Monday, June 10, 2013

The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau

Morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Jessica Anya Blau's The Wonder Bread Summer.

Allie Dodgson needs to get paid. After loaning her boyfriend all of her savings and the money from her scholarship to fund his bar purchase (he promised a swift return plus interest for her investment and then dumped her), she's flat broke and tuition is due. She's been working in a dress shop but her boss has yet to actually pay her. Fed up and desperate (and under the influence), Allie steals a Wonder Bread bag filled with uncut cocaine. Allie's logic is that she can take just enough to sell for the cash she's due (and pay her tuition so she can continue school) and return the rest, but her boss is none too pleased with this idea. Soon Allie's got henchmen on her tail and her only hope is to get to LA and ask her folks for help. 

Soooo where to begin? I kind of loved this book and I was surprised that it turned out that way. Really, on the first page you have the main character being accosted in a dressing room and tooting lines while customers wait outside the door. But Allie turned out to be a really relatable character and a kind of lovable one at that.

And seeing as how I grew up in the 80s, I really, really loved the setting (both time and place) of this book!

Throughout the story, Allie is faced with some pretty bizarre and ridiculously hilarious and awkward occurrences. (One of my favorites is her impromptu hostessing gig.) She dines with a paraplegic porn producer who turns out not to be so bad. She meets Billy Idol (another of my favorite parts) - and sleeps with him more than once. Her best friend is held hostage over the missing coke and... well, I don't want to give too much away. As her situation worsens, though, the story becomes more and more funny. I was even able to catch some of the Alice in Wonderland nods as well! 

Blau is a new-to-me writer but one I'm sorry to have missed until now. In Wonder Bread Summer she's crafted a darkly funny and somewhat twisted story with a vibrant and believable cast of characters - some you wish you could punch, some you wish you could hug, and some you just want to hang out with. I really can't wait to read more of her work.

I started this book Friday afternoon and finished it within just a few hours, only breaking long enough to find some supper. Readers, if you're a fan of quirky fiction you've got to give this one a try! This is probably going down as one of my all time favorite summer reads!

Rating: 5/5

To see other stops on the tour, check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Jessica Anya Blau and her work, visit her website here. You can also friend her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.


Harvee said...

Glad you liked it too. A fun read.

Christina said...

Oh wow, you loved this one. I have one of Blau's books from a few years back but wasn't all that interested in it. May need to rethink that!

Becky LeJeune said...

It was so much fun, Christina! Definitely not for everyone but I tend to like kind of offbeat and dark humor.

Meg @ write meg! said...

I really enjoyed this one as well! It was madcap and zany and just really, really fun. I wasn't sure what to expect from the rather interesting beginning, and the pace just never let up from there!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Sounds like these are characters that will stick with you for a long time!

Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.