Steve and Brooklyn, Burning are featured in the latest Greenpoint Gazette, the local paper in the Brooklyn neighborhood where the novel takes place.
Brooklyn, Burning has earned its second starred review, this time from Kirkus.
“A lyrical, understated punk-kid love song to Brooklyn and to chosen family. . . . Overall, the tone is as raw, down-to-earth and transcendent as the music Scout and Kid ultimately make together.”
The first trade-magazine review is out! It’s a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Here’s an excerpt:
Brezenoff lets readers take the reins, recasting and reimagining the lead roles as often as they like. For readers with little use for labels, it’s an intimate yet wonderfully open rock ‘n’ roll love story.
The first blog review of Brooklyn, Burning is in, and it comes from fellow Minnesota writer Kelly Barnhill, author of The Mostly True Story of Jack (which I called the most naturally magical book I’ve read since The Dark Is Rising).
Here’s a nice bit:
This is a beautiful book–big-hearted, and tough; clear-eyed and brave. The prose reads insistent as a song, breaking the heart again and again and again.
Booklist, the journal of the American Library Association, includes a review of THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1 in its September 15 issue. Though access to the review requires a subscription to the website, you can read the review in this image, snagged as a screengrab of the Hennepin County Library website.
METRO, the Twin Cities pre-eminent lifestyle magazine, published its fall arts preview this week, and called THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1 “Young Adult Book of the Year.” You can read the whole blurb (which borrows heavily from the Forever Young Adult review cited below) and the whole list (|-1| is number 13) at the METRO website.
Publishers Weekly‘s review:
Brezenoff … packs his first book for teenagers with emotion. … Lily, Noah, and Simon are friends … who are drifting apart. Lily is a math whiz, but is more focused on smoking, drinking, and pining over aloof Simon. Noah deals pot, endures an abusive relationship with his father, and begrudgingly accepts the fact that Lily barely notices him. Simon writes poetry to manage his unusually strong feelings for his sister…and his father’s recent cancer diagnosis. When Simon quits smoking and cautiously begins hanging out with another track team member, he alienates Lily and Noah, and continues to struggle with human connections. … Each of the three teenagers has a turn at first-person narration, revisiting the same scenario from different perspectives. Brezenoff nicely differentiates their voices and personalities, even while their narratives are bound together by the frustrations, self-doubt (and hatred), and pain they share.
Here’s a long and thoughtful review from Guys Lit Wire, one of my favorite blogs.
With this triple narrative, Brezenoff gives readers an honest view of kids’ reality, of their difficulties coping with family, of their dual identities as they struggle with who they want to be and who they’re comfortable showing the world, and with their vulnerable attraction to others. All three characters, in the end, are wounded, but also tough and funny and inspirational.
And this one from Second Star isn’t exactly a review; that should be along soon. But I got such a kick out of her reading of a small section from Lily, I have to share it.
Reviews are starting to come in, since Amazon started shipping this week. Here’s one from Forever Young Adult.
MAJOR MAJOR pants to steve brezenoff for writing some of the most authentic teen dialogue EVER. and i don’t mean he uses “like” a lot.
The Absolute Value of -1 was mentioned in a short piece in the Star Tribune about Carolrhoda and the exciting new imprint, Carolrhoda Lab.
Publishers Weekly reports on the cover project for The Absolute Value of -1 with Teens Know Best.
St. Paul teen book group Teens Know Best works with Steve and editor Andrew Karre to develop and critique cover concepts for The Absolute Value of -1.