The Lay of LaLa Land

Fiction - New Adult
317 Pages
Reviewed on 09/14/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

What inspired me to write this?

To be perfectly honest, the story of The Lay of LaLa Land sprang from an insane date I had about twenty years ago. It was one of those crazy-ass nights that stayed with me in a way that I found to be funny, sexy, dangerous, and after time to reflect on the whys and the what the fucks, ... heartbreaking.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

If you decide to tackle The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles, expect the unexpected. Expect to find yourself laughing out loud at Lenny Dushoff’s wild mental meanderings, social and personal insecurities, and multitude of physical…or is it psychosomatic…ailments. Expect to be repulsed by his successful, overweight father whom Lenny hates with a passion. Depending on your sensibilities, expect to be possibly offended by the language and preoccupation of his hormone-overloaded college buddies with sex. Expect to be as puzzled, curious and confused, as Lenny is, by his first sexual experience with his ultimate true love, Jane. And finally, expect to be shocked by the ending of The Lay of LaLa Land which, unless you’re very intuitive, you most likely will never see coming till it does.

A.Y. Miles is a very clever writer. Skilled at coming up with fresh metaphors that fire your imagination, his way with words is enviable. He captures Lenny’s rather nerdy persona beautifully: he is a 135-lb naive, insecure young adult who tries hard to never offend anyone. Unlike his successful father, a psychologist and acclaimed author, Lenny doesn’t see himself as succeeding at anything: his career or his love life. Lenny’s buddies want to help him out and cheer him on, but it is Jane who ultimately helps him find himself and his strength. Miles uses Lenny’s reflections and dialogue between the characters so well, readers can easily feel their emotions and understand their motivations. As crazy as this story, its characters and the plot line sometimes seem to be, one gradually senses this is not really a funny, coming of age story after all. It is, as a Seattle Book Review reviewer stated, “a brutally honest portrait of life and reality”, and that reality is neither funny nor pretty.

Pick up a copy of The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles if you dare to be shocked on several levels. This book is not for those offended by colourful language full of sexual innuendo and even borderline pornographic description. But it is an absorbing read for anyone with an open mind who reads a book to get at its real message. That message, in The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles, is an important one.

Jack Magnus

The Lay of LaLa Land is a new adult coming of age novel written by A.Y. Miles. If Lenny were living in a fairy tale, his father would be the ogre who terrified all and sundry, while stuffing his portly frame with ever more food. Lenny both loathed and feared the man who was a prominent psychiatrist and yet surprisingly clueless about his personal interactions with others, particularly his family. Dr. Robert Moral was an acclaimed author who had appeared on Oprah after publishing his book on staying happily married ever after. The irony of the fact that his father divorced his mother soon after that TV appearance, lost several hundred pounds of blubbery fat, and married a 21-year-old coed wasn’t lost on Lenny. Lenny, in his fairy tale, was no Prince Charming either -- far from it. He was all length and angles with a face he considered to be a suitable base for a Mr. Potato Head toy. Girls wanted nothing to do with him; he was virtually invisible to them. Even his sophomore roommate, who looked like a turtle, had some minor success with girls, but Lenny seemed doomed to stay a virgin forever.

A.Y. Miles’s darkly humorous new adult coming of age novel, The Lay of LaLa Land, is an enthralling read. The hapless hero does, somehow, miraculously end up with a girl, even if she is the upcoming attraction in a Fortune’s 500 gang-bang rape video, featuring the brilliant young woman and 500 self-proclaimed horn-dogs. Lenny is a complex combination of empathy, caring and fear. His father, the ogre, looms constantly over his consciousness, no matter how geographically distant. When Lenny, in an unusual show of bravado, stands up to the man during a telephone conversation, his father’s threats to be there in person, are chilling and have an instant effect. Lenny’s choice to stay with his father when his parents divorced, his obsession with Betty Anne, the coed his father married and physically abused, and whose later suicide Lenny thinks he might have averted, and his current attempts to save Jane from herself are major themes in this book that hints throughout that fairy tales don’t always have to have happy endings -- and very rarely do. The Lay of LaLa Land is highly recommended.

