Book Review: The Year of the Gadfly

By Jennifer Miller

2009 to 2010 me would laugh heartily if they knew that 2012 to 2013 me was going to say what I’m about to say: I love Twitter. Really, I do. It’s been a great way to “meet” people, gather and spread information and, relevant to this post, chat with authors.

Back in October, I wrote about attending the Twin Cities Festival of Books and my adventure trying to run into Jennifer Miller to get her to sign my book. While that was a failure, in November I tweeted:

The conversation continued a bit with a couple more tweets. Really, the point is that being able to connect with writers, actors, and other prominent people is one of my favorite aspects of Twitter. It bridges geographical divides and removes walls between people.

Review

Miller’s book was a real treat to read. It was hard to put down. It was also really inspiring in the way that any well-written book is inspiring for someone who imagines him/herself one day finally writing a novel. She showed a mastery of language and storytelling that truly impressed me. Miller also created really strong characters. Even if we only hear from them very little, there’s the impression that we really do know about them. Their motivations, actions, thoughts, etc. were all very realistic.

Cultural Impact

I’m sure it’s possible for this book to have an impact on culture, particularly for those who are interested in anything surrounding prep school. It is full of the air of prep school pieces that came before it, whether they are movies or books. The Year of the Gadfly is a great addition to a genre with a storied past.

Quotable

Jennifer Miller’s master of language makes her very quotable. My favorite quote, though, is a great example of her descriptive abilities.

The wind chill in Nye is like a pack of hornets zeroing in on your neck… (page 29)

Rating

I haven’t fully developed my new rating system yet, but I’ll just throw out a few categories for today.

Writing 4 out of 5 stars

Story 3 out of 5 stars

Character Development 4 out of 5 stars

Total 3.67 out of 5 stars

Have you read any great prep school novels lately? 

Follow me on Twitter here. For more book reviews, books I’ve read and books I want to read, find me on Goodreads.

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One thought on “Book Review: The Year of the Gadfly

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Alice I Have Been | The 1000th Voice

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