I’m a big Corey Ann Haydu fan. I know I’ve written here about my love for OCD Love Story and Life By Committee. I started reading her because I wanted to read books from alumni of my MFA program, but soon she became a must-read author for me. I’ve also met Corey a few times, and she’s always been delightful. All of these factors, plus the drop-dead beautiful cover, made me extra excited to open this book on my flight to LA earlier this week. It wasn’t a surprise that I quickly lost myself in the nuanced characters, smooth writing style, and world building. The book is set in an America where recent history has followed a different path. After terrorist attacks, people are obsessed with superstition and commemorating victims. The book jacket can explain the story setup better than me: Everyone who really knows Brooklyn knows Devonairre Street girls are different. They’re the ones you shouldn’t fall in love with. The ones with the curse. The ones who can get you killed. Lorna Ryder is a Devonairre Street girl, and for years, paying lip service to the curse has been the small price of living in a neighborhood full of memories of her father, one of the thousands killed five years earlier in the 2001 Times Square Bombing. Then her best friend’s boyfriend is killed, and suddenly a city paralyzed by dread of another terrorist attack is obsessed with Devonairre Street and the price of falling in love. Continue reading
In the fall, I read Corey Ann Haydu’s debut novel – OCD Love Story – and was really blown away by how good the writing was. So, I definitely had a lot of high expectations and excitement when I saw her newest novel, Life by Committee, in the library and quickly pulled it off the shelves. These expectations were exceeded if anything and my excitement about the book continues to build as I keep mulling over the unique character depiction and themes woven into this story about a girl who loses her IRL friends and turns to an online community for connection, understanding, and guidance.
To give a little more detail, the story is told from the perspective high school girl Tabitha, who (to borrow the words from the jacket copy) might be the only girl in history of the world who actually gets less popular when she gets hot. As she explores her appearance and sexuality in ways her friend group shuns her for she finds an online group called Life by Committee.