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Frenemy of the People Paperback – May 13, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (May 13, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1626390630
  • ISBN-13: 978-1626390638
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,399,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nora Olsen was born and raised in New York City. She received a B.A. from Brown University. Although her mother, a prize-winning author, warned her not to become a writer, Nora didn't listen. Nora’s debut novel The End: Five Queer Kids Save The World was published in 2010. Swans and Klons is her second YA novel. Her short fiction has appeared in Collective Fallout and the anthology Heiresses of Russ 2011: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction. Nora’s goal is to write thrilling stories and novels that LGBTQ teens can see themselves reflected in.

Nora lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her girlfriend, writer Áine Ní Cheallaigh, and their two adorable cats. When not writing, Nora works as a babysitter. She also enjoys volunteering for Room to Write, an organization of publishing professionals and writers who visit NYC classrooms to teach creative writing. The highlight of Nora’s year is volunteering at Camp Jabberwocky, a summer camp for children and adults with disabilities.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
Not something that could, would, and never should happen.
Sofia Li
That is 100% of the reason I requested this title through NetGalley, not to mention the ridiculously awesome cover.
Kiki Deister
The overall plot was choppy, conflict seemed forced and the pacing was off.
audrey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sofia Li on June 17, 2014
Format: Paperback
Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Initial Thoughts: I'm sitting here, on a Tuesday afternoon, trying to figure out how on earth I should describe Frenemy of the People because it was such an unusual book. I have a lot of complaints about FotP particularly about word choice that may have been altered in the final novel.

Characters: If you expected some lovely rainbows and butterflies story where the main characters go through tremendous change and growth.... you won't be getting that here. Clarissa is an extremely unusual character in the aspect that she is an extremely ignorant one. I swear, I knew more than she did when I was eight years old than she did at almost eighteen. She has apparently lived an incredibly sheltered life in a ritzy home and neighborhood. Yet that is absolutely no excuse for being CLUELESS about your financial situation (which was going down south), and not even knowing what the word "foreclosure" meant. I could swear, I kept waiting for some point in the novel where she would do a (cliche) 180 in terms of character, and become this better person because of being in love and being exposed to the world. At least that would be realistic to the "movie magic" (book magic if you will) feel Nora Olsen might have been going for.

Lexie. Well, in the first chapter, I thought she was the contrast to Clarissa's severe idiot syndrome. And I was right about the contrast she provided.... for all of the first two chapters of the novel. After that, I was just reeling with major "What the hell is happening?" reactions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By audrey on May 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Clarissa is a wholesome seemingly well off teen who loves horses. Lexie is a rich, socially conscience activist who loves butterflies. Two very different personalities that become unlikely friends as they partner up to make Clarissa’s sister homecoming queen. The newest victims of the foreclosure crisis, Clarissa and her family find themselves in danger of losing their home. Clarissa looks to Lexie for advice and support soon finding their friendship deepening to love.

Frenemy Of The People is book that had a few memorable scenes and moments where I connected with the characters. There were a lot of interesting ideas that were presented but I felt it became over burdened and incoherent as the story went on.

I made many concessions when rating this book because it was in the young adult genre. The genre has a particular audience in mind and has to adjust the language and story elements to where it’s easily digestible. So I’ll forgive the stereotypical characters and predictable plot.

The characters were interesting but were often underdeveloped and inconsistent. The strongest character was probably Clarissa’s sister, Desi and I commend the author for taking the time to write a respectful and accurate portrayal of a character with down syndrome. Lexie had a strong voice that came through in her chapters and I would have loved to have gotten to know her better. I was disappointed that her character development was stifled because her chapters had to solely hold up the romance story line. Clarissa’s voice in her chapters tended to waver, strong at times and weak in others. Her development was inconsistent resulting in her motives being blurred so that when she took action it seemed drastic and out of character.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kiki Deister on May 12, 2014
Format: Paperback
I have mixed emotions about this book. Parts of it I truly loved and other parts... not so much. Let me preface this by saying that I love, love, love seeing YA fiction that addresses the LBGTQ community. There needs to be more of it! That is 100% of the reason I requested this title through NetGalley, not to mention the ridiculously awesome cover. As a pink-haired mama, I appreciate the haircolor!

The story was told in the alternating points of view of our two main characters, Clarissa and Lexie. These are two girls that couldn't be more different. Clarissa is the epitome of a middle-class girl, into horses and her friends, not really considering much beyond her own life. She spends a lot of her time looking out for her older sister, Desi, who has Down's Syndrome and is one of my favorite supporting characters. Lexie is straight-edge punk, ready to save the world, although she has a secret and unexpected love for butterflies. Clarissa seems to be a bit on the immature side quite sheltered. Lexie, although she comes from a wealthy family, is a bit of a rebel, sometimes even a little pretentious about her rebelliousness against the establishment. As characters, I love them both.

It's the sexuality aspect and how it was presented that bothered me. The way in which Clarissa came out seemed so lackluster. One minute she is gossiping with her friends, the next... she's bisexual. It was undeniable once I thought about it. I was drawn to girls the same way I was drawn to guys (Loc. 111). And there it was. She spent the rest of the story announcing it. It just didn't come across as authentic to me, probably because of the naiveté she often showed. It sometimes made her same rather shallow.

And then there is Lexie, whom I loved as a person.
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More About the Author

Nora Olsen was born and raised in New York City. She received a B.A. from Brown University. Nora's debut novel The End: Five Queer Kids Save The World was published in 2010. Swans & Klons is her second YA novel and Frenemy of the People is her third, both published by Bold Strokes Books' Soliloquy imprint. Nora's next novel, Maxine Wore Black, is forthcoming in October 2014. Her short fiction has appeared in Collective Fallout and the anthology Heiresses of Russ 2011: The Year's Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction. Nora's goal is to write thrilling stories and novels that LGBTQ teens can see themselves reflected in.

Nora lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her girlfriend, writer Áine Ní Cheallaigh, and their two adorable cats. The highlight of Nora's year is volunteering at Camp Jabberwocky, a summer camp for children and adults with disabilities. Find Nora's books at http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/Author-Nora-Olsen.html To learn more about Nora Olsen, read reviews, and enter book giveaways, visit http://noraolsen.com

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