Young Jane Young | Penguin Random House Canada

Young Jane Young

Publisher: Viking
From the author of the international bestseller The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry:

Named a Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction of 2017
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A Chatelaine Best Fall Reads pick
#1 on the August Library Reads list

An Entertainment Weekly’s “13 Books to Read in August”
An Amazon’s “Best Books of the Month” for August
A Barnes & Noble “August’s Best New Fiction” pick
#3 on the September Indie Next List

Aviva Grossman is a bright, ambitious congressional intern with a promising political future ahead of her until she makes the mistake of having an affair with her very married boss … and writing what she thinks is an anonymous blog about it. When the affair dramatically comes to light, it’s not the popular congressman who takes the fall, it’s Aviva—and her life suddenly seems over before it’s hardly begun. Slut-shamed and hounded by the media, she becomes a late-night talk show punchline. Determined to rebuild her life on her own terms, Aviva changes her name, moves from Florida to a small town in Maine, starts her own wedding planning business … and decides to continue a surprise pregnancy.
But when “Jane” decides to run for public office, that long-ago mistake—an inescapable scarlet A—trails her via the Internet, threatening to derail her life yet again. It’s only a matter of time until her daughter finds out who her mother once was—and is forced to reconcile that person with the one she thinks she knows …
Young Jane Young is a smart, funny, and extremely timely novel which exposes the myriad ways we shame, forgive, and love one another. Just as she did in The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, the superbly talented Gabrielle Zevin has created a cast of unforgettable characters: an ambitious yet naive twenty-something, a mother attempting to steer her daughter through a judgmental world, a veteran political wife facing the hard truth that fidelity isn’t always rewarded, and a young girl who feels bold about her choices before she realizes the restrictions all around her. Not only does Zevin skewer the inherent double standards in women’s everyday lives, she also explores the true meaning of resilience—and, ultimately, forgiveness.


"This sly, exhilirating novel takes on slut-shaming . . . and manages to be hilarious in the process. . . . [Aviva] emerges as a strong woman to be celebrated."--People (Book of the Week)

"This book will not only thoroughly entertain everyone who reads it; it is the most immaculate takedown of slut-shaming in literature or anywhere else. Cheers, and gratitude, to the author." —Kirkus Review, starred review

“Splendid . . . A witty, strongly drawn group of female voices tells Aviva’s story . . . [Zevin] has created a fun and frank tale. Her vibrant and playful writing, and the fully realized characters taking turns as narrator, bring the story a zestful energy, even while exploring dark themes of secrecy and betrayal. Zevin perfectly captures the realities of the current political climate and the consequences of youthful indiscretions in an era when the Internet never forgets.”

“Presenting a sharp send-up of our culture’s obsession with scandal and blame, this novel pulls at the seams of misogyny from all angles . . . Likely to be a popular book club pick.”
Library Journal

“Satisfying and entertaining.”
Publishers Weekly
Young Jane Young is a witty and wise story of three generations of women; in particular, Rachel and Ruby are often laugh-out-loud funny, while Jane/Aviva and Embeth have a wryer take on their circumstances. Strong and brave, transformed by scandal, they make their way in an often hostile world. In a dream, Jane asks Aviva how she survived. Aviva replies, "I refused to be shamed."
—Shelf Awareness

“[T]his is a redemptive novel inspired by the ordeal of Monica Lewinsky…. [T]he last thing anyone wants is to be dragged through the Starr Report again, one cigar at a time. Which is what makes Zevin’s clever approach to this story so appealing. Her novel comes to us in five distinct parts, each focusing on a different woman affected by Avivagate. That structure rotates the scandal in curious ways, and it also shows off just what a clever ventriloquist Zevin is…. Maybe with enough determination and love and support, women can choose their own adventures. They can start, like Aviva, by choosing not to be ashamed. In this life-affirming novel, Zevin doesn’t make that look easy, but she makes it look possible.”
The Washington Post
“Zevin’s newest novel is an engrossing tale of growing up female in the digital age that every young girlboss should put on their to-read list.”
—Brit + Co

“It's brilliant and hilarious, and it makes you wince in recognition…. It's the sort of book that invites us to examine our long-held beliefs and perceptions. It asks us to imagine, for a moment, another perspective and delivers us the storyline to do so…. It hands us characters who are at odds with one another and peels back their layers to reveal the thing they have in common. It has a heart. And a spine. It's exactly, I would argue, what we need more of right now.” Chicago Tribune
“By presenting a novel that delves into the life of Aviva – the 'slutty' woman whose stereotype has become all too prevalent in today’s society – Zevin offers a deft counterargument in the form of a well-crafted story. The book raises powerful questions about who receives the blame in such Monica Lewinsky-esque scenarios.” News & Observer
“Young Jane Young features witty yet compassionate storytelling from four women at different stages of their lives, each relating to the same event that uprooted them in profound and personal ways…. Zevin works creatively with arrangement, allowing the story to develop nonlinearly. She uses brilliantly unusual formats, such as a series of outgoing emails to a pen pal as a way for a precocious teen to speak candidly. The final section is told through a playful choose-your-own-ending format, which, tellingly, only provides one choice—a simple yet profound way to look upon the past.” BookPage
“Gabrielle Zevin’s latest work is a smart, intersectional feminist tour de force about feminine power and shame…. Each character’s voice is distinct and moves the tale along. The prose is lovely and lively in Ms. Zevin’s energetic and engaging style.” The Washington Times

"Witty and insightful with a crowd of strong female voices, this is a brilliant read." —Emerald Street

"[Zevin] writes splendidly, capturing speech flawlessly. . . . Young Jane Young is clever and easily read." The American Jewish World

"The tale is told, brilliantly, in many voices. . . . Significantly, there are no male narrators. This is a woman’s story." The Daily Mail

Praise for Gabrielle Zevin's work:

"Zevin has done something old-fashioned and fairly rare these days. She has written an entertaining novel, modest in scope, engaging and funny without being cloying or sentimental." The Washington Post

"The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry 
reminds us what saves us all from a life of loneliness and isolation: our sense of empathy; our ability to love and be loved; our willingness to care and be cared for. Gabrielle Zevin has written a wonderful, moving, endearing story of redemption and transformation that will sing in your heart for a very, very long time." —Garth Stein, NYT Bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

"This novel has humor, romance, a touch of suspense, but most of all love--love of books and bookish people and, really, all of humanity in its imperfect glory." —Eowyn Ivey, NYT Bestselling author of The Snow Child

"Wonderful, thoughtful and touching ... [It] explores the depth of grief, yearning and heartbreak. There is a love story, yes, but it's handled with a sensitivity and genuine clarity that is both surprising and refreshing. ... It is a powerful novel." The Globe and Mail

"A smart, sweet and surprising story about life, love and second chances." —CBC Books

"Zevin is a deft writer, clever and witty." Publishers Weekly

"Funny, tender, and moving, it reminds us all exactly why we read and why we love." Library Journal, starred review

"This book is a gift to book lovers. Funny, tender, and inspiring..." The Huffington Post