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Publisher's Summary

Young Jane Young's heroine is Aviva Grossman, an ambitious congressional intern in Florida who makes the life-changing mistake of having an affair with her boss - who is beloved, admired, successful, and very married - and blogging about it. When the affair comes to light, the congressman doesn't take the fall, but Aviva does, and her life is over before it hardly begins. She becomes a late-night talk show punchline; she is slut shamed and considered a blight on politics in general. How does one go on after this?

In Aviva's case, she sees no way out but to change her name and move to a remote town in Maine. She tries to start over as a wedding planner, to be smarter about her life, and to raise her daughter to be strong and confident. But when, at the urging of others, she decides to run for public office herself, that long ago mistake trails her via the Internet like a scarlet A. For in our age, Google guarantees that the past is never, ever truly past, that everything you've done will live on for everyone to know about for all eternity. And it's only a matter of time until Aviva's daughter, Ruby, finds out who her mother was and is and must decide whether she can still respect her.

©2017 Gabrielle Zevin (P)2017 HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Karen White animates five perspectives in this story of Aviva, a young intern who has a disastrous affair with a congressman.... White excels at using accents, intonations, and emotions to create believable portrayals of primary and secondary characters.... White captures relationship dynamics and irony with a light touch that reveals darker themes of sexism and the unforgiving nature of the Internet." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    84
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    96
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    37
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    11
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    5

Performance

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    73
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    25
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    5
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    3

Story

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    90
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    33
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

DNF not for me

I was bored and annoyed and bored by this. I slogged thru first 4 chapters & then acted on my NEw Years resolution to DNF books that aren't for me . No more dutiful death marches to end of an unfulfilling book.
Took too long to get going. I didn't want to spend another second with the character who narrated the early chapters. It wasn't funny or charming or endearing. So I bailed.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

"she said, she said, she said, she said....."

Would you try another book from Gabrielle Zevin and/or Karen White?

Maybe, from Gabrielle Zevin, I'm still not finished yet, but if the writing is a little more creative, it's possible. Karen White, however, is fantastic! Her narration is the main thing that has kept me from giving in on this novel.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I haven't been able to make it to the end yet. I go back to it, and listen to the repeated "she said, she said" for every single character, for every single time they speak. One reviewer stated that she thought it was "lazy writing" and I really have to agree. My 1st grade nephew knows more ways to describe when someone is speaking or has spoken. I listen for as long as I possibly can, but each "she said" grows more and more grating, and when I can't take it anymore, I stop listening for a few weeks, then go back again.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Karen White's narration saved it!

Any additional comments?

The use of a thesaurus would be a game changer!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Poignant in a today's deluge of sexual misconduct

Any additional comments?

It always blows my mind when novels that were likely written a while ago are so prophetic. A story about an intern who sleeps with a married congressman could not be more relevant in today's deluge of sexual misconduct cases, and how it destroys the lives of women while their predator's careers remain relatively untarnished. Aviva/Jane is a wonderful sympathetic character and love the way the author so brilliantly captured Jewish culture in South Florida and the complicated mother/daughter dynamic that exists within that. A story that was over a little too soon ... I could have used a little more time with these characters.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Light, Fluffy, Flawed but Fun

Overall rating: 3 and 1/2 stars.

This is feather-light, fun reading for when you need a break from current events and more serious books, and don't want to have to think too hard.

On the one hand, as my husband (who listened to it with me) summarizes, it's shallow, superficial, childish, and silly. As the cover art suggests, characters are cartoonish and incompletely drawn; think stick-figure sketches, or caricatures at most, not fully realized portraits. Also, the story is more than a little preposterous (e.g., Who would be so traumatized by scandal that she would go so far as to legally change her name and hide so completely from the world that not even her family knows where she is, much less that she has a child...and then expose herself by running for public office?). Plot holes abound, and the author's stylistic choices are often very questionable (e.g., repeating He said, he said, he said, repeatedly; tossing in incongruous elements of magical realism like an invisible talking parrot).

Nevertheless, it's oddly addictive. I almost never finish a truly bad book, and I could not let this one go until I reached the end. Some of the author's wacky choices are quite creative, as in Aviva's final chapter, which is told in the form of a Choose Your Own Adventure story. The author's unfailingly perky style is perfectly suited to the material; she reminds me of an overly caffeinated, chipper-cheerful Hope Davis. Her high energy helped propel the story along, and made it an easy listen.

⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An alternative look at political sex scandals

Although this book is fictional, there are many parallels to the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky story. The news stories surrounding that scandal painted only one picture - the lying politician, the innocent, stupid intern, and the wife who stayed only for political reasons. This story offers perspective on each of the players that is far different than what the news media portrays to the public, and is far more believable. The performance was outstanding - she was able to capture the personality of each of the characters.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Funny, charming...

...thoughtful and so true. Not for one second boring and narration is excellent. What a treat.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Teresa
  • Olney, IL, United States
  • 10-07-17

A quick, fun read/listen.

I really liked this book. I first thought it was going to be a mostly humorous book, but found it to have a much deeper story, more guts. Don’t get me wrong.. I laughed out loud or chuckled to myself plenty of times throughout, but it also held my interest because of what Aviva went through and rose above. Plus, Ruby was an enjoyable character. I know it’s fiction, but I applaud a side story of a smart, young person being raised correctly by a single mom! A quick, fun read/listen.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Humor + social commentary

There are some acute and uncomfortable social observations in this story, specifically how the online media can damage and / or destroy a person's life. For those who loved "The Storied Life of AJ Fikry", this is not that book. There is humor and great characters; the author uses a different storytelling style for each section. I did prefer the first chapters which were first third person narratives; the e-mails of the third section and the "choose your adventure" of the final section weren't as successful IMHO. Still, an entertaining and thought-provoking story. ( FYI, check out Monica Lewinsky's TED talk on cyber-bullying. You will never see the Clinton debacle in the same way). Narrator was good, especially when voicing Rachel Shapiro / chapter one.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Best book of the summer!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

YES (see below)

What did you like best about this story?

My mother and grandmother are elected officials and I'm currently volunteering on a congressional campaign (for a woman) and this was just so emotionally accurate. Although there were parts where you had to suspend your disbelief for sure, the writing was so able to capture the emotion of mother/daughter relationships, elections, public perceptions, and just what it's like to be a woman. i literally could not stop listening to this book and finished it in about two days. the ending made me cry, and i can't remember the last time that happened.

Which scene was your favorite?

any number of ruby's emails, but my favorite line was probably "i don't know if it's normal in my country for event planners to run for mayor."

i also LOVED the chapter in which ruby forges an extremely unlikely friendship.

If you could rename Young Jane Young, what would you call it?

"i don't know if it's normal in my country for event planners to fur mayor" :)

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Light-hearted

I was only able to give this book 4/5 stars, as the last 1/5th of the book was really lacking. I enjoyed the narration immensely. The story is told in 5 parts. First from the main character's mom (hilarious), the second from the main character, the third from the main character's daughter (by far the most endearing), the 4th from the congressman's wife, and the final section in the 3rd person wrapping everything up with a recap from beginning to end. This is where my criticism lies - in the wrap up - not tidy (great) but redundant without much new information to really make it interesting.

That said, I found the listen very light-hearted, and thought the narrator was spot on in delivery. A decent summer read.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful