Mood Swings

A Novel

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Pub Date 21 May 2024 | Archive Date 07 May 2024

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*"For fans of Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This (2021). An off-kilter, hauntingly hilarious debut novel." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] bonkers story . . . Despite the sobering material, this is a hoot." —Publishers Weekly

In a pre-apocalyptic world not unlike our own, a young Instagram poet starts an affair with a California billionaire who's promised a time machine that will make everything normal again—whatever that means.

Everyone knows something’s off, but nobody can agree on just what it is. Maybe it’s the weather; maybe everyone’s just so damn sensitive these days. Or maybe it’s because the animals of the world have finally had enough, besieging towns and cities and terrorizing their human residents.

Jenlena and her best friend Daphne are two humanities grads in their early 20s, trying to find their way in a society that has just eradicated all animals for the safety of humanity. In the post-fauna world, Jenlena transforms from an aspiring poet to a gig worker, capitalizing on other people’s grief by selling house plants that have come to replace pets and cosplaying as dogs for pay. Meanwhile Daphne, a once-promising student, flounders in a deep depression, smoking weed and ditching work to hang out with her once famous, now canceled boyfriend. When Jenlena meets the California billionaire Roderick Maeve, and the two become romantically entangled, she is exposed to a new understanding of wealth, power, and the gender economy—just as the world hurtles toward its alleged salvation.

Marked with Frankie Barnet’s poignant intelligence and sly sense of humor, Mood Swings is a stand-out debut novel that imagines with pitch-perfect absurdity what comes after life as we know it.
*"For fans of Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This (2021). An off-kilter, hauntingly hilarious debut novel." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] bonkers story . . . Despite the sobering...

Marketing Plan

MARKETING AND PUBLICITY PLANS • Cover reveal on Astra House social media • National media campaign including print, radio, podcasts, and online coverage • Pitch for feature stories and profiles, as well as original fiction and nonfiction pieces • Select author events including independent bookstores and festivals • Target outreach to publications and reviewers focused on debuts, literary fiction, female friendships, and satire • Book club and library promotions • Multi-month pre-publication and post-publication campaign on Astra House socials • Online promotions including e-newsletters and highlights on website • ARC Giveaways in trade media, including Goodreads and Netgalley • Targeted #Bookstagrammer outreach

MARKETING AND PUBLICITY PLANS • Cover reveal on Astra House social media • National media campaign including print, radio, podcasts, and online coverage • Pitch for feature stories and profiles...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781662602597
PRICE $26.00 (USD)

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Average rating from 17 members

Featured Reviews

Entertaining and wholly original. A recommended purchase for collections where offbeat litfic is popular.

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Mood Swings completely flipped my head around and made me rethink dystopian and climate fiction. This book kept me curious and frankly guessing the entire time because it's so delicately woven and so surprising in both the language and plot development. I really appreciated how this book covered sexual violence, bodily autonomy, and consent while in an apocalyptic setting, and the references to social media and Instagram poets kept me chuckling but also mortified. This one feels like a great combination of RO Kwon's The Incendiaries meets Allegra Hyde's The Last Catastrophe.

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Engaging, witty, and hilarious. Mood Swings felt like a fresh take on the dystopian genre. One of the most unique books I have read for a long time, and one that I won't be forgetting any time soon. Absolutely wonderful!

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This book was wonderfully weird. I really liked the premise and writing style, the mix of normal prose and social media posts. I feel like every chapter had at least one line that was strikingly poignant. The only downside was I felt the ending was a bit underwhelming. But overall I had fun reading this book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Astra House for the ARC!

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What a delightful weirdo of a read. From the jump, Mood Swings slams with a dystopian potpourri that can overwhelm — and that’s the point. Part satire, part existential dread, Barnet’s sharp, yet not-too-serious commentary on the future is worth all the wackiness within.

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I love the prose in this very trendy, off-beat debut lit fic, but the plot fell a little flat for me. But really, the plot wasn't the point here. What is it like to be a young person when the world is falling apart, when your ambitions haven't even really developed yet? What is hope when good things have kind of disappeared?

Darkly funny. Gorgeous attention to language. Also, that cover is incredible.

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MOOD SWINGS is an absolutely bonkers book and I think I loved it. Maybe. It will certainly stay with me, at the very least. It's unlike anything I've read, but at the same time, felt a lot of MADE FOR LOVE by Alissa Nutting vibes. My second book in a row about climate apocalypse! It's obvious that this book is not an easy read, and certainly stay away if you don't like the idea of all the animals in the world dying.

We follow two disaffected 20-something women who are passively affected by the changes in the world (weird weather, weird cults, weird billionaires). They have cancelled boyfriends and an apartment that may or may not have burned down on purpose. They are poets, but don't really write anything. Jenlena and Daphne are the climate antiheros we rarely see in literature and Barnet's frank wit, cutting commentary, and truly unique prose make this a once in a lifetime book. It's weird and wonderful.

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I have not laughed so hard reading in years (ok, since Book of Ayn, but still! there are few books that can make me cackle like thus). MOOD SWINGS is a riotous gem of a novel. I didn't want it to end. I can't wait for Barnet's next. Thanks to the publisher for the e-galley!

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This was such an unexpectedly fun read!! Went into this with no clue of the premise (I just really loved the weird cover haha), and couldn't put this down. The pacing was perfect, the characters full of heart and oddness, and the premise so entertaining. This book reminded me how much I love dystopian and climate-change awareness books. Would have loved more time with certain characters and less with some, but overall I'd highly recommend this book!! Thank you to NetGalley and Astra Publishing House for this book!

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A wonderfully weird book! This kept me guessing and on my toes the whole read. I liked the writing style and it was just so unique. The ending wasn’t my favorite but overall I liked it!

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I am so thankful to Astra House Publishing, Frankie Barnet, and Netgalley for granting me advanced digital and physical access to this delusional bitty before it hits shelves on May 21, 2024.

The world is on the cusp of ending, especially after the siege where all the animals decided to start attacking humans and ended up dead by a sonic frequency release, orchestrated by Rodrick Maeve, a tech-startup billionaire... Yep, you read all of that right... we're in delulu land with this one.

Jenlena and her roommate Daphne are doing their best to survive after the animals attempted a full takeover, and they keep losing people they know to the Moon Bethlehems. This violent activist group stands for climate change/weather support and commits crimes against fracking and other oil refineries to make their vision known. Jenlena's stepfather, Christopher, works at one of these refineries and is no stranger to their harassment. Daphne is dating a canceled man named Jordan, who slept with and abused a minor to further his music career. I guess. All this is to say that everyone is realistically doing what they can to survive.

When Rodrick Maeve announces his latest invention—the time machine—everyone freaks out and praises this celebrity for his innovative ideas. They hold out hope for a day when the animals can come back, and things can resemble more normality. Jenlena starts sleeping with Rodrick, and her crew is anxious to hear the outcomes of their decaying world.

Told in an absurdist, fictional manner, Mood Swings is very reminiscent of the mood swings and meltdowns that our world experiences daily. Will there be another world war? Is climate change killing us all? When will cars fly? All this to say that I enjoyed such reflective fiction and look forward to more of Frankie Barnet's work to come.

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Mood Swings is a delightfully weird romp through Gen Z, social media, and environmental collapse, complete with an Elon Musk cameo character! Each sentence was equally bizarre and hilarious, and I appreciated the author's ability to craft something so unique and yet so relatable. I especially love books with protagonists who are bad at things, and Jenlena's horrendous poetry really hit the spot. Would recommend if you like colorful prose, inventive plot lines, and unsympathetic characters!

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