Young Jane Young

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Sep 2017

Member Reviews

I LOVE The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and enjoyed the Birthright series, but Young Jane Young was a disappointment. Maybe it was starting with Aviva's mom, maybe it was the sex, maybe it was something else. In the end I felt like it was better and maybe if I were to reread this one I'd appreciate it more. It won't keep me from reading more by Gabrielle Zevin, but I won't be running out to recommend this book. 

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this book.
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This was a perfect palate cleanser for me, read between some books with heavier content. It was a great coming-of-age story with some emotional heft and plenty of sharp wit. And yet it didn’t feel heavy or burdensome. Definitely glad I found time for it.
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Young Jane Young is about a congressional intern, Aviva Grossman, who’s had an affair with a married congressman, her boss, and as the younger partner/less powerful partner/female partner, OF COURSE she takes the fall for the whole thing. The Monica Lewinsky parallels are obvious here, since Aviva finds herself publicly lampooned and privately broken-hearted, with a stalled career. Her name is synonymous with a particular sex act, while her affair partner continues his job and his marriage unscathed. 

So, Aviva changes her distinctive name, moves away and basically starts over, but as her daughter matures, parts of her past come back. Family is not the stated focus of the story, but it’s a clear theme as we see the rippled effects through Aviva, her mother, and her daughter.
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Really hated the choose your own adventure part. Found it took me out of the story. As for the story I felt it had potential but fell flat and I hated the sexual part of the relationship. Just felt creepy and cold.
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I enjoyed how this book wasn’t about what I thought it would be about. I enjoyed hearing the author’s take on how a woman reinvents herself. The women in this book were fascinating.  Young Jane Young is charming and definitely worth a read.
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Young Jane Young is another winner by Zevin. Well-developed characters with a humor-filled plot with surprising depth make this a great read to take on your next vacation.
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I really loved this book! I will have a proper review for this soon. Zevin is an all time favorite author of mine and she can do no wrong in my opinon.
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A wonderful book, from the voices of Women of many ages and professional positions.

I loved Young Jane Young It's a powerful short read. Jane is a woman who was once known as Aviva. Aviva was a college student who went to work as a congressional intern on a congressman's campaign. Aviva and said congressman end up having an affair. She can't really talk to anyone about this relationship because of the trouble it could cause herself and the congressman. She manages to muster up the courage to tell her mother, who, of course, tells her to end the relationship because it's going to lead to no good. When Aviva feels like she can no longer talk to her mother she starts an anonymous blog to write about her experience (not a great idea.)

Eventually, Aviva's world is turned upside down. The one thing her mother, Rachel, feared happens. The secret affair is no longer a secret, the blog is no longer a secret. The congressman somehow walks away almost untouched. His wife continues to be by his side, while Aviva is seen as an immoral woman. The story almost reminds me of The Scarlett Letter , but a more modern version. 

I loved the way Young Jane Young is written. You get to hear the story from the point of view of multiple women, of different ages. The narrators in this story are Aviva (Jane), the Congressman's wife, Rachel (Aviva's Mother), and Ruby (Jane's Daughter), more than 10 years later. If you're a feminist you must read this book! I highly recommended it. If you're someone who likes books with strong women characters pick this one up!
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Feminist, timely and uniquely constructed, this novel is a commentary on motherhood, womanhood and politics. 

Thanks to Algonquin for the review copy of this title - all opinions are my own. 

I don't often read the word "slut" in books and still keep reading - this is a word that I DETEST and I will publicly call out a book for portraying slut-shaming as okay. However, this book is ABOUT slut-shaming and the insanity of it, and THAT is okay in my world. YOUNG JANE YOUNG tells the story of a congressional intern who had an affair with a congressman, but it's actually mainly the story of how the public outcry impacts the other women in her life - her mother, her daughter, and the wife of the congressman. I loved that the book was narrated by these different women, and also that different sections were in formats such as email and a Choose Your Own Adventure story. 

Zevin's essay about this book in the Algonquin Reader gives insight into her experience as a child with the double standards in politics, and also speaks to the current climate for women in politics - basically, a woman putting on a suit does NOT magically make her equal to men in the eyes of the voting public. 

