Cover Image: Old Enough

Old Enough

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Member Reviews

This book was the quintessential coming of age story for queer kids. Yes, part of it is about SA. But most of it is about the evolution of coming into who you are, letting go of who you expected yourself to be, and figuring out where you fit in the world.

The cast of characters are were people I want to know. I want Vera to get me dressed up on a Friday night and Candace to drag me somewhere fun when I feel unsure of myself. I loved the friendship dynamics between Sav and her school friends, and I deeply felt the sorrow of her outgrowing her old life and having to say goodbye to who she was “before.” 

This story was just really beautiful and awkward and messy in all the ways that growing up can be and I hope any young person who is feeling a little out of sorts has access to stories like these. Also please someone make this a tv series because I would watch the hell out of it!!! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Haley Jakobsen, and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
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I enjoyed reading this novel a lot :) Every time I put it down, I constantly thought about it & wondered what the characters are doing next. Loved how it showed off the internal separation of the one we were in high school and the one we are in college and then learning to let go off people simply because they can no longer be a part of our lives now. The ending was the best and what I wished for it to happen from the beginning on. This is a great debut novel👏🏼
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I'm having such a difficult time putting my feelings for this book into words. I adored it so much. The exploration of friendships, especially how they fall apart, just felt so relatable, even though it's been almost ten years since I've been in college myself. There was something so quintessential about this book that everyone can relate to, and will be recommending it to everyone.
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There are no words that I could possibly give that could describe how much I loved this book.

Of all the books I have read this year, this is the only one I rated five stars. Something about the way Jakobsen writes filled me with a feeling I haven't had while reading in a long, long time. This book felt like understanding. It is a story of and for survivors, and it is one of the most beautiful books I have read in recent memory.

I did read this a few months ago, so unfortunately my review will be lacking the details that I should have written down. However, I loved the characterization a lot. Each character felt distinctive and important, no matter how little time they had on the page. I fell in love with the found family in this story. I wish I was eloquent enough to explain how much it meant to read such an honest and unyielding depiction of growing up, of friendship, or trauma. It was incredible. 

The love interest was one of my favorite characters. I love that this isn't necessarily a romance book but it still contains one of my favorite romances to date. Wesley gave me such gender envy but I was able to relate to both them and Sav. Their relationship felt like a warm hug and I honestly would read anything with the two of them in it.

This isn't the best review ever, and I wish I could go through the book page by page to tell the world every wonderful thing about this book. But since I can't, I will instead say that it is one of my new favorites and I would recommend it to anyone (so long as they are aware of the content warnings). Thank you to Haley Jakobsen for writing it, and to NetGalley and Penguin Dutton for allowing me access to such a wonderful story.
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this is a fantastic debut!! i found plenty of moments where i couldn’t put this book down, both because of the writing and because i relate to savannah in a lot of ways. the duality of who she felt she needed to be with izzie vs. who she felt comfortable to be with her new friends as she aged reflected much of my experience in growing up and moving away. i imagine a large audience, especially in high school or college, will enjoy this book thoroughly. 

i did find that towards the end of the book i wished we had more time to see savannah and wesley together because they make your heart flutter! i also wish we could see izzie and savannah talk out their relationship going forward, post wedding, and hear what it was all like. i wonder about the brother’s girlfriend. 

life doesn’t always include those perspectives and conversations, i get that. but real life can leave us itching for “what ifs” and i get antsy when fictional characters do it to us too! i still appreciate it for what it is, but as someone who went through a friend break-up, i wish so badly we were able to talk about what happened with love.

love this book, i am giving it 4 stars!
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Old Enough follows a bi student (she/her) with her struggles to attempt her best friend's wedding, after the best friend's brother raped her. Inbetween she is struggling to fit in, falling in love, being reminiscent of her past friendship with Izzy and trying to find a way to live with her traumatic past. Old Enough is a book that shows me that I might be too old for this book. From the beginning the author wants us to keep up with approximately 10 names, in one timeline and as many in, I think, 2 more timelines. We have of course the present, and the past when the assault happened at age 16. But then she is also thinking back to her childhood, and the time when she first started College, all the while introducing new characters and or talking with the same ones in overlapping timelines. After 30 % of the book I gave up trying to follow who was who, and just concentrated on the main storyline.This circumstance subdued my enjoyment drastically despite the great topics explored in this novel. But the decision was the right one, as I could finally immerse into it. Several moments were such a banger. Someone with a better attention span will surely love this appropriately.
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Haley Jakobson gives us a fantastic view of friendship. They give us the good, the bad, and all of the in-between. The little moments that seal a friendship. The hard moments that can either break a friendship, change it, or deepen it. Old Enough is tough. It is a tell-all on what goes on behind the picture perfect moments we share on social media. There are broken promises, spoken and unspoken. There is grief when a friendship fails you or you fail it.

