—THE DAILY CALIFORNIAN

"Startling honesty and accuracy. Exhilarating."
“I almost feel that Hamann is reading from my own diary”

If a mercenary dies for money and a martyr dies for a cause, what am I if I die for you? This question, the first statement in Chapter One of H. T. Hamann's debut novel, Anthropology of an American Girl, starts the reader on a quest. After almost 600 pages, there isn't a definitive answer to this question, but by the end of the novel it's become apparent that it doesn't matter. More important than finding answers is the experience of reading. It was this that led me to say, "I have to meet this author." I almost feel that Hamann is reading from my own diary. That is the true effect of the novel. it is obvious why she describes herself as 'immensely connected' to it. After reading it, it's hard to believe that anyone wouldn't feel that way. The story is told from the character's perspective in a diary-like format that shows startling honesty and accuracy. The narrator could be anyone: she could be you, which is part of the beauty of the book. What makes the novel different from other coming-of-age stories is the insight into the mind of the character. Eveline's perception of her own actions makes this novel something to be experienced, not just read. Reading Anthropology of an American Girl is like suddenly developing telepathy: you can hear every one of Eveline's thoughts. The only catch is, Eveline can also hear yours. Exhilarating.

Back to Main Review Page | Next Review