Monday, July 27, 2020

Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier

Reviewed by Christy

            Jane is a pregnant, 18 year old pizza delivery girl. A soon-to-be teen mom of a once teen mom, she floats through life with no real direction. Though her mother and boyfriend Billy are warm and supportive, she feels smothered and yet lonely at the same time.

            When harried mom Jenny calls in a special order for a pepperoni-and-pickles pizza, Jane is intrigued and agrees to the unusual request – even running to a nearby grocery store to purchase a jar of pickles. When Jane arrives with the pizza and meets Jenny face to face, she sees her as a whirlwind of an interesting person who she wants to know more and more about. This interest turns into a preoccupation, which then develops into an obsession.

            I really didn’t know what to expect with this novel. I have to admit, the bright, fun cover drew me in more than anything. The description just isn’t normally the type of story I gravitate towards. Though I don’t think the novel really has the same carefree tone as the cover, it does have the same irreverence. Jane is going through a lot in her life, impending motherhood, uncertainty about her future, and the recent death of her alcoholic father, all of which she uses Jenny as a distraction from. Frazier’s writing is charming and wry, and leads to a dramatic climax that I honestly didn’t see coming. It’s heavy and a little dark but not without hope.

            Pizza Girl is a slim book, just a little over 200 pages, but it packs a punch. About half way through, I honestly didn’t know how I felt about it but I was enjoying reading it. The more I read, the more I liked it. So maybe you can’t judge a book by its cover, but you sure can find a good read when you least expect it!

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