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Adam Paperback – June 10, 2014
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"The book is sincere, dirty (but not in an excessive way), and downright hilarious. Schrag somehow manages to walk the increasingly thin tightrope of being respectful and yet brutally honest about transgender issues...While this book will surely be on the summer reading list for anybody with a family member or dear friend that fits under the LGBT umbrella, it could and should be enjoyable to anybody who picks it up. After all, its core message is universal. Surviving our teenage years is no small task." --The Daily Beast
"[Ariel Schrag] the lesbian graphic memoirist, a successor to Alison Bechdel, breaks out..." --Boris Kachka,Vulture, "8 Books You Need to Read This June"
"This hilarious, frank look at a young man pretending to be a trans-man in order to get a girl is transgressive and brutally honest—the rare book that pulls no punches for anyone."--Brooklyn Magazine, "25 Best Brooklyn Books of the Decade"
"Colorful and smart, [ADAM] understands that the struggle to discover one’s identity is somehow both ubiquitous and unique. With deep empathy and wit and humanity, Schrag has accomplished the seemingly impossible challenge of making the experience of marginalization and isolation feel universal." --Grantland, "June Book Recommendations: Young Adult for Adults"
"Ariel Schrag is one of the most talented human beings alive...Schrag’s writing is sharp and stylish but also effortlessly graceful; you almost don’t notice how great her sentences are because they flow straight into your brain, situating themselves there like some better, funnier version of your own thoughts." --Emily Gould, The Millions
"Compulsively readable, Adam sometimes seems like a YA novel, only with way more explicit sex. The book is also philosophical, presenting at its core, a question about gender, desire, and subjectivity: is sexual identity defined by who you have sex with, or who you think you’re having sex with….The gimmick at the center of Adam is a good one, and the complicated issues it provokes are profound." -- Bookforum
"While the book is funny, it's also quietly revolutionary—Schrag writes honestly about gender identity and sexuality in a way that's extremely rare, maybe unprecedented." --Gothamist, "Notable New Yorkers Share Their Summer Reading Recs"
"A completely original story, Adam tells a coming-of-age tale that is both modern and timeless, and one that both blurs the boundary between 'young adult' and 'adult' fiction."--Mashable, "24 Must-Read Books for Summer 2014"
"Not only is Adam a wonderful book, it is quite possibly the best entry in the coming-of-age category since Adam Wilson’s Flatscreen...Adam is one glorious buildup to something that you know can’t be a fairytale ending, and Schrag pulls it off in one funny, oddly sweet, and unique novel that nails a plot that just about anybody else would totally butcher." --Flavorwire, "Best Book of the Week"
"Ariel Schrag’s story about a teenager who goes to spend the summer in New York with his sister is unlike any coming-of-age story you’ll read anytime soon. Funny and tender... Anybody familiar with Schrag’s comics won’t be disappointed with her work as a novelist; if you haven’t read her other work, let Adam be your introduction and read everything else you can find of hers from there." -- Flavorwire, "10 Must Read Books for June"
"The story is heartfelt and hilarious, and explores concepts of gender and sexuality that aren’t really explored in other YA books. At least, none that I’ve read in recent memory. Definitely pick this one up. It’ll stick with you. " --BookRiot, "Best Books We Read in May"
"This book is EVERYTHING. Gorgeously observed, sharp-tongued, big-hearted, fearless. I can’t wait for the HBO series (this is not like a thing Nikki Finke has reported, this is just my Dreamland Hollywood Development Slate). Schrag forever and ever." --Kit Steinkellner, BookRiot, "The Best Books of 2014 So Far"
"Gives an authentic glimpse into N.Y.C’s underground queer culture...A compelling page turner with a suspenseful plot...A quick, easy, and captivating read, 'Adam' pulls you in." --Bust Magazine
"As a novel, Adam is novel. As a character, Adam is alive and well-written. In fact, all the characters are at once clearly and queerly delineated, uttering dialogue that is utterly colloquial. As far as prose goes, it is riveting, riotous, and ridiculously astute. Mendacity and veracity exist side by side, not separated by some great divide, the way gender and sexuality too often are…At its core, this is a story of transformations, celebrations, and revelations; of learning to embrace rather than efface the elasticity of gender and sexuality. Ariel Schrag doesn’t give it to you straight: her book is incisive and divisive, ingenuous and ingenious. It puts the “New” in New York City. So take a big bite of Adam’s Apple." --Curve Magazine
"Completely and totally charmed, and also vicariously embarrassed for the titular character." --The Chicago Tribune, "The Biblioracle: Favorite books of 2014...so far"
"[An] audacious coming-of-age novel...Schrag, best known for her series of graphic memoirs about her adolescence, has found compassionate and funny ways to talk about a subject most fiction avoids, and she has produced a truly original (and sexually explicit) coming-of-age novel...Adam is educational in the best sense of the word: Much of its audience will be as dazed and confused as Adam is in this brave new world, but Schrag sends you home with a greater understanding of all the permutations of what it means to be human." –The Miami Herald
"Graphic artist Ariel Schrag takes on the challenge of the traditional novel with the decidely nontraditional Adam, about a boy trying to pass as transgender to win the lesbian of his dreams (really)."--The Miami Herald, "A-Z of Summer Reading"
"Hilarious...Schrag's riotous, poignant debut novel will leave you reeling." --SF Weekly
"Schrag's frisky debut...is one of the most original coming-of-age stories of recent years." - Publishers Weekly
"Schrag’s gifts for characterization and dialogue make the whole enterprise sweetly entertaining...A well-composed story about love and lust in all their myriad variations and about a boy finding his place in a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world." -- Kirkus
"Ariel Schrag's book is a kind of ‘Adam in Wonderland,’ with its young hero exploring worlds usually kept underground. An insightful, funny, and unexpected love story, told with wit and compassion." —Aimee Mann
"The sexual revolution is finally over, and Ariel Schrag has won. Adam is the most twisted, hilarious, and deeply gratifying reading experience I have had in a long time." —Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home and Are You My Mother?
