Astrid sees all : a novel

by Standiford, Natalie,

Format: Print Book 2021
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Most Anticipated: The Great First Half 2021 by The Millions

New York's last bohemia--the glittering, decadent downtown club scene of the 1980s--is the setting for this brilliantly winning novel about a smart, vulnerable young woman taking a deep dive into her dark side, essential for fans of Sweetbitter , Fleabag , and books by Patti Smith.

New York, 1984: Twenty-two-year-old Phoebe Hayes is a young woman in search of excitement and adventure. But the recent death of her father has so devastated her that her mother wants her to remain home in Baltimore to recover. Phoebe wants to return to New York, not only to chase the glamorous life she so desperately craves but also to confront Ivan, the older man who painfully wronged her.

With her best friend Carmen, she escapes to the East Village, disappearing into an underworld haunted by artists, It Girls, and lost souls trying to party their pain away. Carmen juggles her junkie-poet boyfriend and a sexy painter while, as Astrid the Star Girl, Phoebe tells fortunes in a nightclub and plots her revenge on Ivan.

When the intoxicating brew of sex, drugs, and self-destruction leads Phoebe to betray her friend, Carmen disappears, and Phoebe begins an unstoppable descent into darkness. She may have a chance to save herself--and Carmen, if she can find her--but to do it she must face what's hiding in the shadows she's been running from--within her heart and in the dangerous midnight streets.

A love letter to gritty 1980s New York City, Astrid Sees All is an irresistible, original novel about female friendship, sex and romance, and what it's like to be a young woman searching for an identity.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "The author of several books for children and young adults, Standiford takes readers to 1984 Lower Manhattan in her adult debut. Scraping by in the city, recent college-graduate Phoebe heads home to Baltimore when she learns of her dad's terminal illness. Her mom wants her to stay, but Phoebe can't miss her New Year's Eve gig at the superhot nightclub Plutonium. With the help of her friend Carmen, she flees, and the two find their own decent-enough place, recently vacated by Carmen's boyfriend Atti's heroin dealer. The novel rolls through atomic nights at Plutonium, where Phoebe becomes known as Astrid the Star Girl, reading fellow partiers' futures with her collection of old movie tickets, and she and her friends maintain a consistent high. Standiford captures a beating, smoky world there, and within Phoebe, who keeps her deepest feelings hidden from everyone but readers. Meanwhile, danger seems everywhere, and Atti needs increasing care from Carmen. There is page-turning plot aplenty here, dealing with the pains of grief, addiction, and simply growing up, all made endurable by love and friendship."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Standiford (The Secret Tree) makes her adult fiction debut with an infectious if overwrought tale of obsessive friendship and identity set in the gritty Lower East Side of 1980s New York City. Phoebe Hayes moves to the Upper West Side to be near Carmen Dietz, a girl from her college whose cavalier attitude and cosmopolitan sensibility instantly captivates Baltimore-bred Phoebe. Phoebe becomes enmeshed in Carmen's life, and they move downtown to be near the nightclub scene. After Phoebe's father dies of leukemia, she takes a job at the hip club Plutonium as a fortune-teller named Astrid, and her life revolves around partying with Carmen. But then young women from the neighborhood begin to go missing and Phoebe feels like she's being followed. Carmen's approval is crucial to Phoebe, though after Phoebe hooks up with Carmen's artist boyfriend, their friendship fractures. A bizarre plot turn will leave readers scratching their heads, and stilted metaphors don't help ("My immune system was fighting off an infection of grief"), but Standiford evokes the setting with spot-on details, including cameos by John F. Kennedy Jr. and Andy Warhol, and she does a good job developing the friendship between the two women. Unfortunately, the missteps undermine Phoebe and Carmen's engaging dynamics. Agent: Sarah Burnes, the Gernert Company. (Apr.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Young women -- Fiction.
Nightclubs -- New York (State) -- New York -- Fiction.
East Village (New York, N.Y.) -- 20th century -- Fiction.
Thrillers (Fiction)
Publisher New York :2021
Edition First Atria Books hardcover edition.
Language English
Description x, 258 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9781982153656
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