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Perhaps you too have experienced the nausea brought on by the arrival of an invitation to a high school reunion.

Bookstore clerk and culture junker Verity Presti will soon attend her fifteenth reunion with her boyfriend, the unfortunately but aptly named Charlie Brown, who lives with his parents while training to be an urban shaman—a modern-day medicine man somewhat capable of exorcising ghosts from apartments and cubicles, predicting baseball scores, and channeling lost pets. Verity, angst-ridden and burdened with fifteen years of magnificent failure, will be reunited with Craig and Carolyn, sickeningly perfect high school sweethearts, married now and perfectly sick of each other; Verity’s former crush Stan and his wife, Laurel, a frustrated author of angry haikus; and Will, a rage-aholic KJ (that’s “karaoke jockey”) whose only soft spot is the one he still has for Verity. A growing anxiety permeates the round of cocktail parties that precedes the reunion, causing old affections and animosities to boil over and threaten the dubious complacency of these seven lovable losers.

With her trademark sarcasm and uncanny ability to skewer the oddities of contemporary hipster life, Stella has created a cast of endearingly eccentric characters who embody the insecurities and foibles that all of us—former prom desperados, band nerds, the burnout brigade, and loner stiffs—have and hope nobody else will notice.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

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