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Booklist: "Wry, furious, hilarious, heartbreaking, 'wired but wrecked at the same time.' Rooted in the immigrant experience (struggling with a new language, forgetting the old one), the coming-of-age story is universal."

Date: Mar 25 2010

Growing up in a rough city neighborhood in Germany, Sacha, 17, is a brilliant student, the only Russian immigrant in her elite Catholic high school. But everything is on hold when her brutal stepfather murders her mother. Sacha’s obsession is to kill him, in prison or out, even as she nurtures her little brother and sister in the violent projects. A lot happens in this first novel, but more than the fast plot, it is the striking narrative voice that will grab readers. Translated from the German, the present-tense narrative nails the contemporary teen voice—wry, furious, hilarious, heartbreaking, “wired but wrecked at the same time.” Rooted in the immigrant experience (struggling with a new language, forgetting the old one), the coming-of-age story is universal. When a guy threatens to make Sacha’s life a living hell, she says, “Too late; it already is.” Yes, she hates men, and maybe she hates women, too. Her anger makes you laugh and cry.