Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Book Review: Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Pages: 320
Format: E-book
Published: August, 2017
Price: $9.18 -> Rp121.901 (Amazon)
Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Date started: September 3, 2017 - Date finished: September 9, 2017

Young Jane Young's heroine is Aviva Grossman, an ambitious Congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss–who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married–and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the Congressman doesn’t take the fall, but Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She becomes a late‑night talk show punchline; she is slut‑shamed, labeled as fat and ugly, and considered a blight on politics in general.

How does one go on after this? In Aviva’s case, she sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. She tries to start over as a wedding planner, to be smarter about her life, and to raise her daughter to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, she decides to run for public office herself, that long‑ago mistake trails her via the Internet like a scarlet A. For in our age, Google guarantees that the past is never, ever, truly past, that everything you’ve done will live on for everyone to know about for all eternity. And it’s only a matter of time until Aviva/Jane’s daughter, Ruby, finds out who her mother was, and is, and must decide whether she can still respect her.
Aviva Grossman used to work as an intern for a pretty popular Congressman in Florida, that is until she was exposed because of having an affair with her married boss, the Congressman. After that scandal, she became a trending topic for the people of Florida as a homewrecker. Career-wise she's ruined, no one wants to hire her. Determined to start fresh, she moved to a new town and changed her identity completely.

In a small town in Maine, Aviva is now known as Jane Young. She's now a wedding planner with a daughter Ruby. Life was great and things were calm, no one in that town recognize her as Aviva Grossman, the girl who slept with a Congressman. There she's just Jane the wedding planner. In an upcoming mayoral election for her town, Jane was pushed by others to run for a seat as the Mayor. Politics is one of the things Jane never thought she'll ever get back to even though it was her major in college and one of her passion.

But past mistakes have a way of resurfacing. During her race for public office, her daughter Ruby is getting more curious in finding out who her birth father is because the stories that Jane told Ruby never did add up in Ruby's mind. What Ruby doesn't know is that looking for her birth father might lead to finding out the truth about her mother's past. As if things couldn't get worst, her opponent for the mayoral race also will stop at nothing to make sure Jane doesn't win the race.
They didn’t put a scarlet letter on her chest, but they didn’t need to. That’s what the Internet is for.
I've heard of this author's name in one of her previous works, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, I haven't read that book yet even thought that book is one of her more well-known works. I decided to read Young Jane Young because of the synopsis. I mean, a book about the aftermath of someone who had an affair with her boss who is also a married politican. Yes, please! This book was very easy to read, not once did I encounter any difficulties reading it, which is a plus to me.

This book is written from multiple perspectives, the main character in focus, Aviva Grossman, her daughter Ruby and Aviva's mother. The changes in perspectives were also easy to follow because each character had a distinct voice that made it easier to identify which POV we're reading about. My favorite POV to read was Ruby's because for a kid she's pretty knowledgeable and funny.
Because the things we don't have are sadder than the things we have. Because the things we don't have exist in our imaginations, where they are perfect.
We had both heard worse. People were often the worst versions of themselves in the months leading up to a wedding. Occasionally, though, the worst version of someone was the actual version of someone, but it was difficult to know if one was in that situation until after the fact.
There are also some character developments happening in this book. When I read about Aviva during her more younger years when she was still working for the congressman and having the affair she was so annoying and such a child I want to smack her. Over time, her character developed after the affair was exposed, she grew up, she then had Ruby and she got her act together and become a kick-ass grown woman running for public office.

You're probably wondering after all those good aspects I mentioned, why only 3 stars? Because even though this was a good book it didn't make me feel anything, the characters were good on paper but they weren't relatable. The story was good but that's just it, a good story, a predictable conflict and a predictable resolution. So to me this was just a good book to read.
Anticipating the worst doesn’t provide insurance from the worst happening.
I would recommend this for someone looking for something light to read.

That's all for now!

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