As Cool As I Am A Novel

Pete Fromm




Trade Paperback

416 Pages


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A Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Book of the Year

In this novel, Pete Fromm returns to the heart of Montana to introduce the unforgettable Lucy Diamond. Racing at breakneck pace toward adulthood, Lucy finds herself caught between the urgency and dread of leaving behind her tomboy ways. Guarding her heart with razor-edged wit and a toughness little more than skin-deep, Lucy watches as her mother, still young and unabashedly sexy, clings to her own dream of a youth she feels she's missed.

Living through a relationship equally steeped in tension and love, simultaneously embracing and resisting their similarities, the two Diamond girls are torn by their vulnerabilities and bound by their deep need for each other. Their crackling dialogue, both laugh-aloud funny and unerringly true, is often charged with Lucy's incisive humor and inimitable grit as she emerges into the womanhood that only she can forge for herself.


Praise for As Cool As I Am

"One of the more startlingly beautiful and evocative tales of young womanhood . . . Fromm's voice—on loan to Lucy—is provocative, gritty, erotic, hilarious, and genuine, and this book is a fresh breath of teen spirit."—San Francisco Chronicle

"This novel packs an emotional punch that sneaks up from behind . . . Fromm creates an engrossing coming-of-age saga that cuts to the essence and shines."—The Seattle Times

"Deceptively simple and so artfully constructed it takes you someplace far deeper than you expected . . . Lucy Diamond is the kind of woman Johnny Cash might have memorialized with his graveyard croon . . . A novel of great drive and soul."—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"As Cool As I Am is a story so rich and deep and real that it lingers like a memory long after the last page is turned. Pete Fromm has an amazing gift for creating characters we think we know. You'll not soon forget Lucy, the proud, tough Hi-Line teen who speaks this story. Her voice is haunting; her story is, by turns, starkly painful and outrageously funny. Weeks after finishing this book, I find myself thinking of her, wishing her well."—Judy Blunt, author of Breaking Clean

"Takes me back to growing up in north-central Montana and the time warp that is Great Falls. I've walked around those neighborhoods, and I knew those kids, Lucy and Kenny. Screwed up, bored, rebellious, and full of hormones. Pete Fromm just flat out nails it. Montana's great Teenage Wasteland."—Jeff Ament, Pearl Jam

"Fromm writes with such quiet power, such honest authority, that by the end of this novel I felt I had experienced something inevitable, true, and absolutely rare—something like an eclipse. I felt altered, as though I ochmight never witness it again."—Mark Spragg, author of The Fruit of Stone

"Spirited and sharply intelligent . . . This knowing coming-of-age story follows Lucy Diamond of Great Falls, Montana, for two years, from 14 to 16 . . . All the characters come alive, their stiletto tongues alternately wounding and caressing. Kenny, who truly loves Lucy, is sympathetic not just for himself, but for all the Kennys of the world who have little going for them but a kind nature and a true heart. When Lainee and Lucy finally bring their waiting days to an end, the unlikely conclusion owes more to fantasy than reality, but the emotions Fromm plumbs are painfully, poignantly real."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt


Holding his truck door open was my job, dangling there waiting for him and Mom to get it over with. In winter, it was always dark, the reflection of the headlights all we had, the last-gasp reach of the porch bulb, exhaust fog thick and wreathy around us. It was summer now, the air heavy and green-smelling, the sun almost up over the Highwoods, the sky white with it, but he was still leaving.
When they finally came slinking out of the house, I was still hanging off the end of his door like some kind of ornament. Even though Mom was all laughy and leaning on him, her legs these lethal
Read the full excerpt


  • Pete Fromm

  • Pete Fromm has won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award a record four times, most recently for As Cool As I Am. His past works include Night Swimming, How All This Started, and Indian Creek Chronicles. He lives with his family in Great Falls, Montana.
  • Pete Fromm Terry Fromm




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