BOOK TOUR REVIEW: The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau
The Wonder Bread Summer
by Jessica Anya Blau
New Adult/Literary Fiction
It’s 1983 in Berkeley, California. Twenty-year-old Allie Dodgson is a straitlaced college student working part-time at a dress shop to make ends meet. But when the shop turns out to be a front for a dangerous drug-dealing business, Allie finds herself on the lam, speeding toward Los Angeles in her best friend’s Prelude with a Wonder Bread bag full of cocaine riding shotgun and a hit man named Vice Versa on her tail. You can’t find a more thrilling summer read!
MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
It’s 1983, and Allie, who’s had enough of her job, is done is with first year of college. With a lack of other choices and the world getting on her last good nerve, she makes a split second decision to take off with a Wonder Bread bag full of pure cocaine.
Allie’s mom is on tour with a washed up rock band, and her dad is an emotionally distant restaurant owner who’s never home. Allie takes her friend Beth’s car on a road trip she’ll never forget–and meets people she won’t, either.
I thought this was a pretty fun read that started off at a sprint! Allie has been a pretty good girl up until now…it was kind of shocking, mostly to herself, that she would do such a thing as rip off a drug dealer. She’s smart but does make some questionable decisions…as did everyone when they were 19, and probably especially in the 80’s. The attitude towards drugs was so passe in the book, making me wonder if it was really like that in the early 80’s (I wasn’t even born until 1985).
Allie is pretty much a pushover in the beginning of the book, but as she goes through more and more crazy things, you can see that she is slowly grower stronger and beginning to see herself as a woman who can make things happen. Essentially, this is a coming of age novel, and Allie must learn to deal with disappointment from those she wanted to depend on, and that you can find help and friendship in the places you least expect.
I loved all the 80’s references in the book, from acid washed jeans to Allie’s roommate Beth’s valley girl speak. Beth like, ended every sentence as if it were a question? My favorite parts of the entire book, easily, were Allie’s encounters with one of the rock gods of the era, Billy Idol. I can’t imagine meeting one of my favorite stars (Justin Timberlake, anyone?) and acting as she did, so I’m glad I got to live vicariously through her.
Though it touches on such heavy stuff as drugs (of course), violence, and some mushy stuff with parents, this is a humorous, breezy summer read. The author made me put myself in the era…and I can still smell the Sun-In; can you?
About the Author
Jessica Anya Blau is the author of the nationally bestselling novel The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and the critically acclaimed Drinking Closer to Home.
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