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Monthly Pick > December 2018: Young Jane Young

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message 1: by Reera, Bookmaster (new)

Reera | 258 comments Mod
Happy Holidays, everyone! We are down to our last book of 2018. We will be reading Gabrielle Zevin's Young Jane Young for the month of December. As always, we strongly encourage people to share their thoughts here in the forums.

I'm already halfway into the book and I'm loving it so far. It's witty, engaging, and so timely with the recent surge of the #MeToo movement. Zevin highlights the ugly and patriarchal side of politics and shows how poor moral decisions often impact more lives than the one who made them.

message 2: by Reera, Bookmaster (new)

Reera | 258 comments Mod
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I'm sure I'll have a lot to say on the podcast for our discussion episode.

We live in a day and age where public humiliation is an industry. The more humiliating the scandal or gossip, the more clicks, views, and revenue. Sex scandals like Aviva's is a dime a dozen thanks to social media, and the Internet never forgets. The scary thing is that nowadays the scandal doesn't even have to be real to ruin someone's life. I thought Zevin did an amazing job showing the devastating effects of public slut-shaming and how sexist politics and media can be while still having an empowering message about feminism.

I loved how each woman's voice was told in a different narrative style. I found myself internally screaming at all of Aviva's terrible decisions. Embeth was surprisingly empathetic and engaging. The public often criticizes women who decide to stay with their cheating husbands, and it was nice to step into Embeth's shoes and see how she felt about cleaning up after Levin's mistakes. I also thought the Choose Your Own Adventure section was an innovative way to tell Aviva's story.

There were so many aspects of this book I enjoyed. I think Zevin has great humor and compassion for her characters. I definitely want to check out her other novel, The Story of A.J. Fikry, sometime.

message 3: by Julie (new)

Julie (3x5books) | 29 comments I really liked this. I listened to it on audiobook and devoured it in two days. I liked how each part ended in a way that was paradoxically a satisfying cliffhanger.

For some reason, I also really appreciated the way Zevin elegantly dispensed with the Choose Your Own Adventure conceit, while still maintaining the 2nd person narration:

“You love your daughter, but you have fewer choices than you once did. Your choices are dictated by her.
Maybe not fewer choices. Maybe it’s that the answers are more obvious, so you don’t pose the questions. Life unspools more inevitably. You keep turning the pages.”

Aviva’s story in particular was really touching and I also want to seek out The Story of A.J. Fikry.

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