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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,094 ratings  ·  579 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 ...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).

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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,094 ratings  ·  579 reviews

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Chaima ✨ شيماء
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
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
Kayla Dawn
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My heart hurts quite a bit
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 ...more
Oct 18, 2019 rated it liked it
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,
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,
“Bill has his snake with him—wrapped around his neck and tucked into his coat.”

This is the first book I’m going to hold up to anyone who says all young adult books are the same. This book is entirely its own thing. And it’s quietly judging everyone else in the room.

Dig follows SEVEN povs, all of which are connected. Even though each voice sounds a little bit the same...except for Loretta’s pov!!!!!! I love that cutie pie with my entire heart...I was still invested in everyone’s story.

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.
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.'

Neville Longbottom
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
Sep 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Review in wrap up:
Time stamps for titles are in description.
Samantha (WLABB)
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, ya, arcs, sad, magical_realism
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,
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
Deborah Embury
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 ...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!
Sam Bloom
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction
Holy shit what did I just read o_O
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, fiction
Jesus Christ, this is incredible. I think my new favorite of her books, and I love all of her books.
Gary Anderson
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You know how when we’re living life, it’s just right there on the surface, but there is also this feeling that there is more to it—that things are going on beneath the surface, and things are maybe more connected than they seem? That’s what A. S. King’s Dig. is about, and it’s also how it feels to read it.

The characters have secrets, some of which they are keeping, some of which are kept from them. One girl deals drugs from the Arby’s drive-thru. Another girl pretends her life is a movie set.
Sydney Reads Mae
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5/5 stars. I don’t know what to say. The story really unraveled and fit perfectly together by the end. I have never read a book like this and I loved it. The character development in this story was just...amazing. You can’t even put it into words. And the writing style, oh my gosh the writing style was poetic, beautiful, unique, and ahh so much more! At the beginning I did get lost a little bit but I think that that’s because I didn’t know it would be told the way it was told. But I loved the ...more
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was amazing. My 100th book of the year also turned out to be a new favorite. I'm so happy.
Nov 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, arc
I just had the honor of reading an Advanced Reader's Copy of A.S. King's newest novel, expected March 2019, and it's an emotional, wild read. Throughout the novel, King puts the characters (figuratively) "in a blender," and that's kind of what happens to the reader. It's an emotional spin cycle of a book, both for its sensitive subject matter and its uneven storylines. I would still recommend it to fans of King—but this is probably not the best "first" King novel to read.

There is no doubt in my
Alex Johnson
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can't tell if this was a mystery, a discussion of whiteness, or an exploration of mental illness; it's probably all three. A. S. King takes us through the lives of five teenagers mainly and the characters that surround them. These young adults are navigating parental pressures, substance pressures, and their own pressures to own who they truly are. All characters struggle to right their inner world and connect to the people in their lives, who are also enwrapped in their own heads. King weaves ...more
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My previous review stated that “[t]he only flaw in this book was a misspelled word that made it through copy edits.” I went back to find said word, and came up empty. I think my mind was so blown by the amazingness of A.S. King’s writing that I forgot how to spell “January.” Everything about this book is perfect. Perfect.
3.5 stars...
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to find words for this book, honestly. There is so much here worth discussing. It is literary and sophisticated, but also approachable. It seems like you could read it several times and peel back the layers of the story and the symbolism gradually. Beautifully written, heartbreaking, and yet hopeful.
Dec 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you’re seeing this review, read this book.
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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 ...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.” 4 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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