Cartwheel

Thoughts on Jennifer duBois's Second Novel, Cartwheel

Written by Sofia Sokolove

Jennifer duBois's second novel, Cartwheel, can only be read at a manic, stay-up-all-night kind of pace. It’s a story that moves with such urgent momentum from the very beginning that you don’t even quite realize its intensity—how swiftly and dizzyingly and fully you have been swept up into its world—until the whole thing is over.

It’s a story that has already pulled us in once, albeit in a different, “real-life” form, through tabloids and international media coverage. Pretty, young, well-off American exchange student is accused of murdering her equally pretty and young roommate. Drugs, sex, and a mysterious foreign boy all become wrapped up in the narrative that we—personally and as a country—construct.