May 28, 2013

Book Review: The Wonder Bread Summer by Jessica Anya Blau

Title: The Wonder Bread Summer: A Novel by Jessica Anya Blau
Published May 28, 2013; Harper Perennial paperback
Genre: fiction, comic novel

Publisher description: It’s 1983 in Berkeley, California. Twenty-year-old Allie Dodgson is a straitlaced college student working part-time at a dress shop to make ends meet. But when the shop turns out to be a front for a dangerous drug-dealing business, Allie finds herself on the lam, speeding toward Los Angeles in her best friend’s Prelude with a Wonder Bread bag full of cocaine riding shotgun and a hit man named Vice Versa on her tail.

My comments: I had fun reading this book and getting caught up in Allie's missteps and adventures that come about because of her extreme naivete in spite of being a twenty-year-old student at the U of California Berkeley. Allie reacts like a high school student to the problems and people she faces, and only in the end does she get some insight into her life and into what drives her.

But her naivete is what makes the book so much fun. Allie travels from Berkeley to Los Angeles in her friend's car, avoiding her pursuers who want the plastic Wonder Bread bag full of pure cocaine that Allie has in the car with her. In fact, she carries it around like a bag of bread and at one point loses it to a few of the people she trusts. Allie does her best to get the bag back to its owner, her former boss at the dress shop, so that he can call off her pursuers and leave her alone, finally. But things happen to get in the way of her simple plan...

Recommendation: A very enjoyable summer read. I like the author's sense of humor and her zany characters.

Jessica Anya Blau is the author of the national bestselling novel The Summer of Naked Swim Parties and the critically acclaimed Drinking Closer to Home. Link up to the author's website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the publisher for a review galley of this book. For more reviews, see the book's tour schedule.


  1. Very interesting time and setting to this book as I was in collage around this time. Cannot say that I was straitlaced but a few of my friends were. I imagine that this book would bring back memories.

  2. I'd read this for the title alone and that's coming from my gluten-free self!! LOL.

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this book, Harvee. It sounds like one I'd also enjoy, due to the zany characters and setting.

  4. This does sound like a fun summer read and I can't wait to get to it.

  5. I really enjoyed this one, too! It was very quick and slightly madcap -- definitely a great story to kick off summer. I finished it over Memorial Day weekend and felt transported to California. Always awesome!

  6. This sounds like a fun book. Thanks for your review!

  7. Sounds like a super fun read for the summertime!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  8. This sounds like a book my college-age daughter would like. She is also a bit naive, so I'm thinking she would totally identify with the main character. And ... well, with the heavy tomes she has to read for school, a good light read would be a welcome relief!

  9. I read WONDER BREAD SUMMER Friday night in almost one sitting. I loved it and agree it's a great summer read!


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