“A must-read debut…funny, terrifically enjoyable.”
--The Daily Beast
“A joyride of a literary debut—an explosion of inventive language and observation.”
“The journey through the mind of a 17-year-old detention center resident named Jacob Higgins is harrowing, funny and so true-to-life that it almost hurts to go through with it. Except that you just … can’t … stop.”
"Extraordinary and imaginative...One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest meets Napoleon Dynamite.
“Stands out for its narrator, who despite a dark & angry point of view, charms the reader with his witty, smart turns of phrase and way of looking at the world.”
--Library School Journal
“A good bit funnier and a lot less mopey than the angsty adolescent male narrators from many coming-of-age books that have followed “Catcher in the Rye.”’
--The New Yorker Book Bench
“A totally enjoyable debut.”
"No matter how loudly I praised The Patterns of Paper Monsters, no matter how many classic coming-of-age stories I compared it to, the unforgettably sarcastic and broken and endearing narrator, Jacob Higgons, would no doubt roll his eyes and show his teeth in a smile that was more of a snarl and say, “Can’t you do better than that?” And I would want—as I wanted so many times when reading this debut novel—to slap him upside the head and strangle him into a hug. And you will feel the same way, utterly charmed and disgusted, ultimately moved, when you read what promises to be one of the best books of the year by one of our best new writers, Emma Rathbone."
--Benjamin Percy, author of The Wilding, Refresh, Refresh, and The Language of Elk
“Patterns of Paper Monsters is a dispatch from the teenage wasteland of a juvenile detention center, fervidly delivered by Emma Rathbone’s irreverent, perceptive, and achingly funny young hero, Jacob Higgins. He refuses to succumb to the numbness and absurdity of his incarceration, in turn holding a jagged mirror shard to adolescence, failed relationships, and life in modern America. A voice that is at once heartbreaking and hilarious, and startlingly true.”
--Lydia Peelle, author of Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing
"There is a new and seductive electricity in the voice of Emma Rathbone's brilliant young narrator, Jake Higgins. Listen to him! Unafraid, unsentimental, and destructively smart, The Patterns of Paper Monsters masterfully turns sadness into ecstatic, shocking laughter."
--Patrick Somerville, author of The Cradle