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American Angst [Kindle Edition]

Laurel Osterkamp
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99
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  • Length: 150 pages (estimated)
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Book Description

Intimate, snarky, and completely relatable, American Angst is about two women grappling with love and pregnancy, sex and careers —while attempting self-discovery in a crazy world.
Lucy needs to save her family. Robin needs to save herself. These tightly interwoven stories chart their growth as they make their way through Thanksgiving dinners, bad breakups, celebrity scandals and political campaigns. For laughter through tears, don’t miss American Angst, whether you’re new to these characters or you think of them as old friends.
(Included in this collection are Lucy’s posts about the 2012 election, which were originally seen on her liberal blog, There’s new, additional material! Spoiler: Obama still wins.)
Bonus: This edition includes an excerpt from The Holdout

Editorial Reviews


"This book is written in a tone that is a perfect balance of wit, humor, and emotion...the pages don't stop turning while you're reading it." - Jillyn @ Bitches & Prose
5 Stars! "We get the drama of extended family and holidays and the messiness of life, but doused in snark, humor, and all-too-relatable emotion." -Ashley @
Praise for other works by Laurel Osterkamp - 
The Holdout:
"Compelling entertainment, like an episode of reality TV." - Kirkus Reviews
"Well-written and smart!" - San Francisco Book Review
"A fun, hard-to-put-down read, and fans of chick lit will definitely enjoy it!" - Indie Reader
Starring in the Movie of My Life:
"A riveting romance and drama. Highly recommended."  -Midwest Book Review
"Two stories collide in this novel that deals with acceptance, love and revenge."  -4-Star RT Rating

· Award Winning Finalist, Indie Excellence Awards and International Book Awards
Following My Toes:
 "A wonderful story of learning to forgive yourself and others, trusting your instincts and not giving up... a great read." - Muse Book Reviews
*Winner! Indie Excellence Awards(chick lit category)
Scared Together:
*Short-listed for the Sophie King fiction prize.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1194 KB
  • Print Length: 150 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: PMI Books (May 12, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #657,482 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skillful prose June 13, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Sometimes, books in the humor or satire genre can be a bit of a hit-and-miss with readers--especially if the writer is trying too hard to be funny and jokes fall flat. I am sometimes also wary of glittery descriptions because I prefer substance to hype.

At the time of this posting, the product description for this book mentions that the book is "intimate, snarky, and completely relatable." As I read the book, I was glad to be reminded of these adjectives in the product description--I was NOT disappointed as a reader and didn't feel misled or that the description was unwarranted.

Topics like marriage, sex and pregnancy can be tiresome to wade through (depending on a reader's individual tastes and preferences). What I liked the most was the fresh vibe of Ms. Osterkamp's writing style, combined with an original prose structure (each chapter is quite long and covers quite a bit of range in terms of time). The content was contemporary but relatable enough that the themes of the story won't become dated and irrelevant (yes, even with mentions of a certain celebrity in the last chapter!).

These lines from the first chapter in particular stood out to me:

"...and he didn’t start out determined to stay single, like I had."

"Because what you didn’t hear about from friends, what they didn’t show you on TV was how sloppy starting a family was."

"Sometimes I wondered if marriages should be private affairs, meant only for the bride and the groom to quietly express their love and commitment."

These are certainly things that many people think about, which make the characters and story instantaneously believable.

A memorable book if you're looking for a thoughtful, contemporary story about self-discovery, that isn't dragged down by unimaginative and rehashed genre tropes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Summer read, A Unique American Story June 21, 2014
By Saved
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I couldn’t help myself, I had to read American Angst by Laurel Osterkamp, a story about two cousins-in-law, Lucy and Robin Bricker. I’d met them before—I’d read and loved The Holdout, Starring in the Movie of My Life, and Blue State—so I was looking forward to hearing more from them. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed, and I was right. The story is an intrigue, a perfect summer read, a romp and dig, a surprise through the lives of two cousins-in-law and their significant others.

The structure is pure Osterkamp, each chapter weaving Lucy’s story and POV with Robin’s. Although at one point the characters meet in a believable and humorous situation, most of the time the chapters concern either Robin or Lucy. In addition to the structure, what I love about the book are syntax, plot, its unique American flavor, and above all, the way Laurel Osterkamp’s characters grow—or not.

