PIZZA GIRL by Jean Kyoung Frazier

Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl, our dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She’s grieving the death of her father, avoiding her loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.

Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickle-covered pizzas for her son’s happiness.

As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other toward middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.

Bold, tender, and unexpected, Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.

After reading the synopsis I decided on requesting PIZZA GIRL on NetGalley and was approved. I have to say that I wasn’t blown away. It is definitely a well written book but one for the fans of Normal People.

The book starts not with the narrator’s description but with the object of her strange affection: “Her name was Jenny Hauser and every Wednesday I put pickles on her pizza.” From here on it is all about obsession, anxiety, addiction and depression. It is all about Jane’s repulsion towards her family’s support. (we find out her name is Jane only at the end)

I have to say that in this day and age when general state of mind is quite low, people feel more attracted to a depressed character who makes bad choices. It is easier for them to relate to certain situation and feelings but we all know that self detesting people do reckless things, often selfish as well. Jane’s father was an alcoholic and abused her mother as well. Jane discovered his shed and as her pregnancy advances, she starts drinking more and more, sometimes driving while inebriated. Her lack of interest towards her unborn child drove me mad and made me hate her.

Also, the fact that she is pushing away the people that want to help her, make her an unloved character. I was curious to find out how her boyfriend actually felt about the situation, specially because he is depicted as the good guy but he is also struggling. What does he think about Jane’s insensitivity towards the baby when we know that he is grieving his parents who died in a car accident.

How does her mother feel when she find out that Jane is drinking? We know that she is a middle aged woman who was abused by her alcoholic husband.

Also, I wasn’t quite sure why Jane got so obsessed with Jenny, how their relationship progressed and the connection got so strong as there is little information on that. I wish this book was more than it was. I wanted feelings from the other characters as well.

Pizza Girl ends exactly the way it began. Sad. Jane is still drinking, still convinced that her infatuation with Jenny is the most important and interesting thing that ever happened to her. It all seems like a very silly love story that has no sense at all. I thought that when she is told she will have a little girl, her world will shift and her priorities will change. But, our Jane is still drinking because she doesn’t believe in going cold-turkey, she still pushes away the ones who love her and still fantasizes and obsesses about Jenny.

This book had potential but I have to say that it was not my cup of tea.

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