Mood Swings

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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.

Additional information

Author

Frankie Barnet

Publication Date

May 21, 2024

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