Old Enough is about new beginnings. Growing up and growing out in the case of Sav. They are away at college and away from all of the negativity of the last few years that has scarred her. Sav is finding herself. Trying new ideas, people, and experiences. Life isn’t easy and Jakobson peels that onion until just the core is left.

There is a clean sweet romance woven into this story and that is the fresh air that keeps the triggers from getting to be too much. The author addresses a number of issues in this story from rape, dubious consent, physical abuse, bullying, homophobia in all of its forms, and mental abuse.

The cast showcasing all of these themes is diverse and fantastic. Why is it that it is only in fiction that we find the friends we wish we could find in real life. I love who becomes Sav’s core group. They are the best.
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This book was really good and will speak to so many people. This is Savannah’s coming of age story. When her traumatic past collided with her current life she isn’t sure what to do. She is a sophomore in college and has met the most amazing people that accept her. After hiding most of her life she finally came out as bisexual and is enjoying exploring her attractions. On the other hand She has tried to put her past behind her, but her best friend is getting married. While she wants to live out her childhood dreams standing by Izzie’s side she can’t bypass what happened to her at 16 and what Izzie put her through. What will Sav decide to do? Will she finally tell people what happened to her?
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This is the kind of book I wish I’d had at 16/17. 
This is a coming of age novel that’s raw and authentic, but instead of just the trauma and overcoming it, we get to see the joy that can happen despite it all. 
Sav’s queer community in college literally fills my heart with joy, this is why community is so important and how it can make or break you. 
I can relate to Sav, and unfortunately I didn’t have the support she did, but I’m not sure I believed one existed that would accept me. Old Enough is going to give some kids that hope and I’m so incredibly grateful for that
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I got about 14% into this book before the following line was so cringey that I couldn’t continue: 

“Her voice could jump from baritone to falsetto within seconds, and at one point she sang a riff so long it reminded me of an orgasm, and I had to pull out my phone and pretend to check my email.”

It also felt like the author was trying to be too “hip” and “relatable” with a lot of the lingo used. 

And the second chapter switching written tense was very weird. The constant use of “you” was strange and did not flow well and was not easy to follow. 

I had a lot of interest in this book, the bi representation is really important to me but the writing needed a lot of tweaking to be enjoyable.
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old enough follows savannah on her coming of age journey; navigating friendships, relationships, identity, and past trauma. 

with a complex bisexual fmc and an extremely diverse cast of characters this book had incredible sexuality and gender representation.
there was also the potential to create a well loved found family, but it simply didn’t feel believable to me. the characters, and their connections, seemed surface-level and lacked development which is so disappointing bc i liked some of these side characters SO MUCH and would’ve loved if more attention had been given to them and their relationship to our fmc.

despite dealing with a theme as heavy and heartbreaking as sexual assault this book still unfortunately fell flat for me, as i felt like very much of the novel was superficial and constantly throughout was waiting for another layer of depth. 

another big issue for me is that this is marketed as new adult but reads like a ya book. the writing seemed choppy and the dialogue felt a bit awkward, cringey, and childish.

the publisher kindly provided this arc through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Savannah Henry is in her sophomore year of college. She's come out as bi, she's found a queer friend group, and she's got a crush on Wes in her gender studies class. But when her childhood best friend Izzie gets engaged, Sav contends with both the reality that she and Izzie are growing apart, as well as the trauma that drove a wedge between them in the first place.

I adored this book. Tender, realistic, and funny, this was an incredible queer coming-of-age novel. 

The characters were layered and multifaceted. The way that Izzie and Sav's relationship was represented felt particularly well done. It could have been easy for Izzie to be a caricature - but she's not. She's infuriating at times, but she's human and nuanced. And Sav and Izzie's shared history comes through so strongly in a way that it makes your heart ache. If you've ever grown apart from someone before, I think you'll see yourself in this book. Because it's about the way that some people aren't meant to stay in our lives forever, but that doesn't meant that they weren't important, and that change is both scary and inevitable, but not necessarily bad. 

Another key part of Sav's story is her processing her experience of sexual assault. (Note for readers: it is not explicitly shown on page, but reactions are, as are other sex scenes.) That arc felt realistically and thoughtfully handled in a way that ultimately felt honest and satisfying for me. 

I loved Sav, loved her queer friend group, and couldn't help but cheer for them. They were messy and real and endearing. I think this book absolutely nails the coming-of-age genre in a way that makes my heart ache in the best sort of way - I highly recommend this.
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This book does an amazing job at showing the huge mental/emotional transition that takes place between our teens and our early 20s. Friendships from childhood cannot always thrive in our 20s, nor should we cling to those if they are no longer serving us. This book explores that theme in the setting of new friends who become family and how sometimes that acceptance really highlights what was missing in prior friendships. 

A big focus of this book is Sav trying to parse out and make sense of a sexual assault at age 16. She struggles with trying to ascertain if assault can be called rape when it was someone she knew & thought she liked. 

These themes were raw & visceral for me and I had to set the book aside a few times before I could pick it back up. I did love the college friend group but the teenage trauma was difficult to read…because I’ve been there and I was just as confused for a long time. 

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to give this a read. All opinions are my own. 

Also 👏👏👏 to Haley Jakobson for this stellar debut novel in all its raw glory.
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This book was so important and difficult to read in  many ways…. From the exploration of what it’s like to be bisexual, to finding community and leaving behind what’s not meant for you, to coming to terms with the way that trauma can shape you into someone completely different… 

This is a touching novel that is absolutely worth the read, as long as you’re equipped to handle it. 

TW: SA, biphobia
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WOW! What a powerful read. It felt like a hug at the end and I cannot explain it any further than that. I highly recommend that everyone gives this book a chance.
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This book started out strong and I was very interested, but in the middle, it was really really slow. I love the aspect of found family and grew to love the main character and her friends. She was clearly a flawed character, struggling with mental illness and trauma, and I do think that the way trauma was depicted and her responses to it were very accurate. I thought the discussion around her new identity versus her old identity as a very interesting point of contention throughout the book and related to that - where you no longer really relate/identify with your family and old friends from your hometown and how it can really lead to an identity crisis. I liked how she felt so much more safe and comfortable when she found her supportive friends but had growing pains with that transition, it felt very realistic. I didn't love the writing style and felt it was more YA than I expected, and I think that's why I didn't rate this book any higher.
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Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton, Dutton for sending me a digital arc in exchange for an honest review. 

I saw Haley Jakobson post about Old Enough on TikTok and I was immediately hooked. In a lot of ways, Savannah (Sav)'s story and coming out journey resonate with my own life. 

Jakobson does a great job capturing the voice of a 20 year old, who is still figuring out who she is and trying to work through her past-self and the person she is becoming/wants to be. There were moments where the dialogue made me cringe, or it almost felt too much in focusing Sav's identity around her sexuality. But, then I remembered what it was like when I first came out, when I was figuring it out, and then I almost started to cry because. Wow, that's exactly how I sounded and how I felt. She does such a good job of capturing those Big emotions and expressing them on the page. 

Old Enough also deals with major SA/rape content, but I appreciated the way Jakobson wrote it. She was able to write about the events, the fall out, and the flash backs without explicitly putting the reader in that one traumatic memory. The novel felt stronger for that because it didn't rely on graphic detail to bring the horror and trauma to attention, but instead the short flashback chapters, and the imapct of Sav's life however many years later. 

The subplot of Old Enough focusing on Sav growing apart from her childhood friend made me absolutely sob. It was so real, something so many folks have gone through, and just...heartbreaking. Jakobson isn't overly flowery with her language but it's beautiful in it's own way and also she knows exactly how to gut-punch the reader.

The romance in the novel was always very sweet and cute. But, this was a fantastic novel and I will be recommending to my friends!
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I’m kind of in a state of shock. It feels as if Haley Jakobson went through those thoughts I saved for late at night in bed. Maybe those feelings are universal - I never really thought of them that way. I can name a bunch of emotions - anger, shame, relief, hurt, joy - they all come in many shapes and forms and maybe that’s what makes it all relatable. The story is about Savannah “Sav” Henry in her sophomore year of college figuring out her sexuality, trauma, friendship, community, and acceptance of oneself.  At times it was a little corny but corny isn’t a bad thing. Corny cut the tension, corny made it sweet. I can’t help thinking if only I read this when I was eighteen. I’m happy for all the current, past, and future eighteen year olds who will read this. Thank you Haley Jakobson, NetGalley, and Penguin Group Dutton.
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Old Enough by Haley Jakobson is the queer campus novel that isn't scared to tackle some darker issues and I love it for it. This book is the novel every bisexual deserves, it is so so relatable in the way that the main character struggles to find her place in the world. The dual timeline with flashbacks to her teenage years works well and adds to the narrative. I wasn't a big fan of then second person perspective in these flashbacks but still enjoyed them. The side characters made the plot lively but they were hard to keep track of and distinguish some of them were not as well fleshed out. Probably, the plot would have worked with one or two fewer side characters. Overall, I had a very good reading experience and will read anything (bisexual) Jakobson publishes next. Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin for the review copy.
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the summer coming of age novel!!

this story follows Savannah, aka as Sav. She’s almost the person she wants to be- or at least, she’s getting closer. She’s in her sophomore year at college, has officially come out, and is starting to make some solid friendships. Sav’s cautious optimism about the future is squashed when she learns that her childhood friend Izzie is engaged. Things haven’t been the same with Izzie ever since what happens with Izzie’s brother when Sav was 16. Sav is now forced to deal with her repressed trauma that she thought was behind her. On top of all that- she can’t stop thinking about Wes, from her gender studies class. There’s something new here & for the first time ever, Sav feels seen.

I really enjoyed this tender, funny & heartfelt story. It captures well both the in-between feeling of being young & uncertain, as well as the particular pain of losing a friendship that you thought would last forever. Stunning!
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