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Elsewhere, California: A Novel (2012)

by Dana Johnson(Favorite Author)
3.76 of 5 Votes: 5
158243784X (ISBN13: 9781582437842)
review 1: The pain of adolescence and that point in adulthood where we finally figure out who we are are woven together throughout this very smart book. Johnson nails dialogue, as her protagonist, Avery's voice goes from childhood in South Central to growing up in the valley to gentrification in the Hollywood Hills. But all of Avery's voices anchor us firmly in where she is at the moment. Johnson creates an overall personal journey for our heroine without losing tension or interest along the way.
review 2: Outstanding and a phenomenal coming of age novel. This work, as was stated by a previous reviewer, is an excellent follow up to Johnson's short story collection, "Break Any Woman Down." The Avery character is extremely complex, and deals with a variety of psychological
... more issues that are dictated by societies dictating of who she is and who she should be and what Avery herself feels she should be, also, stemming from a societal push. The transitional passages between young/developing Avery and Avery as a mature woman is fascinating and real and shows the process of the character's development through her change of speech, the music she listens to, the boys she wants to date, and obviously her thoughts about her own identity, and what feels right to her, versus what society is trying to make her out to be. It's a classic bildungsroman novel and is definitely worth a read. With this work, Johnson not only solidifies her mark as a brilliant short story writer as was exemplified in "Break Any Woman....", but she also exemplifies her ability to keep the literary novel reader intrigued and wanting more. less
Reviews (see all)
Brought me back to my own teenage years and the search for identify in the Southern California wild.
Pretty good. I liked Avery but I often wanted to shake her . . . .until the end of the book : ).
Loved this. The way she develops Avery's character is just out of this world good.
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