Grown Ups by Emma Jane Unsworth, 3.5 Stars

Well, I turned 40. It happened. And it doesn’t feel THAT bad. It actually feels strikingly similar to 39. Although the older I get, the more I question exactly how hard I should work to lose that last 5 or 10 lbs. And I wonder if maybe there is happiness in just not caring and enjoying life.

Anyone else? I have heard that 40 is when you learn to just not give a damn. I mean, who cares what other people think of me. Do I even like them? And even if I do, who cares?

One sad thing about my birthday weekend is that I’ve had no time to read. So now, after 3 straight days of celebrating, I’m reading to flop on the couch and block everything else out.

But first, a book review.

From the Publisher:

Jenny McLaine’s life is falling apart. Her friendships are flagging. Her body has failed her. She’s just lost her column at The Foof because she isn’t the fierce voice new feminism needs. Her ex has gotten together with another woman. And worst of all: Jenny’s mother is about to move in. Having left home at eighteen to remake herself as a self-sufficient millennial, Jenny is now in her thirties and nothing is as she thought it would be. Least of all adulthood.

Told in live-wire prose, texts, emails, script dialogue, and social media messages, Grown Ups is a neurotic dramedy of 21st-century manners for the digital age. It reckons with what it means to exist in a woman’s body: to sing and dance and work and mother and sparkle and equalize and not complain and be beautiful and love your imperfections and stay strong and show your vulnerability and bake and box…

But, despite our impossible expectations of women, Emma Jane Unsworth never lets Jenny off the hook. Jenny’s life is falling apart at her own hands and whether or not she has help from her mother or her friends, Jenny is the only one who will be able to pick up the pieces and learn how to, more or less, grow up. Or will she?

My Review

Jenny’s a mess. She was living the fun, urban, unmarried life unapologetically until all of a sudden, she looked around and she in her thirties. And had nothing to show for it. Her boyfriend is gone, and her mother is moving in. Can you imagine? It’s kind of worst case scenario.

We all have expectations for how life will turn out, and it’s hard to face it when things aren’t going the way we expected and we’re note sure how to turn it all around. This is where Jenny is at when we meet her.

Jenny reminded me a lot of Bridget Jones. Or how Bridget Jones would have been if she was a millennial. And so while I thought she was fun and kitschy and opinionated, I might be too old to completely identify with her, and it took me a little while to really get into the book.

I appreciated the unique way the story was told. We got to kind of piece Jenny’s life together through a variety of communications and styles. Definitely a novel for the 21st century. If you love chicklet and are looking for someone to commiserate with, Grown Ups is for you.

Special thanks to Gallery Books and Netgalley for the advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review. This one is out August 16, 2020. Get your copy:


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