New York Times Editor's Choice
"Coming of age with a quick wit and a sharp eye…The Adults is as idiosyncratic as it is stirring."
— New York Times
"'The Adults' is one of the funniest books I've read in a long time. Ms. Espach's coup is to chart Emily's growth through her maturing sense of humor. The hilarious first chapter features biting adolescent snark (adults, she complains, are "boring and powerful—saying any boring thing and getting away with it"). But as disasters strike, Emily's reflexive joking becomes layered with a sense of helplessness. Witty ironic detachment becomes her means of escape, and it gives her a strange double identity. Ms. Espach handles the pervasive irony perfectly. We're always able to see both the smirking mask that Emily shows the world and the tumult of feelings stirred by her traumatized love for her teacher."
— Wall Street Journal
"1 Great Book....smart."
— People Magazine
"Espach perfects the snarky, postironic deadpan of the 1990s and teenagers everywhere, and her ear for modern speech and eye for fresh detail transform a familiar story into an education in what it means to be a grown-up."
— Publishers Weekly
"Wry...laced with melancholy and angst, this book is an enviable first effort."
— Kirkus Reviews
"The Adults is a beautiful book. It is that rare treat: a novel that breaks your heart even as it makes you laugh. Most important, it makes you understand that adults are all works in progress."
— The Examiner
"Nowhere it seems does high-school culture collide with adult affluence more cataclysmically than this picturesque town...The learning curve may be steep in the burbs, but in Emily, Espach has crafted a gritty and game young woman. Smart, sexy and achingly poignant, The Adults is a novel of razor-sharp observations and hard-won realization. Emily's coming-of-age is a marvelous rollercoaster ride that is spirited, engaging, and wonderfully entertaining."
— Barnes and Noble
"With shining prose and razor-sharp wit, Alison Espach writes about the murky landscape between childhood and adulthood, the mistakes and misunderstandings, the betrayals and the beauty. THE ADULTS is a piercing and authentic journey through adolescence, filled with squeamish missteps and laugh-out-loud insights, wrenching heartache, and characters so rich and tenderly drawn that one can't help but love them through all their flaws and failures. I absolutely adored this book."
— Aryn Kyle, author of The God of Animals and Boys and Girls Like You and Me
"Alison Espach has written her debut novel in one of the most authentic and memorable voices I have ever read. Finding myself on every page of this heartbreaking and hysterically funny book, I began to have the same strange suspicion I had the first time I read Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye, Yates's Revolutionary Road and Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides: the impossible belief that the author might have written this book specifically for me. Like those classics, The Adults is wholly original, astonishingly true, and absolutely vital."
— Stefan Merrill Block, author of The Story of Forgetting
"Every single sentence has tragicomic verve in The Adults. Alison Espach's coming-of-age novel is jaggedly funny, moving when you least expect it, and wise beyond its years. Parental guidance is strictly optional to enjoy this gem of a debut."
— Teddy Wayne, author of Kapitoil
"In her impossible-to-put-down debut novel, Alison Espach manages to marry youthful exuberance with deep adult sorrow, quick-silver wit with trenchant observation. The world of The Adults is a familiar one but the voice and the brain at work here are anything but, sparkling and unexpectable and irresistibly wise."
— Kathryn Davis, author of The Thin Place, Labrador, Hell and other novels
"Alison Espach's debut The Adults is a striking coming of age novel that elegantly captures both the awkwardness and exuberance of youth as well as the complexities of adulthood"
— Largehearted Boy
“This book chronicles a messy divorce you’ll actually want to read about.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“A tale of love and loss and the consequences of both.”
"It's hard to be a teenager, but it's even harder for a writer to capture a teen's voice in fiction. . . . [Alison Espach] masters her teen's voice exceptionally well."
— Washington Post
"In its exasperation and bafflement, this cri de coeur carries a freshness and charm — honorable, too, for its cutting accuracy."
—San Francisco Chronicle
A "wry, devastating, perceptive coming-of-age tale."
"Mature teens will find Emily's voice impeccable. The story is both a captivating read and a challenging fable about the sometimes-haunting impact of adolescent choices."
—School Library Journal
"Espach is a gifted writer, making Emily brave, bold and timid all at once."
—St. Louis Dispatch
"The sense of the unbridgeable gap between childhood and adulthood haunts Alison Espach's debut novel, The Adults. Through her snarky but naïve protagonist, Emily Vidal, Espach gives us the story of one girl carefully stepping over that unbridgeable gap, and nearly falling to pieces in the process…In Emily's evolution, Espach captures that moment in adulthood where one realizes one cannot ever go back into the breathless excitement and energy of childhood."
A "long, gradual education in the grimy world of grown-up emotional warfare."
—Straight.com, Vancouver's Online Source