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The Defining Decade

Why Your Twenties Matter - and How to Make the Most of Them Now
By: Meg Jay
Narrated by: Meg Jay
Length: 5 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,828 ratings)
Regular price: $26.22
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Publisher's Summary

Our "30-is-the-new-20" culture tells us that the twentysomething years don't matter. Some say they are an extended adolescence. Others call them an emerging adulthood. But 30 is not the new 20. In this enlightening book, Dr. Meg Jay reveals how many twentysomethings have been caught in a swirl of hype and misinformation that has trivialized what are actually the most defining years of adulthood.

Drawing from more than 10 years of work with hundreds of twentysomething clients and students, Dr. Jay weaves the science of the twentysomething years with compelling, behind-closed-doors stories from twentysomethings themselves. She shares what psychologists, sociologists, neurologists, reproductive specialists, human-resources executives, and economists know about the unique power of our 20s and how they change our lives. The result is a provocative and sometimes poignant listen that shows us why our 20s do matter. Our 20s are a time when the things we do - and the things we don't do - will have an enormous effect across years and even generations to come.

©2012 Meg Jay (P)2012 Hachette

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Not what I expected

What did you like best about The Defining Decade? What did you like least?

There were some interesting views on what you should be thinking about in your twenties however much of the content seemed very ABC basic life stuff. What stands out the most in my mind is the section where Meg Jay talks about the strength of weak ties. Essentially this concept states that a acquaintance (weak tie) has the ability to change your life (For example: someone you met once at an event who works for another company where you are looking to get a job.) As a twenty-something a few years out of college and into my career I can not stress how true this concept really is; networking can do wonders for your career and the same can be said if you are self employed as well.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I purchased this book because I read a few rave reviews stating that the content was critical to anyone in their twenties. I thought that sounded fantastic and I went into it expecting details and opinions on how you can set yourself up for success in the years that come after your twenties. I quickly realized that the book was not about any of that stuff. If you are in your mid to late twenties and you have an established career that you enjoy, a serious relationship, and have investments or retirement accounts set up, I would recommend that you NOT buy this book. If you feel like you are lacking in one of those areas and want a little kick in the but then this might be your book.

What aspect of Meg Jay’s performance would you have changed?

Typically books that are narrated by the author are my favorite, however this might be an exception to that rule. Unfortunately most of the book is read in a very dull tone and evoked the feeling that the book was dragging on. The dialogue was sometimes slightly confusing because there was no change of tone between the two characters and the writing did not include any clues either(she said, he said, ect.) Overall the performance was OK for this type of material.

Any additional comments?

Overall this book left me with an overall message that goes as follows: "Stop partying, stop living for today, stop sleeping around, start looking toward your future, look for a person to marry and look for a good career. Its time to grow up." and perhaps this might be an important message for many people in "my" generation. If you are a young professional that is well established on a life track (job, house, spouse, retirement, investments, ect) then I would skip this book, it will feel like a drag.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Worth the time

This was an easy and engaging listen with relatable stories. I’ve had this on my wishlist for tears and at 25, I felt it was about time I gave it ago and it feels like a good time (wouldn’t have benefited as much if I read it as a student but it’s good for new graduates and those who are at the start of their careers like myself).

I felt some parts were repetitive and the main message was that 20s are not to be wasted. Many of the stories were about people who are wasting their lives, which is not really my case but I still found many pieces of wisdom that have made this book worth it. I’m planning to recommend this book to some of my friends who I hope will learn something from it.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Good... but missing something!

This book is just what I needed at this point of my life. It was the push that I was looking for! Also, this book made me realize how much I’ve accomplished on my almost finished twenties. The only thing that I think was missing is that the author doesn’t speak about resiliency and the power of mistakes and adversity. I feel this book is targeted to twenty year olds living in first world countries with comfort. What about the other twenty year olds who are struggling working in jobs they hate because they actually don’t have other option? The author needs to broaden her perspective a little.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Slow and Steady

The author means well but makes the assumption that everyone wants the same thing, marriage, own a home, work a highly paid corporate job and so on. She offers good insight about the importance of making decisions in your twenties but does so in a monotone way. My favorite part was the concept of the strength of weak ties.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jay
  • Brooklyn, MI, United States
  • 05-22-12

Excellent - Time Well Spent

What made the experience of listening to The Defining Decade the most enjoyable?

Any additional comments?

My twenty two year old daughter just graduated from college and will be moving out of state. My wife listened to the audio version and bought two hard cover copies, one for our daughter and one for our twenty something son who lives in another city. It must have struck a chord as these young adults couldn't put it down, and asked if Meg Jay had any other books (not yet).

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Buy it now

This was on my list for a couple years and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long to read/listen to it. Easy to listen to, relatable stories, amazing points to take with you through life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book, would recommend to every 20-something

Great book. would recommend to every 20-something I know. Gives so much credible insight, gained from many years as a psychotherapist so you know it's all backed by science and studies. Almost always uses scholarly studies as her body of evidence, explained anecdotally.
10/10

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Life changing.

Every 20-something should give a shot to this book. I'm 24, and extremely happy to have heard it. It is actionable life advice backed up by research.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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So happy this book was recommended to me.

What a great collection of stories and much needed blunt education on navigating and getting through this decade! As a 24 year old willow in the wind I really needed Meg to tell me about myself, she did not disappoint.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Everyone Should Read

Every parent of a 20 something and every 20 something should read/listen to this book. What great insight and advice this book shares.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful