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Hick Paperback – April 15, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
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[A] knockout [a] bold, brash, up-yours coming-of-age story rubbed raw with gritty sexual awakening.”The San Diego Union-Tribune
In her debut novel, Portes paints a poignant picture of a teenage girl fleeing her past and landing in Vegas, where she’s forced to grow up fast.”OK MAGAZINE
A bracing drama, a study in tenacity against the gnarled teeth of domestic storms.” The Los Angeles Times
Portes is an edgy writer whose talent is apparent on every page. Her honest, raw portrayal of Luli is harrowing, yet Portes also punctuates many of her observations with a keen and jaded humor. Hick announces the arrival of an exciting young voice. Portes’ snappy prose shines through despite the disturbing plight of young Luli ”The Rocky Mountain News
Portes' writing and Luli's courage make this book a standout and, at times, beautiful novel.” The Omaha World-Herald
A terrific and addicting read. It just barrels along, fueled by the adrenaline and enthusiasm of its youthful narrator.”The Kansas City Star
[A] smart and sassy tale.”The Oregonian
Her approach is so subtle and non-preachy that Hicks cinematic equivalent would be more indie drama than after-school special...Through Luli’s eyes, Portes expertly captures the loneliness of poverty and the harsh monotony of being a child with no one to take care of you...She’s the antithesis of the modern American teenager; she has grit. Her story is especially interesting as it is based on the real-life experiences of Hicks author, Portes...Eccentric and wild, her characters are larger than life, but they never become unreal...Luli’s endurance...can only inspire.”Popmatters.com
Wonderful, touching.”The Nougat Magazine
There probably was a time in the U.S. when parents read books to their kids at night; a time when people really cared about their neighbors and acted appropriately. Luli is America gone wrong personified. Hick is the coming of age novel for our twisted times.”Jeffrey A. Tipton, author of Surviving the City
[C]ompletely blew me away It's the best novel I've read this year do not not read this book. this is a spectacular debut.”Tony Dushane, Drinks with Tony radio show
Luli’s road trip makes Holden Caulfield’s experiences in The Catcher in the Rye” and Huck’s in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” seem almost quaint. It is truly a coming-of-age story for today Portes tells a fast-paced story and has created a memorable character in Luli.” Lincoln Journal-Star
Impressive Luli is so well-drawn and her voice so original and authentic that the reader can't help but get caught up in her story engrossing...” Dallas Morning News
Top Customer Reviews
Leaving Nebraska with her thumb in the air, the first ride Luli accepts is a challenge. Acting tough and provocative, the teen is soon booted to the curb, thinking it just as well, the driver, Eddie Kreezer, too close to crazy for comfort. Next Luli hitches a ride with the world-weary Glenda, a coke-sniffing hustler on a mission and a deadline she doesn't care to explain. While Glenda appears trustworthy, at least not as dangerous as other options, Luli becomes more wary with each passing day, unable to trust this woman's motives any more than her own mother's inconsistencies. Holding herself together with street-smart dignity, the child watches and waits, adapting to the needs of the moment; unfortunately, her best interests are never the issue, as Eddie Kreezer comes back into the picture, an associate of the enigmatic and blustery Glenda. Luli finds no purchase in this nether-world either, drawn into a sordid situation that rapidly spirals into violence.
Written from a teen's perspective, the young protagonist is her own best defender, a tough little survivor who sees early on that her life choices are limited by virtue of her birth. The cozy security most people take for granted is never a given in Luli's world. Even after the nightmarish road trip in search of a better life, head held high, the girl realizes the limitations she faces. Like the innocent, damaged girl in Dorothy Allison's Bastard Out of Carolina, Luli refuses to be cowed by her experiences, at thirteen already measuring an uncertain future: "Maybe something happened somewhere along the way, something mean and unforgiving". Luan Gaines/2007.
Just as you can make a story too-light for the subject matter, you can make a world where the human beings are too one-dimensional in their sins. It no longer packs a punch when dark deeds are done, because there is no expectation for human decency.
Hick was a disappointing journey that ended with a big load of nothing. Disappointing human beings shift to horrible human beings turn into sadistic human beings, only to sum up the story back at the beginning with a supposed relief that someone, somewhere, dug up the basic human decency to drive an emotionally, physically, and sexually abused child to the bus station and handed her some money.
Worst part? Our little heroine went to hell and back and ended up the same girl she started.
A circular story that missed the emotional presence to carry the themes intended.
i was contacted by the publicist and sent this novel. i agreed to interview andrea, but only skimmed the synopsis of the book before agreeing to the interview since i like to read the book a couple of days before interviews to have it fresh in my mind.
the book completely blew me away. i'm so happy i wasn't too cool for school and blew off the interview or i never would've read this book. it's the best novel i've read this year.
i don't want to give any storyline away, but the voice of the pubescent female is nailed. flawless. it reads poetic, almost like a song.
i finished my novel where the narrator is a pubescent boy, and there were passages in here so amazing i seethed with jealousy for not thinking of them first.
do not not read this book. this is a spectacular debut.
James Joyce meets Toni Morrison meets Charles Bukowski meets Dorothy Allison meets Hubert Selby Jr. meets Will Self meets Andrea Portes.
They all rumble in a dark alley and something wonderful stalks out.