Lona, the main character in Georgina Young’s novel Loner, is just 19, but her plight is ageless. Having recently dropped out of art school, she’s unsure about her career prospects, questioning the point of dating and other social pursuits, and not convinced that art—her own or anyone else’s—is worth anything at all. She drifts in and out of her family, spending time with her best friend when she’s not taking shifts at a grocery store or DJing for middle schoolers at a roller rink, searching for anything that will make her feel something.
Told in short, pithy chapters, Loner will evoke a palpable sense of “been there, done that” for anyone who’s lived through their own confusing early adulthood. Young’s prose is spare, with bursts of dry wit that liven up otherwise dreary scenarios—Lona’s makeshift bedroom with a sheet for a wall, her crush’s completely sexless texts—but the total immersion in Lona’s thoughts can sometimes be wearisome. If you can ignore the echoes of your own cringeworthy memories as you read, then Loner is a fun, deadpan take on trying to grow up when you still feel like a child. –Eliza Thompson
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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