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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  4,673 ratings  ·  1,220 reviews
The Shoveler, the Freak, CanIHelpYou?, Loretta the Flea-Circus Ring Mistress, and First-Class Malcolm. These are the five teenagers lost in the Hemmings family's maze of tangled secrets. Only a generation removed from being simple Pennsylvania potato farmers, Gottfried and Marla Hemmings managed to trade digging spuds for developing subdivisions and now sit atop a seven-fi ...more
Hardcover, 394 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Dutton Books For Young Readers
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Nathan Byrnes Absolutely! Many of the characters are teens, but many are also adults. It's a difficult read, but is well worth the lifting (or, digging).
The Wicked King by Holly BlackKing of Scars by Leigh BardugoThe Gilded Wolves by Roshani ChokshiFinale by Stephanie GarberA Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
YA Novels of 2019
876 books — 2,993 voters
Shout by Laurie Halse AndersonLovely War by Julie BerryThirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura RubyLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko TamakiOn the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Printz 2020
25 books — 25 voters

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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,673 ratings  ·  1,220 reviews

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chai ♡
This book is supposed to be uncomfortable. I’d apologize, but I’m not sorry,” writes King.

Dig is a razor in print form—with just a faintly sheathed seething undercurrent of anger. Reading this book, a whirl of thoughts and feelings assailed me eightfold and I almost recoiled. For days, my thoughts were a jumbled string of words that barely held together as it tumbled end over end. There is a twisting feeling in my chest still, like cloth being wrung dry. This is the kind of novel that drives wo
Emily May
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Wish I could have raised you in a place where the history books don't lie, but pretty much all history books lie."

I broke my usual habit of reading books in a couple of days with Dig. I actually spent over a week dipping in and out of it while my family visited. And, strangely, I think it was the right decision for this book. It's a tough read in multiple ways. It's an uncomfortable, ugly read about multi-generational racism and the far-reaching consequences of hate and abuse - among other
Lala BooksandLala
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
And this is why Amy is my favourite author. Dig is just so perfect and my exact brand of weird; I feel like it was written just for me.
chan ☆
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
holy shit

vlog (reading booksandlala's faves):
may ❀
wow what the hell was that and why did it hurt so much
Hannah Greendale
This book gets under the skin and takes root. Highly recommend.

A. S. King's Printz Award winner is an unapologetic examination of generational racism, white privilege, and toxic masculinity in America. It's occasionally didactic, with King pushing her characters to extremes to enforce a theme, but the overemphasis is bearable and worth digging through.

Dig is a poignant contemporary novel with hints of mystery and inklings of a thriller. It's told from the viewpoint of several complex character
Kayla Dawn
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My heart hurts quite a bit
Oct 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 4, ya, 2019, starred-2019, printz
Printz Medal 2020

I love A.S. King, but this was not her best.

I am really not on the same page with the Printz Committee this year:(

One of the weakest A.S. King works, IMO. Too heavy on surrealism. Effective as a story of a dysfunctional family, dragging its dysfunction from one generation into the next. But heavy handed in how it takes on racism (although when isn't it when written by a well-meaning white lady?). Showing instead of telling would go a long way here. Basically, unde
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I never quite know how to talk about A.S. King's books. They aren't straightforward narratives that walk up and say "Here's your story and here's the lesson you should take from it." They're skittish things, like stray kittens, who nose up to you out of the corner of your vision but, when you turn to look at them, they dash away to hide in the shrubbery and peer out at you with glowing eyes. Dig is no exception. It twists and turns and bobs and weaves and not until the very end does it stay in o ...more
Sol ~ TheBookishKing
Mar 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse
4.5/5 Stars

i really enjoyed this, a lot. and then the ending holy crap that was shocking to me 😳

i kept zoning out while listening to it sometimes so id have to rewind it and then go back and listen again, so chances are i missed some details but overall i really loved this book
Yusra  ✨
I don’t really have words right now. “Dig” is not only one of the most important books I’ve read, it’s also one of the most unforgettable. A.S. King really DID THAT.

full RTC when I can actually understand how to describe this ugly, emotional masterpiece
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dig is the tenth novel by award-winning American author, A.S. King. The sixteen-year-old and his mom are new in this Pennsylvania town (though Mom says she has old business here). It’s January, and snowing a blizzard; he gets a snow shovel from the guy in the house next door to their leaky apartment, and becomes The Shoveler. For the old couple advertising painting work, he’s the painter kid.

The seventeen-year-old has lived here all her life. Her parents are rich so she doesn’t need to work, bu
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)
Jan 08, 2019 marked it as not-released-tbr

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Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
????? I'm really not sure what I just read???? but I think I loved it??????? wtf?????????

*when you think a book is gonna be about potato farmers but it's actually about white supremacy*
Neil (or bleed)
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
The first time I read Dig, I didn't get what this book is all about so I put it on my on-hold shelf. I can't absorb anything. It's an obvious A. S. King novel, with the magical realism, surrealism and the weird (that I'm used to) but I just didn't get it.

Until I found a physical copy in a bookstore some time later and read it for the second time. I still didn't get all the things the books are addressing, if I'm being honest, since there's a lot to learn and comprehend. But, I managed to learn
Alyssa Chrisman
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love A.S. King so much. This is the book I didn’t know I (we) needed until I read it.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
*Lady Gaga voice*: Talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show stopping, spectacular, never the same, totally unique, never been done before.

A.S. King’s books are so weird and so wonderful. Dig is a difficult book to explain, like many of her books. I’m not even going to begin to try and describe the plot. Just know that it’s an incredibly strange and moving story that covers many topics, such as family, abuse, privilege, race, death, and much more.

