Customer Reviews for

In Zanesville: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 39 )
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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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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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