Books by A.S. King

DIG by A.S. King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 26, 2019

"Heavily meditative, this strange and heart-wrenching tale is stunningly original. (Fiction. 14-adult)"
An estranged family's tragic story is incrementally revealed in this deeply surreal novel. Read full book review >
STILL LIFE WITH TORNADO by A.S. King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"King understands and writes teen anxieties like no other, resulting in difficult, resonant, compelling characters and stories. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
King, master of troubled protagonists and surreal plots, is at it again. Read full book review >
I CRAWL THROUGH IT by A.S. King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Heavy stuff, as the title implies, and absolutely worthwhile. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
A meditation on grief, guilt, and survival; King's most challenging work to date. Read full book review >
GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE by A.S. King
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

" With any luck, Glory's notebook will inspire a new wave of activists. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
An indictment of our times with a soupçon of magical realism. Read full book review >
REALITY BOY by A.S. King
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Oct. 22, 2013

"This is no fairy-tale romance, but a compulsively readable portrait of two imperfect teens learning to trust each other and themselves. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
"Everybody's so full of shit," declares the epigraph of this heart-pounding and heartbreaking novel, setting the tone of the narrative: cynical, disappointed and slyly funny. Read full book review >
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Oct. 23, 2012

Big-town girl stuck in a small-town world full of lies falls for another girl. Read full book review >
EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS by A.S. King
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 3, 2011

An involving, if slightly uneven, follow-up to Printz Honor winner Please Ignore Vera Dietz (2010).

"If you were going to commit suicide, what method would you choose?" This smart-aleck survey question developed for a social-studies assignment sends the cruelly mis-named Lucky Linderman's life straight into the sewer. Misunderstood by school administrators, tormented by the school's bully-in-chief Nader McMillan, fretted over by his ineffective parents, Lucky launches the ultra-stoic "Operation Don't Smile Ever" to protect himself, but privately he seethes with rage and sadness. In his dreams—the only place he can exercise any authority or skill—Lucky stages bold, elaborate rescue missions to bring his Vietnam-era POW/MIA grandfather home. After Nader assaults Lucky at the community pool, Lucky and his swimming-obsessed mom decamp to Arizona to visit relatives and recuperate. Readers will fall hard for Lucky's aching, disgusted, hopeful and triumphant voice, but this otherwise deeply realistic story falters a bit whenever elements of magical realism intrude. The titular Greek chorus of ants, a shape-shifting facial scab, the items that accompany Lucky home from his dreams: None of them quite mesh with the story, instead forcing readers to question Lucky's sanity when they should be completely on his side.

Readers who look beyond these problems will find a resonant, uplifting story about not just getting through, but powering through, the tough times. (Fiction. 15 & up)Read full book review >
PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ by A.S. King
FICTION
Released: Oct. 12, 2010

A harrowing but ultimately redemptive tale of adolescent angst gone awry. Vera and Charlie are lifelong buddies whose relationship is sundered by high school and hormones; by the start of their senior year, the once-inseparable pair is estranged. In the aftermath of Charlie's sudden death, Vera is set adrift by grief, guilt and the uncomfortable realization that the people closest to her are still, in crucial ways, strangers. As with King's first novel, The Dust of 100 Dogs (2009), this is chilling and challenging stuff, but her prose here is richly detailed and wryly observant. The story unfolds through authentic dialogue and a nonlinear narrative that shifts fluidly among Vera's present perspective, flashbacks that illuminate the tragedies she's endured, brief and often humorous interpolations from "the dead kid," Vera's father and even the hilltop pagoda that overlooks their dead-end Pennsylvania town. The author depicts the journey to overcome a legacy of poverty, violence, addiction and ignorance as an arduous one, but Vera's path glimmers with grace and hope. (Fiction. 14 & up)Read full book review >
THE DUST OF 100 DOGS  by A.S. King
ADVENTURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2009

Cursed by a strange man just after losing her one true love, Irish pirate Emer Morrissey must live 300 years in the bodies of various dogs before being reincarnated in 1972 as human Saffron Adams. Saffron retains all of Emer's memories and is thought to be a genius for her great knowledge of history. As Saffron drags the reader through her uninspired life in a dysfunctional Pennsylvania family, she makes plans to travel to Jamaica and dig up the treasure that she buried there as Emer, 300 years ago. Later in the book, King introduces the creepy Fred, who has deviant sexual tendencies and carries on conversations with his mother in his head—and whose connection to Emer/Saffron isn't revealed until the end. With its sloppy, uneven pacing, kitchen-sink plot and boring characters, even the most loyal of pirate mateys will wish that Saffron and Fred would simply walk the plank. The language is anachronistic during Emer's story and lacks spark when Saffron narrates. Despite Emer's pirate adventures, there is little excitement and the ending is anticlimactic. This is not buried treasure, just fool's gold. (Fantasy. YA)Read full book review >