I really, really enjoyed this book and read it in one day - I love the motherhood focus and getting into the heads of all of the different female characters. Highly recommended as a light read for readers interested in feminism and politics!
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Thank you Netgalley for my review copy for an impartial review. 
I wasn't particularly excited about reading this but really got into it. It flowed very well and the characters were really down to earth and believable. I loved the way the second half of the book was written at a fast pace with that adventure choice options that reminded me of my childhood books. I hope there is a sequel because id love to know what happens next.
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No one lives in a vacuum and to tell this particular tale - Young Jane Young - Gabrielle Zevin uses multiple voices and various storytelling techniques. First there's Rachel Grossman who is the typical Jewish mother, Yiddish and all. Divorced from her husband, her best friend, Roz Horowitz, convinces her to try a dating service. Unfortunately, none of the men click, and one even brings up an old scandal which Rachel would rather not remember. 

Rachel loves her daughter Aviva (Aviva's father - not so much) and if she's a little critical, it's only because it's a mother's job to watch out for her only child. So when Aviva has an affair with a married man, Rachel urges her to stop immediately. Still in college, the young girl doesn't realize the ramifications of her actions, at least not until it's too late. So when everything blows up with the online details keeping her from pursuing a career, Aviva decides that it's best that she relocate somewhere that doesn't have a Florida zip code, removing herself from everyone in her past, including her mom. 

Then there's Embeth, the cuckolded wife who never really cared for her former neighbor Rachel, and definitely did not like the youngster who was screwing her husband. Yet in the long term, Aviva was out of the picture and she was still the Congressman's wife.

Enter Jane Young and her daughter Ruby. Jane is an event planner specializing in weddings in Allison Springs, Maine where she has met and cultivated friendships with many of the important people of the town including the wealthy editor of the local newspaper, Mrs Morgan. Jane is a good listener, skilled at researching obscure details for any style wedding, successful at planning the perfect event.

Precocious Ruby is her mother's able assistant, even as a toddler. Now at thirteen she's more than capable of handling any situation and, like her mother, adept at averting those unexpected crisis. Perfectly self sufficient she handily deals with the typical middle school angst, preferring to focus on really important matters. Yet there's one thing that does bug the youngster - the question of her paternity, but since the subject upsets her mother she defers her curiosity, at least until it hits her in the face and chaos ensues. 

Gabrielle Zevin explores the perplexities of womanhood in modern society with warmth and humor as each of the characters struggle to survive the traumas of their lives with varying degrees of success.  Zevin pragmatically presents the ugly side of life along with the success stories while throwing in the details of the normal day to day and in between.

Each story teller is well defined and even the supplementary characters such as Roz, the kindly florist, and wealthy Mrs Morgan are more than bit players. Despite the obvious comedy some real issues are exposed, including a prevailing note of misogyny where men are blameless while women are required to carry the guilt. 

Zevin (who also wrote the novel, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry) has a way with words, revealing an engaging plot with enough laughter to get us through the difficult sections. If anything I was ready for more and lamented when I read the last page (hopefully a sequel is in the works to tie up the numerous loose ends). This one was difficult to put down, so be sure to free up some time in your schedule. 

Four and a half stars and a thank you to Netgalley and Algonquin Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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It's odd that I enjoyed this book because it's flawed in ways that generally annoy me so much I'll quit reading. None of the characters are really likrabke, the main character is not at all easy to sympathize with, and the characters are actually more caricatures than anything. The book can't decide if it's serious, satirical or comedic. Perhaps the author meant it to be a blend of the three? If so, it's not particularly well done. And yet - and yet it's compelling. The book, for all it's flaws, makes you want to know what happens next, what happened to bring these people to where they are, how will it end. The ending, though leaving one good-sized question unanswered, is satisfying.
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I tried, but couldn't get into this book. I'm not sure what it was, but I just had trouble connecting with the story. So I stopped reading, something I rarely do, but I realize not all books are for everyone. This was one of those for me.
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I read this quickly. On one hand it was humorous, on the other it was thought-provoking.

A reimagining of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Aviva is an intern for an attractive congressman. They have an affair, yadda yadda yadda, the truth gets out and Aviva's life is ruined while the congressman escapes with nary a scratch.

I loved that the story was told from four perspectives: Aviva's, Aviva's mother, Rachel; Aviva's eventual daughter, Ruby; and the congressman's wife, Embeth.

The author does a masterful job of bringing up the nuances of feminism, our culture of slut-shaming, and the times when women can let one another down in some spectacularly shitty ways.

The ending was nicely done, and I'm glad that Aviva somehow gathered the strength to persist despite constantly being beaten down by her past ... and even her daughter.