I know this isn’t going to be a book that
Monica (crazy_4_books)
I cannot believe more people haven't read this book! It touches topics that are very much present in America right now. It's aimed to a YA audience, but for me it's better for older teens say 16 years old onward and adults too. I don't usually give a YA book 5 stars since I'm in my forties, but this book is unique, can't even compare it to anything I've read so far in the genre.
The writing style is weird in a good way. You get introduced to these five cousins who have weird
Aug 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
Holy. Hell. I may never recover. After doing some digging (ha!) I realized that my reaction is exactly what the author hoped for. This is a story about racism passed down between the generations. It’s an exploration of white middle class privilege & includes all the social ills white suburban respectability tries to hide: class, sexism, patriarchy, abuse. As the pieces start to snap into place & the realities of normalized racism become clear it’s devastating. ...more
Text Publishing
'Brutally candid, Dig is well worth the intellectual and emotional investment.’
Shelf Awareness

'Dig represents the counter-intuitiveness of the best of the YA genre in being an ingeniously choreographed cautionary tale for all ages.'

Samantha (WLABB)
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, arcs, ya, sad, fabulism
Whenever I pick up an A.S. King book, I expect a story that takes on tough issues without flinching in an originally odd way, and we get that in spades with Dig.

The book was told via The Shoveler, Malcolm, The Freak, Loretta, and CanIHelpYou? - five very different teens, who were connected in some way. Their stories were all imbued with pain and heartbreak, as each was dealing with one or more social ills. Death of a parent, terminal illness, poverty, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, addic
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is about you, but you are nowhere in it.

And by you I mean me, as one always does. Which is a problem (or an opportunity?), and being reminded of that tension right there is one excellent reason to read A.S. King. So - who is it who is not in this book? Me. White middle-aged woman. White middle-aged middle class woman with kids. Once and future punk driving a sensible car. Sorrowful, frustrated, trying person.

It’s the good kind of invisible though - not the overlooked kind, more like th
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Review in wrap up:
Time stamps for titles are in description.
Wow, it has been a long time since I've read a YA book quite like this. The story digs underneath your skin, sharp and angry, and yet reading it made me feel so wholesome.

Let me explain that a bit.

In her afterword, A.S.King tells us that “This book is supposed to be uncomfortable. I’d apologize, but I’m not sorry.”, which well summarize the plot. While we follow five teenagers – The Shoveler, The Freak, CanIHelpYou?, Loretta the Flea-Circus Ring Mistress, and First-Class Malcolm – we discover h
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, favorites
This book made my head spin and this type of weirdness is exactly what I’ve been looking for. And that ending holy SHIT.

Following multiple different perspectives, we learn how the world works from the perspective of one family in one town in middle America. But this book brings so much more to the table than that.

The author stated this book was uncomfortable, and they were absolutely right. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is such an important book, especially nowadays. I had no idea what this book was about and Im glad, I think that is the way to go. It’s truly a masterpiece. The only reason Im not giving it 5 stars is because my expectations for the ending were too high, I figured the whole thing out pretty quickly, but the book is way more than just a shocking ending. It’s weird and enlightened and sad and fascinating. Everyone should read it.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
People are SLEEPING on King's novels. Especially this one. As ever, her books are weird and wonderful and hardhitting and heartfelt and just GOOD. "Dig" is both noticeably King but also unlike any of her other books. This one tackles a big sprawling family, a family with ancestors who were potato farmers, and a whole lot of the dirty issues that come with secrets, prejudices, teenage-hood, privilege, selling weed, anxiety, and finding purpose. It sounds like a lot, and in many ways it is. The na ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story remarkably weaves the characters together and apart. It was incredible to see how the story evolves. Excellent ya!
Aug 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
Before I begin to rant about Dig, I would like to say the one positive I drew from this book: the unique writing style. Usually I am annoyed by having several POVs, but I felt as though A.S. King did a wonderful job controlling the narrative. I actually enjoyed not knowing everyone's names but instead knowing them by how others perceived them. The Shoveler carried a snow shovel for a good portion of the book. The Freak was seen as a weirdo to others. CanIHelpYou? was a fast food employee on the ...more
Wilma (LifeGoofer)
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-buy
[4.75] aaaaarghhh, this book could have been a new favorite if the nature of "the Freak" wasn't resolved but rather a mystery. I like open endings and the fact that everything wrapped up makes me so mad...
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Goodreads Librari...: Book Cover Request 3 14 Jun 17, 2020 07:17AM  
ARTBA 2020: Dig 1 5 Apr 14, 2020 03:25PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Dig by A.S. King - Starting February 4th 2020 11 17 Feb 08, 2020 06:55PM  

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A.S. King is the author of the highly-acclaimed I CRAWL THROUGH IT, Walden Award winner GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE, REALITY BOY, 2013 LA Times Book Prize winner ASK THE PASSENGERS, 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ and THE DUST OF 100 DOGS as well as a collection of award-winning short stories f ...more

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“You wonder why I'm so uptight about entitle white culture? It's not just that I live here half the time and see real poverty. It's not just the snack baskets in first class. It's because entitled white culture encourages those inside it to never look outside their own fucking worlds. We blow everything off because we're so concerned with looking good we can't just feel.” 8 likes
The Freak knows this sounds corny because you're so used to looking at hateful shit, right? News shows and conspiracy theories. Rape jokes and dank memes. You're so used to the humor of the put-down that you didn't see that you slid down a hole and into a tunnel.
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