Monday March 16th, 2009

Jessica Z. by Shawn Klomparens

jessica-zRecommended by Kathleen in Bozeman, Montana.
Jessica Z. takes place in an unsettling and entirely believable version of the United States where terrorism is not only commonplace, it’s virtually accepted as normal. The titular Jessica is a sardonic, self-conscious twenty-something copywriter living in San Francisco, ambivalent about her job and unsteady in relationships, particularly the one she’s been stumbling through with her upstairs neighbor, Patrick. When Jess finds herself involved with a manipulative artist as the subject of his latest project, her eyes are painfully opened to the fact that nothing in her world is at all what it seemed. Little details bring Jessica Z. alive, and the spot-on first person narration pushes the reader into a not-too-easy resolution with an urgency that never feels rushed. It’s a book that refuses to be categorized, and sticks with you long after you’ve put it down.