Book Reviews

Jennifer Miller- The Year of the Gadfly


Glamour Magazine’s description of The Year of the Gadfly is spot on: “Part Dead Poet’s Society, part Heathers. Entirely addictive.”

Iris Dupont, an eccentric old soul stuck in a fourteen-year-old’s body, and her parents relocate from Boston to a small New England town. Iris is not pleased with the move.

Iris’s ultimate goal in life is to become a journalist. In fact, her ghost mentor is Edward Murrow (an American broadcast journalist who passed away in 1965). Iris works for the Mariana Academy school newspaper but is disappointed by the lame stories her editor asks her to report. Iris is determined to uncover the student group called the Prisom’s Party, who write an undercover school newspaper called The Devil’s Advocate. The party is also hell bent on exposing teachers and students for infractions of any kind; they consider it vigilante justice.

Iris’s biology teacher, Jonah Kaplan, is a man with a mysterious past. After he graduated from Mariana Academy, he moved as far away from the small town of Nye as he possibly could. Jonah’s fraternal twin brother died while attending Mariana and he’s racked with guilt. However, he’s compelled to move back to Nye to tie up lose ends.

“I had always imagined my adult self and my boyhood as a double helix: twisted threads that traveled in a spiral but never actually made contact.” – Jonah Kaplan

In this smartly written, compelling novel, Iris and Jonah’s lives collide and chaos ensues. I highly recommend The Year of the Gadfly, which reminded me of A Separate Peace by John Knowles.



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  1. I’ve never known what a gadfly is, but I think the title is enough to draw me in a little bit. Thanks for the review, Kristy!
    Katie Cross recently posted…For Ashley. How To “Get It” As A Writer.My Profile

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