Molly Bit

Dan Bevacqua's Molly Bit is the stunning portrait of a young artist who has "it," and the price she pays to triumph and the personal sacrifices of her success. Everyone at her college wants to be famous, including Molly Bit. At 19, she sees signs from the universe that she's one of the chosen and makes a promise to herself to "chop off the old, dead parts and come out new, to burn them off, if need be, like she was a house fire."

Told through third-person narrative installments that leapfrog through her timeline (college in 1993; dues, 1997; success, 2001; etc.), Molly is well-drawn but also inaccessible--readers know her, yet she could be almost any aspiring celebrity on the rise. Molly's stardom breeds the need for bodyguards. Bevacqua is her literary bodyguard, using the arm's length he's constructed to masterful effect as Molly's life widens and contracts simultaneously. As tragedy befalls her ("You can't escape the confines of a traditional narrative story arc in a life like Molly Bit's"), the point of view shifts to one of Molly's oldest friends and the mystery of her demise.

Bevacqua's debut novel is compelling on multiple fronts. A pseudo-character study, it is a deeper examination of moviemaking, fame, violence and power, balanced by Bevacqua's wit. With descriptors that often reflect the celebrity absurd ("Finals exhaustion had lifted like a face peel." "A golden retriever bounded through the snow as if auditioning for a catalogue."), Molly Bit captivates as it lays bare the often-high costs of entertaining. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review

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