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Landis reveals truths about Leah, h So what DO normal people live like? Landis reveals truths about Leah, her widowed and anorexic mother Helen, and the way they navigate their lives. The observations are so finely-honed and compassionately-rendered that these characters could easily walk off the pages. We meet Leah as a young teen, engaging in uneasy relationships with tormenting girls who are far more savvy and popular. The next time we catch up with her, she has stood up to those girls and has survived trials in life - the death of her father and her mother's food disorders.


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When her science partner says, "What's weird about frogs is they only recognize food when it moves. You set a dead fly in front of a frog, he'll starve", she responds, "My mother's like that. She only recognizes food when it has no calories.

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Landis writes,"The Gospel of Angeline is graven into desks with housekeys and the blood of Bics; it is written in the glances of girls -- low arcs of knowing that span the hallways and ping off the metal lockers. As her decorator mother tries to restore order, she speaks to THEIR mother In luminous prose, trying to convince her of the beauty of a well-decorated home. Helen asks. In this scene, the schism between them is revealed: "Hate is so much more interesting than love, isn't it?

I hate a room without books. I hate a desk without papers. I hate not having a cat, but I'm allergic. I hate the way laundry piles up around here. We all share clothes so nobody feels that the laundry is exactly theirs, do you know? And, in their own way, both Leah and Helen do.

When Leah's would-be boyfriend says to her, "You've been pretending, too.


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About a lot of stuff, if you ask me", we agree - and at the same time, know in our hearts that Leah is going to turn out alright. Apr 22, Cheryl Klein rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction. I tore through this book in the same manner I devoured Prep--something about my apparent hunger to see an angsty female adolescence given literary weight. Landis shines her considerable literary light on moments and images: for example, the care her bisexual protagonist devotes to touching a pregnant friend's wrist rather than her stomach.

It's a book of rooms the mother character is a designer, so this is both literal and figurative ; there's sturdy architecture here, but it's often masked by I tore through this book in the same manner I devoured Prep--something about my apparent hunger to see an angsty female adolescence given literary weight. It's a book of rooms the mother character is a designer, so this is both literal and figurative ; there's sturdy architecture here, but it's often masked by a beautiful set of curtains. Very occasionally I wanted some of those offstage plot points to get bigger play what?

Leah's dad died? Sep 18, Jasmine rated it really liked it Shelves: do-the-world-a-favour-read-this , for-reference. Unless she gets hit on the head and loses every ounce of writing ability, the next book will be five stars for sure. So fucking talented, this woman. Listen to this: She loves jazz flute, the way it rises hotly through the leaves of trees, then curls and rubs along the roots. Jazz flute lives about two stories off the ground. It is a reedy ache in a place she cannot name.

Jazz is just about the only genre of music I don't like, but I may or may not have spent the rest of the evening listening to j Unless she gets hit on the head and loses every ounce of writing ability, the next book will be five stars for sure. Jazz is just about the only genre of music I don't like, but I may or may not have spent the rest of the evening listening to jazz flute on Youtube.

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Jan 19, Leigh rated it liked it. Landis has constructed an overall good book. I was excited to read a "coming-of-age" story with this specific setting, and I was intrigued by how much I related to Leah. Her uncertainty, family dynamics, and personality were well-crafted. However, like some other reviewers, I found that this story jumped around a little to much for my tastes.

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There are glaring gaps in timeline, and the character development was left to the imagination. I'm glad I read this novel, but it's not one to which I will Landis has constructed an overall good book. I'm glad I read this novel, but it's not one to which I will return.

May 07, Susan rated it it was amazing Shelves: adult-fiction. Stayed up late reading this superb collection of linked short stories. The characters are intense and immediate, refusing judgement or easy answers as we follow them through stories as complex and difficult and true as the girls themselves. The language, precise and poetic, laced with a sly and intelligent humor, creates a stunning platform for the keen insights and moving narrative of the lives of these girls, their secrets, their darkness, and their light.

Mar 31, Sarah Honenberger rated it it was amazing. Stunning, difficult and worth reading: Style is definitely unique. Dylan read clearly and with perfect dramatic emphasis at the Virginia Book Festival. Story line is thin, but it fits the voice. Teenagers and family dysfunction in a refreshingly honest--no blunt--take.

I'd read her next book, hope it's soon. May 11, Katherine Owen rated it it was amazing Shelves: all-time-favorites. Dylan Landis is talented, smart, and savvy. Her writing is brilliant. Readers have to keep up because she expects you to in this story of Leah Levinson. This book will challenge you to hang on to the "ride" for dear life and keep up with what is going on in the story.

Wonderfully written! It is one of my new top favorites of all time. Nov 20, Michelle rated it really liked it Shelves: Collection of inter-linked short stories. Good short fiction writers always amaze me with the depths they are able to go in a condensed number of pages and this was no exception. Beautifully written and some really interesting and complex parts.

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Some chapters were sort of gnarly, though, so not for the weak of heart. Overall I really enjoyed this. Sep 30, Lynn rated it it was amazing Shelves: short-stories , read-in This book is gorgeously written and contains little gems of insight or description on every page. This book is marketed as a novel in stories, and the characters in the different parts overlap.

Frugal and fabulous.

It is a testament to the strength of this book that it left me wanting to know more about all these characters. Highly recommended. Apr 06, Mary rated it it was amazing. I seriously loved this book. The characters are wonderful, real, alive, and freaky and the language is gorgeous, inventive and smart. Such a wonderful read. I highly recommend it, especially to those who love short stories and beautiful, captivating prose.

Apr 01, Myfanwy rated it it was amazing. Had to stop reading after each story so that I could catch my breath and reorganize my brain cells from these mind-blowingly, gorgeously, heartbreaking stories. Oct 03, Jkrusoe1 rated it it was amazing. A series of interlocked stories of amazing vibrancy. Landis's writing manages to be both lyrical and incisive, passionate and not without humor.