RaveThe Observer (UK)The thrilling thing about Nothing Can Hurt You, a novel marketed as a successor to Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, is that it barely counts as a thriller ... despite its gothic influence and dark subject matter, I often found myself laughing. Nothing Can Hurt You is often roguishly funny ... Goldberg has a delightful eye for detail, too, and is just as good at sketching middle-aged men as she is of girls on the verge of womanhood. She would no doubt make an astute psychologist ... The author, a graduate of Columbia University’s fiction course, has written for such online magazines as Queen Mob’s Teahouse and Winter Tangerine – but don’t let that put you off. The writing here is sparkling and the detective work, refreshingly, internal rather than external.
Niviaq Korneliussen Trans. by Anna Halager
MixedThe GuardianWould such praise have been the outcome were it not for her age (28), the scarcity of Greenlandic fiction, and Last Night in Nuuk fresh subject matter? ... Huge life changes happen in the course of a paragraph ... would be better off targeted at young adults: teens need literature that reflects their rites of passage, especially those of minorities.
Edited by Roxane Gay
RaveThe Observer\"Roxane Gay’s Not That Bad is an important book, but it’s also one I wish didn’t have to exist ... And the storytelling is very good – observationally sharp, the writing often as vivid as bruises ... But the strength, and problematic horror, of this book is that, in the bluntest meaning, we’ve heard it all before ... But it is true that everybody in this book and all those who have experienced rape deserve a voice and the voices here are clear and compelling and crushing.\
PositiveThe GaurdianThe strongest and weakest chapters are those that play with form. One that falls flat is structured around an area map. It’s a neat idea, but just reads as a list of crap bars and record shops around Seattle, before Dederer moves to the liberal arts college Oberlin (famous alma mater of hippies – and Lena Dunham – or, as Dederer acerbically puts it, those who got rejected from Brown).
RaveThe GuardianMaya, who tells her story mostly in the first person but occasionally the second, is both faultlessly honest and consistently deceitful. She lies, but tells us ... It’s not that Maya is malevolent; it’s that being a liar is part of the job description of being an addict. And also that, yeah, sometimes it’s just better to say your dad is alive to avoid questions about why he isn’t. But at the same time, a big part of this novel’s power is its injection of frankness ... The sex is unflinching ... Maya isn’t likable ... but she is smart, can be caring, and is deeply funny ... For a book dealing with issues and called Problems, Sharma’s debut is strangely uplifting. It leaves you on a high.