"Violence and Silence in Blake Nelson's Paranoid Park": NPR'S "Fresh Air", radio interview (March 2008)
“You’re not really a Portlander until you’ve read Blake Nelson’s seminal GIRL. And after that, consider picking up his sharp, witty sendup of teenage rebellion, DESTROY ALL CARS.”
--- Portland Mercury
"When a publisher blurbs a debut novel [GIRL] as a 'Catcher in the Rye for the Grunge generation, this instant classic...', my sceptometer hits redline. It's like saying a 'Huckleberry Finn for the New Age'. Some classics--and Salinger surely qualifies--are best left unimitated, or seriously comparisoned by glib blurb writers. However, I have to admit Blake Nelson's Girl gets much closer to the mark than almost all former claimants. For starters it's first-person subject, Andrea Marr, is extremely funny and sad - often simultaneously. This seeming contradiction echoes Holden Caulfield's bitter-sweet dwelling on the heinous crimes of the hordes of phoneys who both anger and depress him."
--The Write Stuff
"An Important story that pulls no punches" -- Publisher's Weekly (STARRED) review of RECOVERY ROAD
"In DREAM SCHOOL ... Nelson takes up the voice [of Andrea Marr] without skipping a beat. Reading it, you can see the influence that GIRL might've had on writers who are heading up the naturalistic wave that's dominating the young lit scene now. It's like the missing link between Bret Easton Ellis and Tao Lin."
-- The Stranger (Seattle)
“If you grew up reading Sassy magazine, you know who Blake Nelson is. His debut novel, GIRL, about a teenager exploring the Seattle rock scene was excerpted in three successive issues, and later made into a movie. But you may not know that Nelson has written many more books, exploring issues of sexuality, morality, and interpersonal relationships with a sensitivity and astuteness that shows more respect for his YA audience than many adult fiction writers show for theirs.”
-- BUST (March 2010)
"Raiders of the Lost Earth" New York Times Book Review (Sept. 2009)
"Saving the Planet, One Book at a Time" LA Times Book Review, (Dec. 2009)
"I'm writing all choppy because I'm reading Girl by Blake Nelson at the moment and it's hard to get out of a writing style when all you've been doing is reading it because you've been bored and your bangs could only take so much cutting."
-- Tavi Gevinson, The Style Rookie (Nov. 2010)
“The film version of Blake Nelson’s novel GIRL is a veritable parade of late-’90s teen stars… Think of it as a companion to My So-Called Life.”
--- “10 Must-See Films for Aspiring Punk Rock Girls Everywhere,” Flavorwire
"The Latest Outsider has a Skateboard: A Conversation with Gus Van Sant": The New York Times, (March 2, 2008)
“If you haven’t read GIRL, Nelson’s 90s-defining debut novel, get that immediately. It’s relevant and realistic and perfectly paced. Then check out his other work, including Destroy All Cars, which is pretty much the ideal anti-consumerist love story.”
--- I Heart Daily (June 2009)
"Essential Summer Reading": TeenVogue (May 2009)
“I find Girl sartorially inspiring less for its grunge aesthetic and more for its musings on fashion itself… It’s enough to make me wonder if I’m channeling the voice of Andrea Marr when I’m writing this blog.”
--- “Most Sartorially Inspiring Works of Fiction,” NOGOODFORME (May 2008)
“With Paranoid Park, author Blake Nelson–-previously best-known for his debut novel, Girl, which was also made into a film back in 1998–-seems to be trying something few authors do: He’s writing from the perspective of an actual teenager. Not putting teenagers into adult-style stories, or repackaging teenagers as the kind of 14-going-on-40 perky, precocious snark machines that films and television mostly make them out to be. The protagonist of Paranoid Park is a 16-year-old skateboarder who really does read like a 16-year-old, which is to say, kinda vapid, kinda confused, kinda stressed, and not very in touch with himself. He isn’t full of snappy one-liners and trenchant observations; Ellen Page’s Juno or any random character from Veronica Mars would take him to pieces in five seconds flat, while he watched with his mouth open. So he isn’t necessarily the most interesting guy in the world to read about. But like a character in a Judy Blume novel, he seems pretty true-to-life, and he’s likely to remind readers of their own misspent youths.”
--- “Book vs. Film: Paranoid Park,” The Onion’s A.V. Club (April 2008)
Blog Post New York Magazine (Nov. 2007)
"This examination [Paranoid Park] of guilt and responsibility in Portland, Oregon, pushes off fast and keeps going on a hell-bent course toward a conclusion teens can debate for days."
--- Chicago Sun Times (October 2006)
“Part cautionary tale and part love letter to the great American high school rock band, [Rock Star Superstar] has plenty of not-so-young-adult admirers”
--- “Wrapped Up in Books: A Guide to Rock Novels,” Bookslut (September 2005)
"Paranoid Allusion" Bookforum (Feb. 2008)
"GIRL, PLEASE" Feminist Geek's Essay on GIRL (The Movie) (Spring 2010)
"Destroy All Cars Review" 60 Second Recap's Book Pick of the Week (Youtube) (Spring 2010)