Young Jane Young

“It’s brilliant and hilarious, and it makes you wince in recognition — for the double-standard that relegates scandalized women to a life of shame even as their married lovers continue with their careers (and often their marriages), for the insatiable appetite we have for every last detail, for the ease and speed with which we stop seeing people as multilayered humans. It’s the sort of book that invites us to examine our long-held beliefs and perceptions. It asks us to imagine, for a moment, another perspective and delivers us the storyline to do so. It hands us characters who are at odds with one another and peels back their layers to reveal the thing they have in common. It has a heart. And a spine. It’s exactly, I would argue, what we need more of right now.”

—Heidi Stevens, Chicago Tribune

This is the story of five women . . .

Meet Rachel Grossman.
She’ll stop at nothing to protect her daughter, Aviva, even if it ends up costing her everything.

Meet Jane Young.
She’s disrupting a quiet life with her daughter, Ruby, to seek political office for the first time.

Meet Ruby Young.
She thinks her mom has a secret. She’s right.

Meet Embeth Levin.
She’s made a career of cleaning up her congressman husband’s messes.

Meet Aviva Grossman.
The Internet won’t let her or anyone else forget her past transgressions.

This is the story of five women . . .
. . . and the sex sexist scandal that binds them together.

From Gabrielle Zevin, the bestselling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, comes another story with unforgettable characters that is particularly suited to the times we live in now .

Praise

  • Washington Post 50 Notable Works of Fiction for 2017
  • Kirkus Reviews Best Fiction of 2017
  • Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2017
  • an Indie Next Pick
  • People Magazine Book of the Week
  • Library Reads #1 Pick for August
  • Southern Book Prize
  • Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Fiction

“This book will not only thoroughly entertain everyone who reads it; it is the most immaculate takedown of slut-shaming in literature or anywhere else. Cheers, and gratitude, to the author.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred

“[T]his is a redemptive novel inspired by the ordeal of Monica Lewinsky…. [T]he last thing anyone wants is to be dragged through the Starr Report again, one cigar at a time. Which is what makes Zevin’s clever approach to this story so appealing. Her novel comes to us in five distinct parts, each focusing on a different woman affected by Avivagate. That structure rotates the scandal in curious ways, and it also shows off just what a clever ventriloquist Zevin is…. Maybe with enough determination and love and support, women can choose their own adventures. They can start, like Aviva, by choosing not to be ashamed. In this life-affirming novel, Zevin doesn’t make that look easy, but she makes it look possible.”
The Washington Post

“…[an] irresistible novel … The power of Zevin’s book lies in its main characters, a quirky estrogen-laced tribe; the book’s multi-layered structure; and the big-heartedness at its core. Zevin has divided the book into five sections, each representing a key player, and the story gains depth as it moves back and forth in time … Young Jane Young is a testament to second chances and reclaiming one’s own narrative. It’s a feminist anthem – triumphant, earthy and hopeful. And it’s a terrific read. One can’t help wondering whether and how it may reshape the public perception of Monica Lewinsky.” —Portland Press Herald

“…don’t get too focused on reliving Monicagate. Zevin’s characters are far more compelling. Ruby’s pen-pal correspondence perfectly captures teen angst and energy. Embeth’s imaginary parrot may seem all too real to those coping with trauma. Rachel’s back story of dating while aging is a novel in itself. But it’s Jane’s reinvention of herself that drives the toughest questions about social media, our fickle appetite for scandal, our compulsion to shame — especially slut-shame — and ultimately how choosing to confront the past can deny it of its power.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune


“This sly, exhilirating novel takes on slut-shaming . . . and manages to be hilarious in the process. . . . [Aviva] emerges as a strong woman to be celebrated.” —People (Book of the Week)


“Splendid . . . A witty, strongly drawn group of female voices tells Aviva’s story . . . [Zevin] has created a fun and frank tale. Her vibrant and playful writing, and the fully realized characters taking turns as narrator, bring the story a zestful energy, even while exploring dark themes of secrecy and betrayal. Zevin perfectly captures the realities of the current political climate and the consequences of youthful indiscretions in an era when the Internet never forgets.” Booklist 

“Presenting a sharp send-up of our culture’s obsession with scandal and blame, this novel pulls at the seams of misogyny from all angles . . . Likely to be a popular book club pick.” Library Journal

“Satisfying and entertaining.”Publishers Weekly

Young Jane Young is a witty and wise story of three generations of women; in particular, Rachel and Ruby are often laugh-out-loud funny, while Jane/Aviva and Embeth have a wryer take on their circumstances. Strong and brave, transformed by scandal, they make their way in an often hostile world. In a dream, Jane asks Aviva how she survived. Aviva replies, “I refused to be shamed.” Shelf Awareness

“Zevin’s newest novel is an engrossing tale of growing up female in the digital age that every young girlboss should put on their to-read list.”
Brit + Co

“It’s brilliant and hilarious, and it makes you wince in recognition…. It’s the sort of book that invites us to examine our long-held beliefs and perceptions. It asks us to imagine, for a moment, another perspective and delivers us the storyline to do so…. It hands us characters who are at odds with one another and peels back their layers to reveal the thing they have in common. It has a heart. And a spine. It’s exactly, I would argue, what we need more of right now.” Chicago Tribune

“By presenting a novel that delves into the life of Aviva – the ‘slutty’ woman whose stereotype has become all too prevalent in today’s society – Zevin offers a deft counterargument in the form of a well-crafted story. The book raises powerful questions about who receives the blame in such Monica Lewinsky-esque scenarios.” News & Observer

“Young Jane Young features witty yet compassionate storytelling from four women at different stages of their lives, each relating to the same event that uprooted them in profound and personal ways…. Zevin works creatively with arrangement, allowing the story to develop nonlinearly. She uses brilliantly unusual formats, such as a series of outgoing emails to a pen pal as a way for a precocious teen to speak candidly. The final section is told through a playful choose-your-own-ending format, which, tellingly, only provides one choice—a simple yet profound way to look upon the past.” BookPage

“Gabrielle Zevin’s latest work is a smart, intersectional feminist tour de force about feminine power and shame…. Each character’s voice is distinct and moves the tale along. The prose is lovely and lively in Ms. Zevin’s energetic and engaging style.” The Washington Times

“Witty and insightful with a crowd of strong female voices, this is a brilliant read.” Emerald Street

“[Zevin] writes splendidly, capturing speech flawlessly. . . . Young Jane Young is clever and easily read.” The American Jewish World

“The tale is told, brilliantly, in many voices. . . . Significantly, there are no male narrators. This is a woman’s story.” The Daily Mail

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