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Publisher's Weekly calls Age of Consent 
a "bracing debut... engaging... well written...inspired."  

"A bracing debut. On the surface, Brainerd’s tale is a nostalgic trip into the early 1980s, including an inspired evocation of the Downtown art scene, but her teenage characters make the greatest impact. The takes on parental neglect and the ways young women are taught to see sex as transactional make this more than a throwback.”



"Heady and atmospheric, Brainerd’s debut weaves the energy of glamorous, arty, and treacherous Manhattan into the coming-of-age dramas of her three adventurous heroes.” 

Maria Semple
Author of "Where did you Go Bernadette?"


"A total time machine -- I loved it!"

Aline Brosh McKenna
screenwriter of “The Devil Wears Prada” and co-creator of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"


"A powerful, wildly entertaining story of friendship and identity set against the backdrop of the early 80s, an era which has uncanny parallels to today. Brainerd brilliantly captures the struggles of young women trying to find their way in a time when their parents and role models are in deep crisis. Age of Consent is both a juicy page-turner and a haunting, personal portrait of an era." 

Patricia Marx
New Yorker staff writer & author of 
Him Her Him Again The End of Him 

“A witty, perceptive, and compulsively readable book about the cool girls I'd wish I'd been in high school.”

Jane Mendelsohn
author of I Was Amelia Earhart

“In her striking debut, Amanda Brainerd conjures a cast of vibrant and troubled young characters who find themselves thrown into an adult world of money, treachery, and sexual politics.  She captures the raw and painful tangle of female adolescence with emotional honesty and precision.  Set in the 1980s, a tumultuous Age of Consent, and brimming with evocative detail, the story travels across the glittering and gritty landscapes of an elite boarding school and New York City, leading its vulnerable protagonists to the discovery that charmed lives often hide the most dangerous circumstances.”

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Best of summer 2020 reading lists
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