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Like the Red Pandaby Andrea Seigel
"Our care for Stella gives her ultimate intention...that much more resonance. We admire her conviction and her resoluteness, but we cannot bear the thought of such a vibrant individual dying. And that's exactly why Like the Red Panda rises above the triviality of a typical teen-angst anthem: By artfully evoking the despair, even the hopelessness, of such an endearing character, Seigel reaffirms our own private hope that maybe, after all, life does have meaning." Christopher Farah, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)
Synopses & Reviews
Stella Parrish is seventeen, attractive, smart, deeply alienated, and unable to countenance life's absurdities. She is not nihilistic; she is prematurely exhausted. Since her parents OD'd on designer drugs when she was eleven, she has lived with well-meaning but inexperienced foster parents, while her grandfather, her only living relative, tries ever more ingenious ways of committing suicide in his retirement home.
Here are the last two weeks of Stella's senior year in Orange County, California: the intensive AP final exams; the childish, celebratory trips; the totemic importance attached to graduation. Beneath Stella's mordantly funny take on her life is the decisiveness with which she disengages from it, planting clues and providing explanations for those who will try to understand the act she is about to commit.
With perfect pitch, remarkable wit, and a spare, vivid prose, Stella turns her farewell to suburbia into a wry philosophical inquiry.
"Seigel deftly turns this genre on its head, giving us...one of the most startling narrators to come down the fiction pike in a while....The naturalness of Seigel's prose...makes the ending that much more devastating. Highly recommended." Library Journal
"This debut will undoubtedly be compared to White Oleander and the graphic novel Ghost World....It is not as engrossing as either, but it's hard to resist a character who wears Catholic schoolgirl uniforms to her public school..." Jennifer Mattson, Booklist
Beneath Stella's mordantly funny take on her life is the decisiveness with which she disengages from it, planting clues and providing explanations for those who will try to understand the act she is about to commit. With perfect pitch, remarkable wit, and a spare, vivid prose, Stella turns her farewell to suburbia into a wry philosophical inquiry.
About the Author
Andrea Seigel is a graduate of Brown University. She is twenty-four years old and lives in Los Angeles.
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