The Last Bookstore happily welcomes author Ian Mark as he attempts to cure the world of RomCom Syndrome one lonely reader at a time. Join us for a reading from his debut novel Love from Amanda to Zoey followed by a discussion and special signing!
Pre-buy the book – even reserve a seat – right here!
Everything comes easy for Zach Johnston. Only 24 years old, he’s got it all– the girl, the high paying tech job, and the rent-controlled apartment in the Village. But when his best friend overdoses and his girlfriend leaves him, his inability to connect with other people overwhelms him.
Desperate to hide his pain from Amanda, the ex who met “11 out of 13 criteria” on his friend’s most important checklist, Zach plasters on a smile as he rejoins his single friends chasing girls at seedy bars and grungy apartments, hoping the emptiness inside him will disappear if he pretends it doesn’t exist. As he descends into a haze of weed, booze, and hallucinogens, Zach recognizes his remaining friendships for what they are— partnerships of convenience, forged long ago simply on the shared desire to get high and get laid, continuing to this day because the effort required to replace them is too great. He also turns his judgmental lens inwards and begins to understand the consequences of his one night stands and shameless flirting, and the perils of assuming everyone he meets is dumber than he is.
At the peak of this crisis of confidence, Zach meets Zoey Mclemore, the beautiful, intelligent woman he has always told himself he could love and marry. Eating caramels sober with her is better than being drunk or high with anyone else. But when Zoey finds Zach drunk and alone with Amanda, he knows he must show Zoey he is ready to be an adult, or face never watching Spongebob with her again.
Equal parts whimsical romantic comedy and cynical literary fiction, Love from Amanda to Zoey is the story of a successful man who doesn’t feel like he’s successful or a man, and his struggle to understand the meanings of life and Zoey’s latest text.
Ian Mark first dipped his toes into the writing waters as a high school senior when his essay equating college admissions with dating was published in Boston Globe Magazine. After a string of one-night standard applications he hooked up with NYU and spent the next 3 years immersed in Manhattan (and yes, sigh, occasionally Brooklyn) nightlife. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude with a B.A in English and American Literature in 2015. Forgoing a lucrative career in… uh… Englishonomics maybe? Ian placed his degree somewhere he cannot remember and absconded to Pasadena, CA, where he hosts The Pasadonuts Improv Livestream every week and works as an actor in film and television. His writing has appeared in Hive Magazine, Outrageous Fortune, CelticsBlog, the Newton Tab, and Washington Square News. He grew up in Newton, MA, where he perfected the art of faking illness to skip school and read novels all day. After reading a thousand or so he began imagining writing his own. After a hundred more he jumped in the deep end. This is his first novel. He has no children or pets. Follow him on Twitter @TheRealIanMark
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