Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier (Reviewed by Jasmin Webb)

4 min read

Rating 3 stars

Women’s literature fiction isn’t normally a genre I pick up however something about Pizza Girl had me intrigued. Pizza Girl (as she is known as) is eighteen years old, pregnant, emotional, grieving, hormonal, living with her mum and boyfriend, and probably has a drinking problem. So, when she gets a call from a frantic mum requiring a special type of pizza to make her son happy, she decides to make it happen. There’s an instant connection between the two of them but the question is what kind of connection and could it be dangerous…

Our leading lady the pizza girl is a very interesting character. The book is almost a coming-of-age story. She had no idea what she wants from life or even in life and yet her life has been mapped out. Her immigrant mum is over the moon her grandchild will be American, her boyfriend is ecstatic to be a father and pizza girl is confused so when she meets Jenny, she sees a mother who looks different than the average LA soccer mum and clearly doesn’t have her life together. There is an instant pull towards one another, it feels mutual and slightly strange. It’s interesting because we start to see how our leading lady becomes fixated, but is that just because she’s lonely? You will have to read and find out.

I love that the story is told in first person and only from Pizza Girl’s point of view, I honestly think the book would be so different if we had Jenny’s narrative as well. I found myself constantly making judgements based on pizza girls experience and supporting her actions. The other great part of the story being told by her is we get to read her memories of her father, honestly there were moments this book had me in tears. I think what the author does so well is show how our past influences our present. So, get the tissues ready for those flash backs.

I honestly had no idea where this book was going. I thought it was a romcom so was expecting to be laughing nonstop but cried more than I laughed. I knew how I wanted and almost needed it to conclude but I must say the epilogue was much better than my ideas. However, I will say the book doesn’t really have a clear path I feel like the journey I took with this book had me going all over the place to get to the final destination, but it’s worth it.

The prose is done extremely well and I love that it shows some of the realities of unplanned teenage pregnancies and the stereotypes society places on expectant mothers. How many of us are guilty of saying you must be so excited, can I touch your bump, do you know what you having what do you want and so on. The author really illustrates how actually these comments aren’t okay when you don’t know someone’s situation.

I also really enjoyed the references to both Asian and American cultures. I feel this plays in further as to why pizza girl is so lost – she doesn’t know who she is. The author does a great job of showing us this rather than repetitively telling us that.

Would I recommend this book?

Yes, I would and not just because her gay best friend is hilarious. I think the subject matter is interesting and thought provoking. It’s not a tacky boy meets girl drama, it’s friendship, motherhood, love, hate, confusion and fear all in one book. It’s not very long and I speed through it in one sitting. This book will have you laughing, crying, and uncomfortable but that’s the point of these raw and honest novels. I did finish it feeling I needed more to the story but yet I knew I was pleased with the ending, a total ugly Betty moment if you know you’ll understand…

I rate pizza girl 3/5 it was an absolute pleasure to read and thank you GBC, Jean Kyoung Frazier, and HQ publishers for a copy of Pizza Girl in exchange for my fair and honest review. What a great debt novel Jean Kyoung Frazier and I’m looking forward for more to follow.

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