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How to buy a love of reading : a novel
Tanya Egan Gibson
Adult Fiction GIBSON

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Egan's debut, an odd blend of young adult melodrama and unsuccessful metafiction, winds itself into knots of empty story lines. Recognizing that their dullard daughter, Carley, needs an academic boost, Gretchen and Francis Wells hire author Bree McEnroy to write a book to Carley's specifications. Though Carley's love for reality television and Bree's fondness for self-conscious literary tropes should, in theory, unite to make a delightful story-within-a-story, it is often neglected or underwritten. Meanwhile, the cardboard secondary cast floats around Bree and Carley: there's Hunter, Carley's crush, whose alcoholic rakishness, we are assured, masks a poet's interior; Carley's social-climbing mother and philandering father; and Justin, Bree's college chum, who has become, on dubious merit, a literary star. Carley and Hunter's friendship is jeopardized by both his addictions and her unrequited adoration, and Bree and Justin reconcile. Plagued by thin, when not wildly inconsistent, characterization from the start, the narrative's tendency to flit from character to character without revealing anything memorable or insightful further blurs the point. Unfortunately, there isn't enough heart to redeem the dopiness. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Carley Wells, nearly 16, has reportedly never met a book she likes. Aghast, her nouveaux riches parents decide that their daughter needs a "passion," and so to ensure that she does not remain intellectually impoverished, they commission a previously underappreciated writer to live at their estate and write a book to Carley's specifications. As she finds herself drawn into the story being assembled, Carley's life is dramatically altered. Complications persist in the form of Hunter, Carley's F. Scott Fitzgerald-obsessed best friend bent on self-destruction, and Bree, the hired novelist now separated from her previous existence. From the opening sentence of this strongly sardonic satire, Gibson's debut, it is clear that nothing is sacred. Whether examining trendy charity functions or the muted morals of the so-very-rich, her acerbic, acidic book is right on the money. The major surprise is that the novel also has a heart, and Carley leaps off the page as the most real character. Gibson's inventive language also enlivens this overly long novel; especially winning is the construction of the novel-within-the-novel. Readers fond of Claire Messud and Marisha Pessl might want to try Gibson's bold outing. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 1/09.]-Andrea Tarr, Corona P.L., CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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more titles about

main characters Carley Wells
Female
Age: 16
Dislikes reading; enjoys reality television; has a crush on Hunter.
Student

Bree McEnroy
Male
Hired by the Wells family to write a book that their daughter, Carley, would actually read.
Writer

Hunter Cay
Male
Alcoholic
Favorite author is F. Scott Fitzgerald; drowning himself in alcohol and Vicodin.
Poet



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