Year of the Gadfly

June 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

In the past two days, I started and finished The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller. First of all, being able to read a novel in two days is one of my favorite things in the whole world. Talk about leisure. And this was a great book to immerse myself in – the book allows you to get to know all the characters and become interconnected with their lives, stories, struggles, triumphs.

From The Atlantic:

The novel follows Iris Dupont, an outcast teen with an interest in extremophiles and an obsession with journalism. At the exclusive Mariana Academy, Iris works for the school newspaper and communes with a disembodied, chain-smoking Edward R. Murrow. When she infiltrates a secret student society, she finds the story of her career, and a conspiracy that forces her to consider the nature of loyalty and the price of reporting the truth.

So, I’m a sucker for well-written female lead characters, and Iris Dupont doesn’t disappoint. She’s troubled, yes, but also ambitious and smart. And just about everyone can relate to a character struggling to find herself and her voice.

I also liked that the book was written from the perspective of three characters – each chapter was narrated from the point of view of a different character: Iris, Lily Morgan (a character from the past), and Jonah Kaplan. In addition, (without giving away the plot!) the lives of all the characters were wove together in really interesting ways that made me want to keep reading to know more. Books like Gadfly remind me how much of an art writing novels is.

Gadfly is really a coming of age novel, but like other really great novels in that category, it’s not condescending toward young people. Instead, it gives them a real voice and takes their concerns seriously, while at the same time providing adults with fresh glimpses into their own lives, both past and presentThis novel is definitely a win, and I’m looking forward to Miller’s next novel as well.


Entry filed under: Leisure. Tags: , , .

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