American Girls: A Novel

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Flatiron Books, Jun 7, 2016 - Young Adult Fiction - 304 pages

A bittersweet, honest, and widely acclaimed YA coming-of-age novel that distills honest truths about American girldom

Anna is a fifteen-year-old girl slouching toward adulthood, and she's had it with her life at home. So Anna "borrows" her stepmom's credit card and runs away to Los Angeles, where her half-sister takes her in. But LA isn't quite the glamorous escape Anna had imagined.

As Anna spends her days on TV and movie sets, she engrosses herself in a project researching the murderous Manson girls—and although the violence in her own life isn't the kind that leaves physical scars, she begins to notice the parallels between herself and the lost girls of LA, and of America, past and present.

In Anna's singular voice, we glimpse not only a picture of life on the B-list in LA, but also a clear-eyed reflection on being young, vulnerable, lost, and female in America—in short, on the B-list of life. Alison Umminger writes about girls, violence, and which people society deems worthy of caring about, which ones it doesn't, in a way not often seen in teen fiction.

American Girls is:

An ALA Booklist Top 10 First Novel

A
Kirkus Best Book of the Year
A Barnes & Noble Best YA Book of the Year

A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best of 2016
A Bustle Best YA Book of the Year
YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults

"Messy, honest, and unflinchingly real. I can't get this book out of my head. I don't want to get this book out of my head." —Becky Albertalli, Morris Award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChristopherSwann - LibraryThing

4.5 stars. Alison Umminger does a great job of capturing a teen girl's voice, and the narrator Anna will stick with me for some time. While the Manson girls material is dark and some moments are ... Read full review

Review: American Girls

User Review  - Patricia - Goodreads

Read for Librarian Book Group Excellent nuanced portrayal of an American girl. So nuanced it's hard to get into in a brief review. Essentially, a fifteen-year-old girl partially runs away and is ... Read full review

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About the author (2016)

ALISON UMMINGER grew up in Arlington, Virginia, and as an undergraduate was the fourth woman to be elected president of The Harvard Lampoon. Today, she is a professor of English at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, Georgia, where she lives with her family. American Girls is her first novel.

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