The one criticism I have is that there is not a single halfway decent male character in the book. They are all unapologetically terrible people, which comes across as extremely heavy-handed from the author.
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I loved this book. It was funny and heartwarming.  I really liked all the characters and especially the little girl Ruby.  I would highly recommend!
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I’m a huge fan of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry  (if you haven’t read it- just do it right now!). Young Jane Young is a fun and timely departure into the world of politics and would make a perfect book club selection.

In this story, a politician becomes involved with a young intern who has been keeping an “anonymous blog” with juicy details of her scandalous affair. When the affair is brought to light, Aviva must move and try to start fresh with a new identity. She changes states, her name, and even steps out of politics to become a wedding planner. She is constantly dodging her past though because the story became national news.

You might think this one doesn’t sound that interesting (we’ve heard this story before, right?), but Zevin smartly plays it out from many viewpoints (her mother, the wife, the daughter, and Jane’s own view). With this unique perspective we are able to see the story in a different way and the slut-shaming that can occur when political scandals happen.

This book examines the many different roles of women and the double standards that occur in the political arena.

I really loved it and I think you will too. It is a quick page-turner with a lot of meat for discussion!
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Lovely story. Timely. Totally worth your time.

When I saw this book a few months back, I got really excited mainly because I read Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and I LOVE that book. Gabrielle Zevin easily became an auto-buy author for me because why not?

Young Jane Young follows Aviva Grossman, a Congressional intern who made a mistake of having an affair with her boss -- the Congressman. When the affair became news, Aviva took the fall while the Congressman still holds his position and lives off his life like nothing happened. She was the talk of the town, shamed for the affair. This event pushed Aviva to move to another town far from where she was from and start over as a wedding planner.

The story is told in three different points of view -- Aviva's mother, Aviva herself, and Aviva's daughter. Zevin is really an amazing storyteller and I love how each voice is distinct from the other. The story also flows seamlessly and I end up really feeling for Aviva as I read on. She makes mistakes but faces them herself. She's a strong woman and this story is perfectly well-timed especially with all the talks on feminism and equality at the time prior to its publication. It's a strong book that really puts the topic at the center of it and delivers it well.

Young Jane Young is also choose-your-own-adventure type of novel. While I saw the possible paths which weren't very amusing to be honest, I followed the main story which is really good. I was hooked right from the beginning and I love that there are so many beautiful words from this novel.

OVERALL, Young Jane Young is an important novel to be read. It's a strong novel about feminism. It has a strong and complex heroine who made mistakes yet at the same time does her best to handle it.
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Did not finish. Unfortunately I did not find the story line interesting enough to continue.
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Aviva Grossman was an ambitious Congressional intern who made the huge mistake of having an affair with her boss, a beloved Congressman. The relationship was a secret for a long time, but one unfortunate event led Aviva to become the Monica Lewinsky of South Florida. Although the scandal was a local one, in the age of the internet and search applications, Aviva was unable to obtain employment even in states far away from Florida.

After yet another stupid mistake, Aviva decides to change her name, leave Florida and move to Allison Springs, Maine, where she has made a life for herself and her daughter. For more than 12 years, Aviva, now Jane Young, has been an event planner. Her political aspirations probably would have remained buried if not for the fact that Allison Springs needs a new mayor. After a bit of persuasion, Aviva decides to become a candidate. However, it is not easy to hide your past, especially in the political arena. What will she do once the forbidden affair comes to light?
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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Spite. I finished his book out of spite. This book was perfectly fine, kitschy, somewhat quirky in its delivery in that it toggles from person to person viewpoint at times and even devolves into a lengthy section of teen pen pal correspondence. Let's recap my stunning dip into ladies' book club literature, because I simply cannot fathom a) another subcategory for this type of book (and no, this is not a criticism, just not my clique, although--dammit--I did like Time Traveller's Wife and The Help, whatever) and b) why I read it straight through. Southern Floridian Jewish women kibbitz and kvetch about the scandalous affairs of a young intern named Aviva and an older congressman named Aaron Levin. Fast forward between 10 and 15 years near coastal Maine and Jane Young, event planner, single mom, and citizen blender inner extraordinaire suddenly is encouraged to run for mayor of her small town. The stories intersect. I honestly don't have a major problem with this book except that I don't know if I was the intended target audience. Just not my thing.
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