Joel R. Dennstedt

The main thing that makes The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles so immediately and consistently funny is the perfect pitch of authenticity in the young narrator’s voice. We are in the presence of a socially embarrassing, perfectly candid adolescent; but don’t worry, he’s in therapy. Perhaps for wanting to see his mother naked. Okay, his step-mom. The delight of this book is that Lenny Moral (once a Dushoff) is keenly able to discern and discuss the moral differences concealed in such a nuance. As for his father: “Maybe he wanted me to be a psych major so I could be the one to figure out why he was such an asshole.” Also, and not to be discounted, the title is ingeniously constructed to both lead and mislead the reader about the contents. Best to just take it literally.

So, Lenny Dushoff – a most delightfully self-deprecating, intelligent, perceptive but naive young college student en-dormed on an L.A. campus – spends a great deal of his valuable time diligently trying to show you The Lay of LaLa land, and also to be avidly seeking one [sic] himself. Amazing that such a noble endeavor should be so filled with blindsiding if often subtle humor, and that it would provoke so many sudden if involuntary laugh-out-louds from the reader. A.Y. Miles is skilled enough to reproduce the utter inanity of adolescent humor, but with a finesse fine enough to catch the adult reader off his too-serious, maturity-induced, self-congratulatory game. Simply stated: you will laugh your butt off - and then bask in an afterglow of guilty pleasure. But oh, did I not mention the heartrending pathos, the stifling terror, the tragedy? My apologies.

Jessyca Garcia

The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles is a book I will never forget. The story is about a young man named Lenny Dushoff. Lenny is a very unique and weird guy. First of all, he has a love/hate relationship with his father. Mostly he just loves to hate him. Second, he has no clue about women. So when he meets Jane, he falls hard. That is until he learns her little secret, then he makes it his job to save her.

The Lay of LaLa Land is a very sexual book. So if you have a problem reading the thoughts of a horny young male, then do not read it. The main thing I liked about this book was that I never knew what to expect. A.Y. Miles had me laughing at the ways things kept turning out for Lenny. I knew this was going to be an interesting story as soon as I read how Lenny referred to his dad as fat. You never knew what words will come out of Lenny’s mouth or what odd situation he will stumble upon. I loved it when Lenny was talking to the two women on the boat and kept getting their names wrong. I literally was laughing my head off.

As funny as this story was, it also had some serious things that took place in it. The ending kind of shocked me. That was one thing I would never have expected from this story. It is also one of the reasons that I will never forget this book. Overall, I rather liked this book! The sarcastic humor throughout the story is something that I really love. I would definitely like to read more of A.Y. Miles’ work in the future.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles is a coming of age story. Caught spying on his step-mother, Lenny is packed off to a mental hospital for a 3-day evaluation. Seven years on, Lenny sees himself as a loser, very insecure, shy and quiet and with absolutely no sexual experience whatsoever. At university, he finds what he thinks is true love, but she’s hiding a secret and when Lenny discovers it, this could bring her whole world crashing down around her. As Lenny learns about sex, life, and love, he finds himself falling foul of his lover’s “business partners” and things are about to take a scary turn. It could be curtains for Lenny or it could be the best thing that ever happened to him.

The Lay of LaLa Land by A.Y. Miles is a strangely entertaining read. Told in the voice of Lenny, it covers many serious subjects but with a touch of dark, somewhat twisted humor. The main protagonist is written really well and you can feel everything he feels, walk his life with him. This is a great book for pre-college students to read, but not too pre-college as there are quite a few scenes in the story that are not for younger readers. That said, it is a fun read as well as being serious and Mr. Miles has dealt with the delicacy of growing up and sexuality very well. This is a story with the whole gamut of emotions in it and the ending will leave you with a dropped jaw! Highly recommended for people who want something a little bit different with a definite story to it - be prepared to laugh your socks off.