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Jessica Z. Paperback – June 24, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385342004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385342001
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,800,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Klomparens's novel about 28-year-old San Francisco career girl Jessica Zorich dips into the familiar worlds—corporate, dating, sex, family, art—found in many coming-of-age stories, and ups the ante with a few jolts of terrorism. Jessica is professionally and romantically lost: she has a faux-lationship with her upstairs neighbor Patrick, and a job as a copy writer that doesn't quite do it for her. So after a terrorist attack hits San Francisco and Patrick reveals he has a girlfriend, Jessica revamps her life and cozies up with Josh, a lithographer mysterious in every way except his good looks. The relationship develops fast, and while Jessica becomes the subject of his latest art project, terrorists strike again and Patrick is relegated to the past until another bomb goes off. The story moves swiftly, even if Jessica tends to micromanage the narrative. It's an unexpected move to drop suicide bombers into what is basically chick lit, but Klomparens's gamble mostly pays off. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Shawn Klomparens offers an intense and startling vision of the near future where a young woman struggles to find a roadmap for life beneath the thunderheads of terror, lust, and art. Perfectly capturing the ubiquitous sense of dread in a post- 9/11 world dominated by violence and mass media, Jessica Z. is gripping, unsettling, and dreamlike. A dazzling debut that kept me anxiously turning the pages—and stayed with me long after the book was closed." —Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Black Out

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Customer Reviews

I was introduced to this author from someone very close to him.
Wayne M. Price
He is so certain about everything, it shuts out everything else, even her.
Catherine McKenzie
Lots of surprises, twists and turns, along with romantic intrigue.
Carolyn Winkler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In a trenchant view of the near-future, Jessica's story unfolds easily against the charged backdrop of terrorist-besieged San Francisco. Adrift in an ambiguous relationship with sweet but safe Patrick, who lives upstairs, Jessica seems to want something more. Before long she meets Josh, a mysterious and seductive artist, who becomes a central and unsettling force in her life. Her erotic awakening begins when she finds herself drawn into his world. Caught between these two men, Jessica explores the boundaries of love and lust and opens up to a fuller knowledge of herself.

In Jessica Z, Klomparens creates not a portrait of a woman, but a woman - fleshy and real. Through smart dialogue and beautifully rendered insecurities, we come to know Jessica intimately, and we see shades of ourselves reflected in her. Her story is well written and easily told.

The narrative is taut with the heightened anxiety of terrorist threats, as well as the mystery and danger of Jessica's new relationship. Yet it skillfully layers this raw emotion with a counterpoint of clarity and tenderness. Jessica's moments of real insight, when they come, are arresting in their stillness and simplicity, and they stand in stark contrast to the overall tone of the book. And just like in real life, they are fleeting.

Klomparens gives us a tightly-constructed plot full of great dialogue and incisive wit. It's smart, funny, and impossible to put down. Bravo!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Winkler on June 25, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Lots of surprises, twists and turns, along with romantic intrigue. Identifies with present real-life situations that are a part of our culture post 9-11. Great portrayal of family relationships, and fun to watch how Jessica grows and gains self-confidence.

I find it interesting that this book was written by a man -- he captures the female point of view in a very realistic way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Lynch on July 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an engaging novel; the story really draws you along. I was particularly struck by two elements in this novel. The first was the relationship of the sisters. I was truly touched by their closeness. The second element was the story line regarding lithography. I thought this was an extremely creative depiction of an artistic process. It made me want to see the finished work in person.

This book is certainly worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Barton Thomas on July 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
A remarkable book that captures the resiliance of the human condition. Having lived in W-DC during 9/11, and the subsequent anthrax mailings and sniper attacks, I am sad to say that I have experienced life as experienced by Jessica Z. To me, the writing rings true.

Of course, life goes on even under conditions much worse than those depicted (without undue gore, thankfully) in this novel. I thought the author did a marvelous job of capturing the yin and yang of life...obviously all the characters are experiencing angst and stress but the novel does not dwell there, it is a backdrop against the rest of life that Jessica and Patrick are experiencing, from the simple pleasures like coffee in the morning to the joy of meeting a new friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kuato on July 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book, particularly the characters and dialogue. I actually liked how the terrorism aspect seemed to be commonplace, and that the author didn't try to get into why that was happening. My only complaint is that the book seemed to end too quickly. I would have liked things to have been more drawn out. All in all, though, I'd recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shamy on January 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From the start, I was sucked into Jess's world. The writing was tight, fresh, quick paced, laced with humor throughout. It's been awhile since I was so immersed into a literary book that I couldn't put down. The story stayed with me when I wasn't reading and gripped me while I was. Jess, as a MC was so real. In fact, each character was wholly believable and quirky in their own way. Great balance between plot and character, where they each pushed the story forward favorably. Lovely multilayered themes throughout that don't come across preachy, but touch softly to the heart. Having just finished it, I could easily pick it up and read it again right now. I found myself laughing out loud and grinning, like I was right there in the moment. And with some of the steamy scenes, I wouldn't mind trading places with Jess myself! *titter* All around, definitely five stars and I highly recommend it!!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
[sigh.]

I'm certain I'm not the first to say Shawn's work doesn't feel written, it feels told. Lived.

JESSICA Z. is a departure from the young-adult reading and research I normally do. Where YA characters may obsess over just what sex is or could be, Shawn's characters are having it (gasp!). Beyond that, good lit is universal. Shawn's unique perspective closely revolves around my favorite part of any story: characters. Relationships. I'd describe Jessica as coming-of-age, honestly, something that can totally happen when you're a 28-year-old, city-dwelling, redheaded Copywriter... qualities I share, plus a few years. Ahem. :)

As for Shawn's world-building in JESSICA Z., I am a fan. Details, subtle and not-so-subtle, weave into the plot as they would from any well-constructed contemporary setting. This one just happens to include near-daily terror threats. "Seamless" may be an unfortunate descriptor, but the environment makes sense. It underlines and gives dimension to the characters and story; it doesn't overpower.

Aside from all this, I almost can't believe that JESSICA Z., this strong, first-person present voice - a woman's voice - comes from a dude who lives in the mountains. What? Okay, sure, let's give him that. He does it. But he does it well. A unique sort of tension arises from his gift with dialogue, a real-time quality you don't notice until you're reading and reading and almost miss an appointment or a train. His paragraph breaks can speak volumes. Page 244 brought tears to my eyes on a landing airplane. I will never look at sand the same way again, or maps. And I did a happy dance this morning about moving on to his second book, Two Years, No Rain.
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