American Angst is an unputdownable read. It’s about young adults who grow and slip, who love and suffer, who are together in their being part of—and apart from—the same generation in the same family. It’s about married Lucy and single Robin. It’s about the push and pull of family, the impact of public events on private lives. If you love drama and humor, surprise and sorrow, you won’t want to miss American Angst.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contrasting Lives May 31, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This tale unfolds in interweaving chapters from the alternating viewpoints of Lucy and Robin, its two protagonists. Each tells her tale in first person, present tense, providing intimacy and momentum. Both are comfortably middle class, self-aware, and voluble. Beyond these similarities, they have different motivations and experiences. Lucy is married, family oriented, concerned with social causes, and politically oriented. Key events in her tale are a stressful family gathering, overcoming hurdles to get pregnant, childbirth and aftermath, following the 2012 election as a partisan Democrat, helping a relative, and getting on with her life; all are typical events in married life. Robin is single with an unsuccessful romantic life. She is trying to build a career, and is tuned in to popular culture. Key events in her tale are a romantic breakup, an audition, getting ahead, and complications that follow. The novel is not outwardly didactic, but its structure will encourage a thoughtful reader to compare the two lives and make comparative judgments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five stars!! May 30, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
American Angst is a witty tale of love, life, and the struggles we go through as women as we try to find our way in the world.

The story follows two women, Lucy and Robin, both extremely likeable characters and very easy to relate to. Lucy is dealing with motherhood and marriage, and Robin is dealing with a string of bad breakups and her career – all issues that the majority of us have faced.

Though the story is told in a light and fun and sassy way, the heavier issues come across as heartfelt and you really feel for the characters and what they are going through. What I especially liked about this book is how real it is, how relevant.

Though a reasonably short novel, you definitely get your money's worth. Quality over quantity. I'll certainly be going out to look up more of Laurel Osterkamp's work.

Highly recommended!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm not sure where all the 5 star reviews came ... August 4, 2014
By Angie S
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure where all the 5 star reviews came from. I found this ok to read, but that's about it. The two women in the story rarely connect and their stories do not intertwine at all. Occasionally they share a phone call or a few comments together at family gatherings. Neither story was compelling to me. Most of the novel was writting in a narrative form with each woman narrating bits of their lives. I guess I prefer stories that develop through actions and events, not through narration. It's that old addage, show me, don't tell me. Other than that, it was a quick and light read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my kind of book
I read the whole thing... Waiting for it to make sense and tie the two women's stories together. But that never happened.
Published 12 days ago by Melissa Siena
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful.
This was a horrible read. It started out ok, but then became political. Gross horrible book, all over the place. Don't waste your time.
Published 1 month ago by SUSAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Light read!
American Angst was great for a light quick read.

The book intertwines two stories from two women who are completely different. Read more
Published 9 months ago by ShoesFashionFitness
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!
I could hardly pull myself away from this book! I usually prefer to read motivational non-fiction literature but I bought this book to just get away from reality for awhile. Wow! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marieka
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it, you'll like it.
Sharing the lives of the two women in American Angst feels like spending a weekend with good friends. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Brett Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit by a talented author!
American Angst takes staples of American culture, like Thanksgiving dinners, politics, and celebrity scandals, and centers stories around these themes that are personal and... Read more
Published 11 months ago by edwardse
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love Lucy (and Robin)
American Angst follows the lives of Lucy (Campaign Promises, November Surprise, Blue State) and Robin (The Holdout). Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jolie Jacq
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and revealing
Two interesting women whose lives and loves bump into each other at just the right places to weave an intriguing and entertaining glimpse into what it means to be a woman.
Published 12 months ago by Pamela Fagan Hutchins
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More About the Author

I love writing because I get very attached to my characters. Lucy debuted in Campaign Promises, a free novella that I released to thank all my awesome readers. Then Lucy's story continued with November Surprise and Blue State. More recently there's The Holdout, also featuring Lucy, but the main character is her cousin Robin, and it's about love, justice, and reality TV. And you can find both Lucy and Robin in my newest book, American Angst.

I'm on Twitter but I don't tweet super often. A better idea is to follow my blog,, or Lucy's blog,, where you'll read about Lucy's career, marriage, and politics.

I teach in Minneapolis, MN, where I enjoy my boot collection, spending time with my husband and two chatty children, and finding time to write. My other novels are both award winning - Following My Toes and Starring in the Movie of My Life. Visit me at

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