"Hysterically funny and deliciously precise…Schrag writes as elegantly about sex parties as she does about the complicated emotions of awkwardness." —Nico Muhly, composer of Two Boys
"Sexually frank and frankly hilarious." —Ned Vizzini, author of It’s Kind of a Funny Story
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Top Customer Reviews
I love Adam, the book and the boy.
Fortunately, despite meeting the criteria (except the PG-13 test) for classic YA, Adam is sophisticated, funny, and fascinating enough for all but the crustiest and most out-of-the loop adult readers. Novels should be novel, and as such they fail if their readers sense they've been written before.
I promise you that this book hasn't been written before. It's totally novel and exciting and so much of its (our!) time, while maintaining the timeless elements of a classic coming-of-age story. Adam is hilarious and brave, with its pitch-perfect fun-poking at a group of people who are often ignored, exoticized, derided, or treated with carefully policed phrasing and a stifling sensitivity. Schrag portrays her trans characters, young lesbians, hapless straight-boy hero, and other players as largely driven by their own insecurities and anxiety and desire to be accepted -- in other words, as human beings. Somehow Adam pulls off a balancing of honest but not mean, comic while insightful, transgressive and fun and borderline-offensive while ultimately pretty darn sweet. The plot was engaging and I read the whole thing in basically one sitting because I felt pulled along and simply wanted to know what would happen -- would Adam get the girl? Where was this going?? Could Schrag pull it off!? And how could this possibly end??!Read more ›
The spine of the story is seventeen year old Adam who faced with the choice of spending the summer with rustic relatives or as the only single in his group of coupled friends instead convinces his parents to allow him to spend his summer in New York City living with his college-going sister Casey. Adam is ready to be grown up (i.e. get laid) and has internalized society's chosen sexual roles for him. He has a vision of his perfect woman, a red haired beauty that manifests itself in the flesh. However, this idealized woman is more complicated than Adam has been socialized to deal with and their relationship brings him into contact with the kinds of people and situations he never knew existed.
In that sense you could say that Adam: A Novel is a 21st century "Candide." Yet in many ways Ms. Schrag's storytelling reminded me more of Armistead Maupin's "Tales Of The City." I would like to know these characters better and watching their lives as they develop would be fun.
Definitely not for the close-minded but a refreshing take on sexualities and sexual dualities. Highly recommended.
As Adam's junior year of high school ends, he's not quite sure he fits in with friends anymore, because they all have girlfriends and he tends to be a little more on the awkward side. He desperately wants a girlfriend, however, and really wants to lose his virginity (although don't tell anyone he's a virgin). When his friends start pairing off in couples, leaving him the odd man out, Adam decides to spend the summer living with his sister Casey in New York City, where she is a student at Columbia and has fully immersed herself in the LGBT culture, without worrying that their parents will find out.
Adam finds himself drifting aimlessly through the summer, still feeling like a third wheel, and longing to meet the girl his dreams have envisioned—a beautiful redhead—so he can go back to his California high school a completely different person. When he meets Gillian—a redhead, no less—at a rally in support of same-sex marriage. He is instantly smitten, and when they meet again at a party, the two feel a strong connection. There's just one problem—Gillian is a lesbian, and has no desire to date a man. What's a guy to do?
Desperate to build a relationship with Gillian, he pretends to be transgender, one who was born female but has transitioned to male, which explains Adam's youthful appearance. (He's also led her to believe he's 22, the same age she is.) Adam knows that a lie, especially one so serious, isn't a good foundation on which to build a relationship, but he can't stand the thought of being without Gillian.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am not a big reader; I normally only stick to graphic novels, but this book somehow hooked me from the first page and I was glued to this book until I finished it three days... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Kaelyn
"Adam" is problematic; there's simply no way around it. Even at a glance, the plot doesn't appear to be anything but that: a young white male from California spends his... Read morePublished 26 days ago by Amazon Customer
Adam was a great book. Really looks into the transgender and cis roles and the life how lesbians and so on. Love story <3Published 2 months ago by kevin
I started this book after looking searching for a highly recommended book online. I came across this one and decided to try it out. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Elizabeth
This would have easily gotten four stars from me until the last bit in the book. I'll start with the spoiler-free pros: Adam, the protagonist, was funny and relate-able, and while... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lydia
This book is full of turns that make the story develop on a very deep level. It starts out with the typical rich-kid attitude, and throughout the entire book, abuses his... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Klavak
Loved the concept. A boy pretending to be trans to get the girl. Loved it. And he goes through a lot to be able to do that.Published 11 months ago by Luciana V
Guys, I'm not trans, but I am an ally and it's going to be hard to hit all the reasons that this book is offensive. Read morePublished 15 months ago by The Steadfast Reader