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American Angst: Stories about Lucy & Robin Kindle Edition

17 customer reviews

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Length: 177 pages

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: 1203 KB
  • Print Length: 177 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: PMI Books (May 12, 2014)
  • Publication Date: May 12, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #468,962 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Laurel Osterkamp becomes very attached to her characters. The Standout, The Holdout, The Next Breath, November Surprise, Blue State, and American Angst all feature the Bricker family, but these books can be read in any order. Laurel teaches English and Creative Writing in Minneapolis, where she tries to stay warm, hang out with her husband and two chatty children, and find the time to write. Her other novels are the award-winning Following My Toes and Starring in the Movie of My Life.

You can find Laurel on Twitter - @laurelosterkamp - but she needs to work on sending clever Tweets. A better idea is to follow her blog at, or like her on Facebook,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Angie S on August 4, 2014
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Jess on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By O. Barnack on 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Roe on 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Saved on June 21, 2014
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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