Genres: Contemporary fiction
Young Jane Young was one of my most expected books of this year, I love Gabrielle Zevin’s writing and the story of this book just caught my eye immediately.
This is the story of Aviva Grossman, an ambitious girl who starts working as an intern to the Congressman she admires the most. She has plans for her future and loves to work in politics – but she makes the mistake of having an affair with the Congressman. While he escaped with his reputation almost untouched, Aviva’s life was destroyed. No one will employ her, date her and she falls into depression. She decides to change her name and move to a small town to start over – but when she decides to run for mayor of the city, her past catches up with her.
This book is for whoever got mad at the Monica Lewinsky story with Bill Clinton. Aviva is headstrong and not entirely likable in the beginning, but she was just young and in love and made a mistake. An unforgivable one, according to society – she was a slut and the scandal pursues her whatever she tries to go to move on. Told through the point of view of Aviva, her mother’s and the Congressman’s wife, this story is compelling as it is important.
The feminist tone of this story was like breathing fresh air. The anger of the injustice of how much Aviva had to pay for a mistake on her youth burns under your skin as you read this, but it makes you feel avenged. Young Jane Young expresses all the thoughts we have every time a woman pays for a sex “scandal”. As the story progresses and Aviva turns from a young woman to a more mature, introspective and honest person, keeping the ambition and intelligence she’s always had, we start to root for her even more.
I very much liked this story, the writing was strong and powerful, mincing no words. I want to read this again and again and it’s easily one of my favorite contemporaries of this year.
“I’m not a murderer,” she says. “I’m a slut, and you can’t be acquitted of that.”