liked that the author made her so deeply flawed. She was a far cry from your stereotypical likeable character, which made me love her all the more. 

A truly original and memorable debut, Pizza Girl is a warm, tender and moving story about obsession, loss, motherhood, and finding your place in the world. I may have devoured it in a few short hours, but she will stay with me for a long time. Don’t miss this book. 

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

MEET THE AUTHOR:

JEAN KYOUNG FRAZIER lives in Los Angeles. Pizza Girl is her debut novel.

Website |Instagram |Twitter

BUY THE BOOK:

Amazon |Waterstones |Hive |Google Books |Apple Books |Kobo

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