"Wyner...delivers a tale of personal and political awakening with wit and empathy."
San Jose Mercury News
"...the story is able to stand on its own with these depressed, but enjoyable characters. It’s their naturalistic take on everyday life that makes the novel engaging."
The Big Smoke
"Readers with an affinity for humor, poetic language, and an unusual narrative approach...will find this novel to be unerringly precise and pointed in its protagonist's journey through the netherworld that often represents the post-college condition."
Midwest Book Review
"Wyner is in unique territory herethis novel is exciting AND emotionaland that's so hard to pull off. This is a book that's smart, readable and will whisper right into your beautiful heart."
Joshua Mohr, author of All This Life and Some Things That Meant The World To Me
“What We Never Had pulses with a delicate, realistic tension at its tender, twenty-something heart: what does it mean to be both earnest and jaded, idealistic and pessimistic? Zach Wyner’s hero, Josh, lives in that paradox. He also lives in the margins of Los Angeles, where young adults sleep four to a studio, not everyone owns a car, and a walk to the 7-11 constitutes a major daily event. Josh is a high school tutor, who feels good about his potential to help teenagers who need guidance, but he’s let go his dream of being an actor, so he’s also embarrassed and disappointed with himself. He’s a true friend, letting his buds overstay their welcome in his tiny apartment; yet he’s also a fool, prolonging a co-dependent relationship with June, his ‘ex-ish girlfriend.’ Meanwhile the invasion of Iraq has Josh’s whole generation on the verge of permanent cynicism. Can he save himself from that fate, a sort of living death? This carefully observed novel is brushed by the ghosts of Raymond Carver on the one hand and Charles Bukowski on the other, but Zach Wyner is his own man, a stylist of precisely rendered wisdom.”
K. M. Soehnlein, author of The World of Normal Boys and You Can Say You Knew Me When
"What We Never Had, a coming-of-age story about a lost generation struggling to come of age, is at once hilarious and moving, timely and wise. Wyner finds both the comedy and the drama inherent in his young narrator's attempt to create an adult life for himself, bringing it to the page in language that is perceptive, fresh and vivid. Buy this book for all the recent college graduates that you know, anyone who is floundering to find their path (at any age!) We are lucky to have this novel, and can look forward to more from the talented Wyner."
Malena Watrous, author of If You Follow Me
"A hilarious and irresistible odyssey through the slacker crucible. Written with heartbreaking honesty and droll brilliance."
Alex Ebert, lead singer of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes
“Tremendously engaging, What We Never Had explores, with wit and verve, an age (the mid-twenties) and an era (the early 2000s) of awakenings, both personal and political. Zach Wyner has created a raft of characters distinctly of their time and placeyoung people acutely aware of the polluted waters in which they wade, and who are faced with the decision to sink or swim.”
Daniel Ellsberg, author of Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers