cover image The Wonder-Bread Summer

The Wonder-Bread Summer

Jessica Anya Blau. Harper Perennial, $14.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-219955-3

Allie’s obedient nature served her well through a turbulent childhood, but also led to trouble: her unsavory ex-boyfriend made off with her Berkeley scholarship money and she’s about to be dropped from enrollment and evicted from her apartment. Her sleazy boss, Jonas, hasn’t paid her in two months for her work at his dress shop, and when she discovers he’s dealing cocaine out of the back of the shop, she gets an idea. No sooner does the book begin than Allie is on the run with a Wonder Bread bag full of stolen coke and a very angry Jonas on her heels. Trying to stay one step ahead of him and his heavy, Vice Versa, Allie goes to Los Angeles and gets help from an unlikely assortment of people new and old—including a quadriplegic pornographer; ’80s rocker Billy Idol; and Allie’s erstwhile father. In trying to untangle the mess she’s in, Allie might finally learn how to stand up for herself. Blau’s (Drinking Closer to Home) madcap chase through 1980s L.A. is over-the-top, and Allie’s trajectory is predictable, but the journey is too much fun to dwell on contrived plot points. A liberal dose of dark humor and an oddly heart-warming ending add to the twisted ride. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents Inc. (June)