Juliet Escoria's outstanding debut begins "That was the summer the waters in the lagoon swelled, and the gnats and the mosquitos swarmed in black clouds." This is a San Diego novel, and it's also a New York story--teenage threesomes, nosebleeds, nitrous, psyche meds, self-harm, bad love, beaches at night. Beyond everything, this book is full of sex and drugs--good sex, awful sex, good drugs, awful drugs. It's an uncomfortable read like a lot of true things are but the gentle, quiet pace and tone of the writing keeps you right there with her, taking the blows as they come and never pulling back. This is beautiful evisceration--awful and good.