Short Review #16: Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier (2020)

Rating: 3 out of 5 ⭐️
Title: Pizza Girl: A Novel
Author: Jean Kyoung Frazier
Published: 2020 (Doubleday, New York)
Pages: 198 (Hardcover)
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Coming-of-Age, Humor
*Disclaimers: contains sexual content, strong language and references to alcoholism
Link Here

My borrowed copy of Pizza Girl next to a slice of pizza (the book was better than the pizza)

Happy almost Friday! I read the oddest little book this week. At first, I was probably more attracted to the cover of this book more than anything else. Just look at it! (pictured above) I love the retro cover art, especially the colors. Anyways, this week on my reading list was Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier. This is Frazier’s first novel.

I think about life as one big Laundromat and some people have just one little bag to do – it’ll only take them a quick cycle to get through – but others, they have bags and bags of it, and it’s just so much that it’s overwhelming to even think about starting. Is there enough laundry detergent to get everything clean?” – Jean Kyoung Frazier, Pizza Girl

I found this book charming, a little weird, and overall a thoughtful read. The story is narrated by an 18-year-old pregnant, pizza delivery girl in Los Angeles who goes unnamed. She just graduated high school, and is quirky, a little lost and grieving over her somewhat recently deceased father. Our protagonist becomes obsessed over one of her customers, a tired mom, newly moved to Los Angeles named Jenny who orders a pickle covered pizza every week for her homesick son, Adam. As her fascination with Jenny grows, the narrator comes face-to-face with her own dissatisfaction, and we get to know a weirdo who is still trying to figure out life.

I wished stained-glass windows were everywhere, not just churches. How lovely a McDonald’s would be if you could order a Big Mac while being surrounded by stained glass” – Jean Kyoung Frazier, Pizza Girl

This book was a pretty quick read at only 198 pages. I found the main character unsettling at times, but I think that’s pretty much the point. The narrator’s observations were penetrating, and I enjoyed the writing and how Frazier details the flashbacks. Pizza Girl is a contemporary novel and coming-of-age story about an outcast. Why should you read this book? Read this book if you enjoy literary fiction novels about a flawed and complicated character who finds herself in a tough predicament, while dealing with family, pregnancy and discovering herself. Plus there is a little witty humor thrown around as well.

I would have found something else to lose myself in. If you were pushed off a cliff, you’d grab hold of anything resembling safety” – Jean Kyoung Frazier, Pizza Girl

I give this novel a 3 out of 5!


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