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Smothered: A Novel

Review

Smothered: A Novel

SMOTHERED by Autumn Chiklis is centered around a college graduate from Columbia University who has to move back into her childhood house with her parents after graduating summa cum laude without any job prospects. Lou has to learn how to navigate the real world while dealing with living with her parents all over again as well as make plans about her future. Some of those future plans for Lou include moving out of her parents’ house, getting a job and telling her parents about the boyfriend she’s kept a secret from them for nearly a year. While trying to keep this secret, Lou spins out ridiculous lies that get out of hand and overall hilarity ensues.

"The writing, plot and the characters of SMOTHERED were very reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella and her novels....I adored how modern the book was and how so many different millennial aspects were addressed. "

As an incoming college freshman I was eager to read this book from the synopsis as almost a warning. This book could very well be my future in four years and I was eager to read about what a possible future for me could look like. The story is also very real for many college graduates and I was able to relate to a lot of Lou’s problems. The writing, plot and the characters of SMOTHERED were very reminiscent of Sophie Kinsella and her novels in the way that lying can snowball and create hilarious situations and predicaments. Also similar to Sophie Kinsella’s protagonists, the reader often can predict what embarrassing situation will happen next and as a result the second hand embarrassment and cringe was very much real throughout the book.

I adored how modern the book was and how so many different millennial aspects were addressed. The fact that you actually CAN make a living online, and that people can be famous from social media was such a young adult/new adult theme that so many readers will be able to relate to. The various uses of technology throughout the book also made it easier to connect to. The text messages, Instagram posts and Facebook messages all helped add to the modern “real world” type feel the novel was trying to portray. It was nice to read a book for a change where the protagonist isn’t perfect and does make mistakes and have to own up to them. I love seeing Lou complain about certain things and have other people explain to her why her complaining might feel valid, it’s actually problematic and she needs to take a step back and examine her privilege.

I did find some characters more likeable than others; some had personalities that were not quite fleshed out while others had personalities that practically leapt off the pages. I loved getting to know Lou’s quirky family and though her dad is not there as often, Lou’s mom was one of my favorite characters. I would definitely recommend this book as not quite a coming of age, but a coming of life story. The main character is older than your typical young adult novel but elements that YA readers love so much are still there. If you want to smile at shenanigans and laugh with and at characters, then this is the book for you. 

Reviewed by Ilona K., Teen Board Member on August 14, 2018

Smothered: A Novel
by Autumn Chiklis