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Customer Reviews for

In Zanesville: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(13)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A Joy to Read

In Zanesville is utterly charming and delightful, as was Ms. Beard's first book, Boys of My Youth. I keep calling it Boys of Our Youth, because that's what it felt like. In both books, I had the uncanny feeling the author must have grown up in my town, gone to my scho...
In Zanesville is utterly charming and delightful, as was Ms. Beard's first book, Boys of My Youth. I keep calling it Boys of Our Youth, because that's what it felt like. In both books, I had the uncanny feeling the author must have grown up in my town, gone to my school, and been in my family. The writing is lovely and pitch perfect, and there are several scenes I'll never forget. I'm not even a fan of coming-of-age novels, but I absolutely loved these books and have recommended them to numerous friends, all who felt the same way.

In Zanesville is a rare treat.

Anne McGrath

posted by 4062987 on October 12, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

A witty tale of an average American teenager in a dysfunctional family.

If you were a teen in the 1970's you can definitely relate to INZANESVILLE. The main character a 14 year old teenager girl is also the narrator and remains annonymous throughout the book. Despite her dysfunctional family which includes her chain smoking mother and her n...
If you were a teen in the 1970's you can definitely relate to INZANESVILLE. The main character a 14 year old teenager girl is also the narrator and remains annonymous throughout the book. Despite her dysfunctional family which includes her chain smoking mother and her non-working alcoholic father, the narator seeems to emotionally lead a rather normal teenage life. Follow her and laugh as I did as she leads you through her life at home, through school, as she hangs out with her best friend Felicia and a few others, all with silly nicknames. Reminise in her feelings as she begins to notice boys and experience those first tingling sensations all over again. I love the character of the narrator simply for the reason that she is just like the average teenager, not overly attractive yet not plain, but just in between. She struggles with the friendship of her best friend Flea while also trying to fit into a group of teens that have found her interesting either because her differences seem to intrigue them or they are bored of themselves. I found a lot of familiarity including the fiasco when the narrator purposely acquires detention in order to introduce herself to a said boy, who she later awkwardly dumps when he gets a little frisky. Beard really makes these characters come to life on her pages and you can relate to these teenage antics whatever your age. The close teenage friendship, the feelings of abandonment by her friend, her relationship with her siblings and even her parents can be anyones real life. I feel Beards intention with this story is to pull the reader back to that particular time in their life, those teenage years, to make that connection. The true realization I recognized INZANESVILLE to hold is that real true friendships are more important than school cliques or boys.

posted by autumnbluesreviews on May 28, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2011

    A Joy to Read

    In Zanesville is utterly charming and delightful, as was Ms. Beard's first book, Boys of My Youth. I keep calling it Boys of Our Youth, because that's what it felt like. In both books, I had the uncanny feeling the author must have grown up in my town, gone to my school, and been in my family. The writing is lovely and pitch perfect, and there are several scenes I'll never forget. I'm not even a fan of coming-of-age novels, but I absolutely loved these books and have recommended them to numerous friends, all who felt the same way.

    In Zanesville is a rare treat.

    Anne McGrath

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A witty tale of an average American teenager in a dysfunctional family.

    If you were a teen in the 1970's you can definitely relate to INZANESVILLE. The main character a 14 year old teenager girl is also the narrator and remains annonymous throughout the book. Despite her dysfunctional family which includes her chain smoking mother and her non-working alcoholic father, the narator seeems to emotionally lead a rather normal teenage life. Follow her and laugh as I did as she leads you through her life at home, through school, as she hangs out with her best friend Felicia and a few others, all with silly nicknames. Reminise in her feelings as she begins to notice boys and experience those first tingling sensations all over again. I love the character of the narrator simply for the reason that she is just like the average teenager, not overly attractive yet not plain, but just in between. She struggles with the friendship of her best friend Flea while also trying to fit into a group of teens that have found her interesting either because her differences seem to intrigue them or they are bored of themselves. I found a lot of familiarity including the fiasco when the narrator purposely acquires detention in order to introduce herself to a said boy, who she later awkwardly dumps when he gets a little frisky. Beard really makes these characters come to life on her pages and you can relate to these teenage antics whatever your age. The close teenage friendship, the feelings of abandonment by her friend, her relationship with her siblings and even her parents can be anyones real life. I feel Beards intention with this story is to pull the reader back to that particular time in their life, those teenage years, to make that connection. The true realization I recognized INZANESVILLE to hold is that real true friendships are more important than school cliques or boys.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2013

    Fairly quick, easy read. You follow the (somewhat) nameless narr

    Fairly quick, easy read. You follow the (somewhat) nameless narrator through the summer and fall of what is presumably her sophomore year of high school as there is little to no reference of the just-starting-high-school angst. The characters are believable in their personalities with the over-enthusiastic art teacher, the overwhelmed mother, the pesky but lovable little brother. What I didn't care for was how the author started certain story lines and then left them as cliff hangers throughout the book. Overall, it was a likeable read but nothing outstanding.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2013

    Delightful story

    Teenage girl thinks she's a misfit, when actually she's pretty normal. Well written, funny and a delight to read!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2013

    Awesome!

    Wow. In Zanesville is a coming of age story narrated by a nameless but deeply authentic feeling 14-year-old every-girl in a small every-small town. It is set in the 70s, but except for the competition for the family phone, it could be any time, too. The novel is concerned with that time when nothing much is happening, and yet, everything is happening, and everything feels freighted with portent and meaning. Babysitting jobs, slumber parties, walks into town with a best friend stand side by side with a sudden and new uncertainty about that best friend, anxiety about all too human and fallible parents, and wonder about boys. It is all sharply observed and tenderly captured. There is not a word out of place. The last two, in particular, are perfect.

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  • Posted August 2, 2012

    Ms. Beard writes in such an authentic voice. I loved the book.

    Ms. Beard writes in such an authentic voice. I loved the book. I read it when it first came out and I still think about some of the scenes. I look forward to reading whatever she writes next.

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  • Posted May 22, 2012

    While the narrative was well done, I kept finding myself waiting

    While the narrative was well done, I kept finding myself waiting for something to happen. Nothing ever did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    I would not recommend this book

    I grew up in the 70's and this book was boring to me! Sure it would be to others also

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Nicely written

    Wish it went on longer, but well written.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    In Zanesville: Beautiful Teenage Ennui

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
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