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Book review: Stefan Bachmann’s “The Peculiar”

Stefan Bachmann is the latest addition to the crop of teen authors that have sprung up over the course of the last decade or so.

With his debut novel “The Peculiar” — which he began writing when he was 16 — the 19-year-old joins the ranks of Christopher Paolini, Flavia Bujor, and Ned Vizzini as authors who’ve debuted in the publishing scene even before they were in their twenties.

But while buzz always surrounds these adolescent authors, the longevity of their careers is less certain. While Bujor’s “The Prophecy of the Stones was an international hit translated into 30 languages, people mostly attribute its success to the fact that Bujor wrote it when she was 12. Paolini became a New York Times bestselling author at the age of 19, but the books that followed his debut novel “Eragon” have been consistently panned by critics.

Bachmann himself has been getting a lot of buzz. Popular news site The Huffington Post named him as one of its “18 Under 18” for 2012, while Publishers Weekly named him as one of the “Flying Starts” of 2012. But will “The Peculiar” prove itself worthy of the hype surrounding its teenage author? Or will he meet the same fate as Bujor and Paolini?

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