What I read in June

Young Jane Young, Gabrielle Zevin

YJY

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

What I liked/didn’t like: I loved the timeliness of the story, the story from the women’s points of view, and I really liked a lot of the characters. There wasn’t much I didn’t like about it, except that I wanted it to continue.

Exit West, Mohsin Hamid

EW

Rating: 5/5 stars

What I liked/didn’t like: I loved the melancholy of the book, as well as Hamid’s prose– there were just some really beautifully written sentences. I won’t say a lot about this one, it’s one you’ll have to read for yourself. But I’ve recommended it just about everywhere I could, if that says something. May not be a light, summer read, but it’s a quick read.

 

Difficult Women, Roxane Gay

DW.jpg

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

What I liked/didn’t like: Difficult Women is a collection of short stories, all from a different story or perspective. I laughed, I cried, I emailed Roxane Gay to tell her how much her writing impacted me. There were some weird ones that I sort of breezed through, there were some that I sat the book down and ugly cried for a while. Relatable women, unrelatable women, I learned something, I felt something.

Despite the heat and the call for summer reads— I read some heavy ones this past month. I think they hit where I was emotionally for me as well as providing a release (there was a lot of crying…) I’m doing better, and I’d like to think it was in part due to some of these reads. After all, everything you read becomes a part of you…

(ps– Honorable mentions go to Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling and In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, both of which went back to the library unfinished. I may pick them back up at another point, but in June, they just didn’t work for me)

Young Jane Young

Aviva Grossman, a college co-ed and aspiring political force, has an affair. With the man whose campaign she’s interning for.

36878023

Aviva, now unhireable, changes her name, her occupation, and moves across the country. In Young Jane Young, we see the fallout of the affair in the lives of each of the four women whose lives are affected– Aviva’s, her mother’s, the politician’s wife, and Aviva’s young daughter.

Aviva (now Jane Young) knows it’s unfair. It wasn’t just her affair– he was involved, too. But she’s dealt with the repercussions while he got to carry on with his life and political career.

Rachel, Aviva’s mother, loses her daughter and own philandering husband in the aftermath of the affair coming to light.

Embeth, the wife, really loves her husband. She doesn’t much mind that she was cheated on, just that it was public. Plus, she has her cancer to worry about.

Ruby is Aviva’s daughter. She is her mother’s assistant in the wedding planning business and believes that her biological father is dead.

Jane Young finally decides to dip her toe back into politics– and the four lives finally collide.

I’m rating this one 3.5/5 stars. I loved the varying narratives, felt for each of the women, and enjoyed not letting another male politician skate away– this time her story is heard. And, of course, I dig that. The characters were likeable, relatable, and fun. I only felt that the ending was a bit abrupt– but maybe only because I wanted the narrative to go on.