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Publishers WeeklyWallace's delightful debut is the story of the hapless Jason Priestley (no, not that Jason Priestley), formerly an uninspiring teacher of uninspirable youth, now a reviewer of, among other things, "irritatingly forgettable" restaurants with names like "AbraKebabra" and "Pizza the Action." Although he's been dumped by girlfriend Sarah, Jason can't bring himself to unfriend her on Facebook; consequently, he is forced to read Sarah's "having the time of my life" status updates, while the best he can muster is "eating some soup." He now shares a questionable flat above a videogame shop with the owner and Jason's best friend, Dev. A chance encounter with a pretty stranger on Charlotte Street leaves Jason accidentally in possession of her disposable camera, though not of her name. At Dev's insistence, they develop the photos. Thereby hangs a tale, which wends its witty way through a road trip to Yorkshire with an auto mechanic, several run-ins with an angry political puppeteer, and a foray to a posh event promoting juices with acai. A lively supporting cast, including the Polish waitress Dev pines for, helps and/or thwarts Jason in pursuit of his mysterious stranger. The combination of Dickensian plot twists and Hornbyesque humor and hope makes for a thoroughly entertaining read. Agent: Simon Trewin, William Morris Endeaver (U.K.)
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