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The Green Glass Sea

I read this as a prepub bound galley. The book is based on a short story written by Klages a few years ago. It’s a YA novel about a nerdy young girl and the weird situation she finds herself in when her Dad goes towork at Los Alamos. It’s a fascinating read, just to learn about what day to day life was like there, all the secrecy involved and how hard it must have been just to be a kid there, with all the other tough parts of being a kid. Klages has a real ear for kid dialogue and all the characters have some sort of redeeming quality except for possibly the two-dimensional girl bully we meet early on.

There’s a hint of historical fiction in this book which I found to be a bit of a distraction. Once Oppenheimer was mentioned, I started to wonder which other characters were based on real ones (the author mentions this and answers this question in the back) and it distracted from the idea of the characters to me and felt a bit name-droppy. However, that was a really minor blip in an otherwise strong first novel.