BOMG Book Review: Young Jane Young (Gabrielle Zevin)

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A young intern, Aviva Grossman, makes the mistake of having an affair with her boss (who is also a successful and married politician) and blogging about it. After the affair comes to light, Aviva is thrust into the spotlight and ends up taking the brunt of the backlash.   Years later, after changing her name to Jane, moving to a new town and starting over in a new career with her daughter, she decides to run for office herself. Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin is a contemporary chick lit novel that will have you thinking.

I went into this book completely blind, I knew nothing about the synopsis and I knew nothing about the author, Gabrielle Zevin. All I knew for sure what the cover was incredible and that was enough for me!

Upon beginning the book, the first thing that struck me was how relevant the plot was, especially in today’s time where political scandals seem to pop up monthly. I am fascinated by how the women are treated in these types of cases and how the politician (generally) flies under the radar unscathed.   I also was instantly drawn into the characterization; I loved Aviva/Jane’s mother, Rachel, throughout the first section of the story; she was absolutely hilarious. I also loved the little cultural bits that Zevin places into the text to discuss Jewish heritage and culture. I found them to be really refreshing and they gave me quite the chuckle.

However, from here on, I found the narrative style a bit confusing; not sure if it was just my copy of the novel or what, but I did feel like it was jumping throughout time quite a bit without warning. I would find myself thrown off for a few pages completely disoriented and then would be able to find my way back into the text.   I also was thrown off when the narrative switched voices from Rachel (Jane’s mom) to Jane/Aviva. It felt like a completely different book. And then, later, it switches again to completely different narrators in different time periods. By this point, I was just about done with all the switches.

Overall, the novel was entertaining and I absolutely loved the prose of Zevin but I really struggled with the execution of this book. That being said, I do feel like for someone who enjoys something a little bit different and out of a typical narrative style may really enjoy the unconventional set up of this book!

Thanks to the Author, Publisher, and NetGalley for a digital copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review


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