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Marlena: A Novel

By: Julie Buntin

Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat’s new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena.

ISBN: 9781627797641

JLG Release: Aug 2017


Sensitive Areas: Language: Strong Language, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use
Topics: Coming of age , Female friendships , Adolescence , Neglect , Abuse

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Awards & Honors

Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2017, Debut Novels
2017 Indie Next List Preview
Publishers Weekly’s; Best Books of 2017, Fiction
BuzzFeed 24 Best Fiction Books of 2017
Booklist Top of the List Editor’s Choice, Adult, Fiction
NPR’s Book Concierge, 2017 Great Reads
The Washington Post 50 Notable Works of Fiction 2017

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Kirkus Reviews*, Library Journal, Publishers Weekly*

Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
From the first page of this stunning first novel, as we meet the adult Cat, we know that she has never recovered from her teenage friendship with the daring, desperate, ultimately destructive Marlena. And we know that Marlena is dead, though it takes reading through the nervy narrative to discover how she died and what
[STARRED REVIEW]
From the first page of this stunning first novel, as we meet the adult Cat, we know that she has never recovered from her teenage friendship with the daring, desperate, ultimately destructive Marlena. And we know that Marlena is dead, though it takes reading through the nervy narrative to discover how she died and what that has meant for Cat. When she moves to rural Michigan at age 15 with her newly divorced mother and older brother, the naïve, stumbling Cat is immediately drawn to hard-drinking, drug-taking, school-skipping, wrong-side-of-the tracks Marlena. Cat was once a good student who even attended private school, but with Marlena she can’t seem to stop herself from spinning out of control: “I saw myself get up…. But a girl, another one, remained…safe inside the library. In other words, I saw myself split in two.” Every moment of the way, we’re screaming at Cat to pull back. And yet we understand Marlena’s allure; she promises a bold new life while serving as both lodestar and safe haven. Verdict Buntin perfectly captures a burning and essential friendship with lasting consequences and that terrible moment when we make a wrong turn and can’t go back. An exceptional portrait, disturbing and precisely observed; highly recommended.—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

Book Details

ISBN

9781627797641

First Release

August 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

288

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 970L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Henry Holt

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Strong Language, Sexual Content: Strong Sexual Content/Themes, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Alcohol Abuse, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use

Topics

Coming of age, Female friendships, Adolescence, Neglect, Abuse,

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