The Applicant is the debut novel I truly think I’ve been waiting to find my whole life. We follow Leyla, a twenty-something-year-old Turkish woman living in Berlin and working at a hostel. Her days consist of cleaning Alice in Wonderland-themed bedrooms, dipping in and out of hazy, techno-heavy clubs, and trying to find a balance of love, all while also trying to retain her German citizenship. Everything is so well done in this, but the themes of immigration and modern love struggles were perfectly executed. It’s raw, it’s real, it’s brilliant.
The Applicant by Nazli Koca, (List Price: $26, Grove Press, 9780802160546, February 2023)
Reviewed by Grace Sullivan, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia