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Twentysomething: Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck?

3.34  ·  Rating Details  ·  187 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
What does it mean to be young today?
In the summer of 2010, Robin Marantz Henig wrote a provocative article for the "New York Times Magazine" called "What Is It About 20-Somethings?" It generated enormous reader response and started a conversation that included both millennials and baby boomers. Now, working with her millennial daughter Samantha, she expands the project t
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 8th 2012 by Hudson Street Press
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(showing 1-30 of 727)
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Dec 02, 2012 Julia rated it really liked it
So I'm not crazy. That's pretty much what was going through my head the entire time I was reading this book. I am a twentysomething that after working very hard for four years has recently graduated college. However, much like many of the twentysomething's questioned for this book, I have no clue where I'm going to end up five years from now (or let's be honest, even one). The first three chapters were very relevant to me--I kind of skimmed through the "Baby Carriage" chapter. There were sentenc ...more
Courtney Stoker
Feb 27, 2013 Courtney Stoker rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I enjoyed this book, but I was disappointed by it for two reasons. The first, more reasonable, is that the book was really concerned with middle and upper middle class twentysomethings. The introduction admits this, but it made the book very unrelateable for me, and considering the employment rate and poverty rate for twentysomethings, not relateable for a huge chunk of us. It felt a little off for the book to talk about boomerang Millenials or delayed adulthood based on marriage, steady jobs, a ...more
Chad Olson
Jan 14, 2013 Chad Olson rated it it was ok
Trying to make an interesting magazine article a book. I didn't there was enough original or engaging content.
May 31, 2013 Sean rated it liked it
The book Twenty Something, asks "why do Millennial's seem to be so stuck?" It gave a look at various reasons young adults were not moving forward with the expectations of their parents and the Middle Class idea of the American dream. Each chapter attempted to tackle a specific area of the twenty somethings adult life such as, career choices, friendship and marriage. The chapters were divided into two sections of research and anecdotes, the first being the ways that this generation and their prob ...more
May 28, 2015 Rowlandt rated it did not like it
Shelves: quits
As a 20 year old white middle class male college student, this book offered me little to no new information on twentysomethings. However, I guess it was my fault that I even picked up the book expecting to learn something new. If you're not a white middle/upper class person this book is probably not interesting to you either... Unless you like to read two rich white ladies discuss articles they've researched about their class of people. The only interesting part of the book beside the writing dy ...more
Kirby Ingram
Sep 10, 2014 Kirby Ingram rated it really liked it
This book is great and not just for 20somethings but maybe 30somethings as well. Very insightful and helpful to know I'm not the only one struggling with decisions about myself, love, career, children and etc. This book also helps with understanding the pressures that the older generation puts on us young adults. I highly recommend this book to anyone who feels a little "unadult like" on a regular basis.
Sep 07, 2013 Casie rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
About five years ago, I started reading books on raising teenagers. And for the past year I've been reading books about colleges. This is a part of my parental research, although it ended up giving me great insight into the lives of my students. I loved particularly listening to the parts that questioned the value of my career (as I was driving to work). This reaffirmed my belief that higher education is not merely job training.

I enjoyed the dual perspectives of the mother and twentysomething d
Anne-marie Borbely-bartis
Mar 16, 2013 Anne-marie Borbely-bartis rated it really liked it
As a late-forties supervisor of twenty somethings, this book helped enormously. From the opening page the language spoke directly to my own "what is the MATTER with this generation?!" And helped me through some pretty strong feelings of frustration. I recommend it to anyone who finds the generational chasm wider than ever.
Jack Goodstein
Oct 18, 2012 Jack Goodstein rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I am probably not the best audience for this book, and I found it difficult slogging through it. Most interesting when it is anecdotal. My edition has a different sub title.
Aug 13, 2013 Lindsay rated it liked it
GPOY hahaha LOL no seriously I am reading this on the subway with the dust jacket off for obvious reasons.
Sarah T.
Jan 31, 2014 Sarah T. rated it liked it
More like a 3.5 rating.

This book was an enjoyable read authored by a mother/daughter pair. Some have described this book as, essentially, a long magazine article. *shrug* I thought it was well researched but not too heavy-handed.

I was born in 1982 so that makes me part of the earlist of Gen-Y-ers, and I've NEVER liked being compared to "that generation" of spoiled brats, etc. This book did give me some comfort though, because things (decisons, struggles, expectations, etc.) really aren't all t
Mar 16, 2013 Colleen rated it it was ok
Wow, that was an unusually long magazine article I just read! - Oh, that's right, I guess it's a book, based on the hardcover. OK, in truth this was not any lighter than standard popular nonfiction fare these days, it was just that very little of it was really gripping, and the reality is that's because I'm a boring adult (and not actually confused about being one--even if a manager's reference to me as "a woman in my office" made me sort of double-take, and think, hey, yeah, cool, wouldn't have ...more
Eli Rubin
Aug 01, 2013 Eli Rubin rated it liked it
Light and frothy, the book was essentially an extended magazine article comparing the ways of mother and daughter's similar maturation processes in different time periods. It was heartening for me, as a millennial, to read magazine excerpts from similar economic rough times in the 1980s and draw quite taut parallels between then and now.

Aside from the exceedingly rare prescient observation, many of the big issues discussed served mainly to get the wheels in my own mind turning about the maturati
Kyle Nicholas
Apr 21, 2015 Kyle Nicholas rated it it was ok
Shelves: sociology
Probably the only acceptable thing I found about this book was the premise that Generation Me is lazy, entitled, self-adoring, and totally unremarkable is because it was brought up by the Baby Boomer generation: I am totally on board with that! However, the authors' insistence that a big part of "growing up" involves eventually popping out babies is absolutely rubbish. Thanks for contributing to the problems of this world.
Aug 05, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Very interesting discussion of " emerging adulthood" in 2014. Written by a mother/ daughter journalist team, the book breaks down the areas of emerging young adulthood and looks at what is new and what is " same as it ever was". Interesting commentary around what research shows is important to youth of today and in the past. Easy to read.
Mary-Michelle Moore
Feb 11, 2013 Mary-Michelle Moore rated it really liked it
Shelves: from-ocpl
As a twentysomething reading this ACK! I'm normal statistically speaking with everything in this book, none of it terrible but still ACK!

The Henig's do a great job of looking at some of the prevalent ideas of what a Millennial is and how they came to be this way. This book looks only at a small subset of 18-34 year olds but it remained hopeful in the treatment of analyzing behaviors and ideals. The recaps at the end of each chapter (notes for skimmers) and the interplay between mother and daugh
Jeffry van der Goot
Extremely mediocre and unsatisfying with some interesting tidbits thrown. Read Courtney Stoker's excellent review which I wholly agree with.
May 10, 2013 Christianne rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I skimmed this book, so it might not be fair to rate it. But it was well organized and summarized so skimming was made easier. I like books that remind me that many things have not changed when it comes to comparing generations. It reminds me not to grumble about "the kids." Yes the Internet has distracted them and offered them more choices, school is so very expensive, and they are having babies later, but for the most part the types of decisions and pressures millennials face are the same as e ...more
May 15, 2013 Martha rated it really liked it
This is a survey of surveys type book, easy to read and written mostly by the mother Robin, and commented on by her 20-something daughter Samantha.

It convincingly lays out arguments highlighting how today's young adults really do have it different from other generations: college is much more expensive, how young people decide / balance things (career path, doing something "cool", changing professions) and how people make decisions (way more complicated than you think.)

Its not an answer book, but
Sep 03, 2014 Gloria rated it really liked it
This would get five stars if it looked at my cohort more broadly, not just upper class (white), East Coast, college-educated twentysomethings. As I am one of the aforementioned ones, this book rang true and was reassuring that I'm not alone and my experiences are pretty normal. The authors do address that they're not going to cover everyone, but I would like to have seen a larger data set and information on non-urban dwelling people my age. It's a casual, interesting read that ultimately serves ...more
Nov 26, 2015 Dev rated it it was ok
I lost interest in this book once the authors admitted the narrow segment (middle and upper class white woman and men) this book addresses.
Feb 17, 2014 Twoinone rated it really liked it
Shelves: woman_life
This book cited many studies in psychology and sociology. Very insightful with good structure.
Mar 10, 2013 Scotty rated it it was ok
IT was the classic twenty somethings book that was heaving on research. that was a nice change of pace from others books like quarter life crises that just had a bunch of stories of people in their twenties. But I felt like I didnt learn anything new until I have more some life expierances in my twenties. If you feel you that are having a quarter life crises just read this and it will remind you that you are not alone.

Many young adults are stuck, and some of them are stuck deep into their thirties. I think they will need to work forever because they get started so late on everything: Earning money, settling down, saving for retirement, having children, etc.
What I found most interesting was the discussion about "sliding" or "deciding" about marriage and the difference it made in the relationship.
Jan 24, 2016 Amy rated it it was ok
There just wasn't anything new here. And I don't have much patience for 20 somethings staying in 'adultescence' an extra decade just because they don't have to settle down as early as their parents. The banter between the mother-daughter writing team didn't work for me, either. She started out quoting Dan Ariely, and I would take any of his books over this one.
Aug 07, 2013 Michael rated it did not like it
Interesting title but fail to live up to it`s hype. A lot of testimonies,data and research but pretty dry in content. I enjoyed the first initial pages but lost direction towards the middle. It just never grabbed my attention,it kept dragging to the point of exhaustion.

One of those books that was simply forgettable.
Andd Becker
Dec 03, 2012 Andd Becker rated it liked it
The subtitle smacks of authorial intrusion and is an arguable point. The U.S. Census Bureau's generation designations are useful: Baby Boomers, 1946-1964; Generation X: 1965-1976; and Generation Y: 1977-1995.
The mother-daughter viewpoints encourage compare-and-contrast reflections.
Christine Abbey
Feb 20, 2013 Christine Abbey rated it really liked it
Interesting approach to take research and have mom and daughter comment on the ways of the Twenty Somethings. Really liked the quick summary of each chapter at the end of it as you can
skim the chapters if you only want a cursory look at the subject.
Jun 27, 2013 Ivy rated it it was ok
It was a lengthy read, not at all stimulating. Not a lot of perspective was provided. Just the opinions of some well-off, educated people. though good in theory the prospect as to why young adults seem stuck these days was not actualized.
Feb 17, 2013 Aly rated it liked it
Some of it I skimmed through, but there are some interesting questions raised, funny anecdotes, and encouraging information/statistics. I think it's worth checking out at the library if it's a topic you're interested in.
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I'm a long-time science journalist and a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. In addition to my most recent book -- Twentysomething: Why Do Young Adults Seem Stuck?, co-authored with my daughter Samantha Henig -- I've written eight others, including Pandora’s Baby: How the First Test Tube Babies Sparked the Reproductive Revolution and The Monk in the Garden: The Lost and Found Geni ...more
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