Pizza Girl is the debut novel from Los Angeles based author Jean Kyoung Frazier from HQ Stories.
Eighteen years old and pregnant, this pizza girl is struggling. Her boyfriend is a loving, caring ball of perfection and her mum’s supporting them every step of the way…and it’s suffocating her. Didn’t her mum think she could achieve more than being a pregnant teenager? Why wasn’t she raging, why wasn’t she accusing her of throwing her life away like a mum that actually cared?
Life regains some sort of meaning when she gets an unusual pizza request, and upon delivery, she meets a woman who immediately captures her attention. At first, it’s simple admiration, but the more they talk and the more orders she delivers, the further pizza girl falls into an obsession with this older lady who needs her help.
Pizza Girl is a short novel, packed with emotional punch. Although you don’t learn pizza girls’s name until the end of the book, I fell in love with her very quickly. She’s not the classic ‘likeable’ lead. She’s brutally cold with her boyfriend, barely sees her mother as a person and feels a complete disconnect from the baby that’s growing inside of her. However, there’s a reason. Pizza girl is terrified of becoming her father, the alcoholic that was found dead at the side of the train tracks by a complete stranger. Some of the most evocative parts of this novel are when she reminisces on her childhood and how she had to manage her dad when he was drinking. If you don’t get chin wobbly when she remembers when he picks her up and tells her they’re going to Disneyland, you’re an absolute monster.
The end of Pizza Girl (no spoilers) really took me by surprise and I was genuinely gripped as I couldn’t begin to guess where it was going as it came as such a curveball. I really enjoy reading complicated female characters, and it’s a testament to Jean Kyoung Frazier’s incredible writing that she crafted someone with such depth in such a short amount of time. I adored Pizza Girl and raced through it in two sittings; now I just wish I’d paced myself so it lasted longer!
If you enjoyed Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier, you’d love Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Buy your copy of Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier now.