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Loosely based on a teenager’s diary from the 1980s found in a gas-station bathroom, Unlovable is the remarkable story of Tammy Pierce, as filtered through the pen of Los Angeles artist Esther Pearl Watson. This second and concluding volume picks up where the first volume left off (winter break) and finishes Tammy’s tragicomic sophomore year of high school in 1985.
Tammy has built a devoted following over the last several years in the pages of Bust magazine, where Unlovable continues to be serialized on the magazine’s back page, and this beautifully produced, dayglo-orange and sparkly pink hardcover presents over 400 pages of her sometimes ordinary, sometimes humiliating, often poignant and always hilarious exploits. Her hopes, dreams, agonies and defeats are brought to vivid, comedic life by Watson’s lovingly grotesque drawings, filled with all the ’80s essentials — too much mascara, leg warmers with heels and huge hair, etc. — as well as timeless teen concerns like acne, dandruff, and the opposite sex (or same sex, in some cases).
Unlovable is about the rawness of trying to figure out who you are in a very public and humiliating way. Unlovable addresses these mysteries of adolescence through Tammy’s naiveté; girls and women in particular will find much that resonates, but men will also relate to Unlovable’s universal humor and wide cast of characters.
In the epic saga that is Unlovable, Tammy finds herself dealing with: tampons, teasing, crushes, The Smiths, tube socks, facial hair, lice, celibacy, fantasy dream proms, gym showers, skid marks, a secret admirer, prank calls, backstabbers, winter ball, barfing, narcs, breakdancing, hot wheels, glamour shots, roller coasters, Halloween costumes, boogers, boys, boy crazy feelings, biker babes, and even some butt cracks. Tammy’s life isn’t pretty, but it is endlessly charming and hilarious.
"A modest masterpiece, affecting and funny." – Booklist
Praise for the first volume:
“GOOD!!!” – Lynda Barry
“From the moment I laid eyes on Unlovable, I knew immediately that I had to run it as a series in BUST. Tammy Pierce is such an endearing underdog, and her teen-loser ways keep me coming back. No matter how cool or smart you may be as a grown up, I think there is a little Tammy in all of us.” – Laurie Henzel, BUST Magazine Creative Director
“Unlovable is why we all want to forget about our high school years, but we just can't help but reliving parts again to feel the pain.” – Eric Nakamura, GIANT ROBOT Co-Founder
"I laugh and laugh and laugh, then I feel bad about reading someone's diary. This would be a horribly mean book if Esther didn't love everyone in it so much.... So I keep reading. And I laugh and laugh and laugh." – Jordan Crane
"This book reminds me of my life. It's like looking in a mirror and the mirror has stickers and tooth brush splashes on it." – Leslie Hall
"Unlovable is a fine example of how art and narrative can be combined to make a potentially trivial book compelling and insight-provoking. In particular, Gen Xers ready for an unvarnished backward glance at the concerns and the cruelties of their high-school years will recognize Tammy with stark clarity." – Booklist
"An irrepressible loser stars in this year’s funniest — and sparkliest! — indie book… there’s no bottom to Tammy’s well of hilariously embarrassing anti-adventures." – Rachel Molino, Wizard
"I love Unlovable. Take that, book title. ... Unlovable 2 is a fun and funny read all the way through. ... Girls are gonna like this book and dudes are gonna like this book. It’ll remind you of how stupid you were and also of suburban sadness and realizing that your high school crush will probably never love you back." – Nick Gazin, Vice
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