Cover Image: Adults

Adults

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Member Reviews

Adults is a witty, honest and relevant novel about Jenny, 35 years old, trying to navigate ‘adult life’ as a definite social media addict. She’s actually a character I didn’t warm to very much at the start, as she’s just so obsessed with Instagram, other platforms, and how she appeared to other people, that it made me sort of switch off a bit. As a result I definitely identified with her less to start with.

However, as the book progressed I found myself beginning to really like Jenny. She comes out with some really dry, humorous lines – both in her head and out loud to those characters around her – and she finds herself in situations which provides a lot of entertainment for the reader, despite her being quite annoying at times. I can relate to some of the situations and there are some serious subjects which are addressed too.

Overall I thought this was an enjoyable, fun and very current read.
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I read this book late last year so I'm trying to remember what I thought about this book at the time. I was excited to read this title because of Animals. Unsworth is very insightful in the way that she captures female friendships, especially when they are going wrong. This book also engages with dynamic really well and also looks at mother/daughter relationships as well. It's a good read, not an amazing one though, and I struggled to recall reading this book some 6 months later. However,  I will say that Unsworth does a better job of creating not-so-likeable female protagonists that a lot of writers out there.
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Thankyou to Harper Collins UK for sending me an ARC copy of this book.  I was excited to read this novel due to its focus on social media and approval in the digital age.  However I didn´t enjoy reading Adults as I found the character Jenny to be unrelatable and I couldn´t empathise with her concerns and very quickly became infuriated by her actions.

I would be interested in reading further books by Emma Jane Unsworth but I found that 'Adults' was just not for me.
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I really enjoyed this book. It’s different than the usual books I read which tend to be dark. What can I say? Every now and again it’s good to step out of darkness into the light and feel the sun on your face. Or something like that. I enjoyed every word of Adults. It’s very funny and very real. Jenny is an amazing character, such a delightful mess. She reminds me of an ex. I loved Jenny a little. I wanted to hang out with her and give her a good shake at times to save her from herself. Jenny’s experiences with social media, panicking about what to say, how to say it and how it will be interpreted were painfully spot on. There are some sad moments as well between Jenny and her boyfriend, Art during and after the end of their relationship. This is feel good book about life and love. I had such fun with it.
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Unfortunately this book could not hold my attention at all. The writing seemed very sporadic with too much punctuation. 

Did not finish
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A snapshot into the life and mind of a 35 year old woman in these modern, social media obsessed times.
On the surface Jenny is selfish, shallow, vacuous. She's so enthralled by creating a hip, cool online persona and keeping up with influencer friends that she actually neglects her real life ones. But as the book progresses you see she is a multi layered character. I loved hearing her inner monologue and reading her drafted emails. I enjoyed the complex relationships with her ex Art and her mum, Carmen. There was a lot of warmth, personality and relatability in this book. Snort out loud funny. Just because we can do it all, doesn't mean we are any happier. Being an adult is hard, don't beat yourself up about it. And take a step back from the screen!
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Just genius! Such a wonderful amazing story, I read it twice and recommended it to so many people! Jenny is likeable and funny and bright but sometimes her own pest enemy! Super contemporary and exploring the pit falls of social media and not having a soho house membership. Woke and brilliant.
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I laughed out loud so many times reading this. I did find it got a little slow in the middle after a killer opening, but it never lost its humour and I will 100% be picking up her other books.
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This book was a whirlwind in the best possible way. Fast paced and very funny. The book follows Jenny and her coping, or not, with all the daily pressures of life - her mum, social media, public opinion, pressure, work, relationships, the list goes on! I’ve read a few books that take place in the present and I find them really enjoyable as they are so relatable. I was drawn to Jenny from the start and loved following her journey through some difficult situations.
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If you’re a fan of Fleabag or Girls (like me) then you’re going to love this book. It has the same fast paced wit and the strong female lead, as well as plenty of other awful characters along the way!
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This is such a refreshing and brilliantly relevant read and one I’ll definitely be recommending to all my friends.
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I really wanted to love this novel, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't,  I found it altogether odd (sadly not the loveable kind) and very uncomfortable to read in places. I'm sure others will adore it but it certainly didn't hit the spot I'd hoped it would for me.

It isn't all bad it made me giggle a few times (the opening croissant debacle springs to mind here!) and there are some gorgeous literary phrases. But for the most part, I found I couldn't connect with the characters at all. 
 
It is current, it's frank & honest but Jenny is so selfish, self-obsessed and petty it broke my heart too much for me to be able to enjoy reading it. She was lacking any redeeming features for me to able to hold on to in her darkest self-absorbed moments.  

Thank-you The Borough Press & Netgalley for sending me a copy in exchange for an open & honest review.

⭐⭐⭐
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To be fair the MC is unlikeable infantile and far from anything you would call adult. This is a niche book I think appealing to those immersed in social media, unable to make unilateral decisions or to run their own lives. For me it has no real draw
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This book makes the ideal beach read IMO.

A light, funny novel with some great themes.

I'm not sure I was 100% the right reader for this book, but perhaps it was just a case of right book, wrong time.
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Firstly, I want to say that the main character in this book is a selfish and irritating person. I did find her funny at times, but I wouldn’t ever be friends with such a person and I guess that didn’t help my feelings about her.

Jenny is social media obsessed. I guess a lot of people can relate to her character, feeling the need to update one of their many social media accounts constantly. This does strike a chord.

There are plenty of incidents in the book that made me pity Jenny. Her ex boyfriend treat her appallingly and throughout the book he continued to toy with her emotions. For that I felt that the character was going to be striking a chord with a lot of readers.

The one character I loved was Jenny’s mum. Her mediumistic abilities and love for all things esoterical brought a much needed lightness to a book that aimed to be humorous but just felt quite grim from start to finish.

I think the aim of the story is to be satirical, and maybe plenty of people got this vibe. I just did not get this.
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Oh dear! I wanted to love this book, I really did.

The problem for me was that the main character, Jenny, was just too unlikable, to the point that I struggled to summon up the slightest ounce of empathy for any of her woes.

From the very beginning she is self-absorbed, vacuous and a terrible friend / girlfriend / daughter. She’s so very obsessed with how she is perceived in the online world, by aspirational influencers and other total strangers, that she neglects to take the slightest interest in anyone around her – unless she’s working out how she can use them to further her own ends. It makes for pretty painful reading.

Luckily, Emma Jane Unsworth is a talented writer, so her witty touch in skewering the social media stratosphere helps to lighten the story and lift the reader. And, of course, Jenny does learn and grow (a little bit) as the story progresses, although it seems it may take her hitting absolute rock bottom before she will even lift her gaze from her Insta feed, let alone reassess her priorities in life.

I did find, towards the end, as Jenny’s insecurities and deeper motivations slowly come to light, that I developed an better understanding of her behaviour and with that came a greater empathy for her need to distract, deny and detach herself from the real world. Still, I would much rather be friends with a Kelly than a Jenny, I’m afraid!

Although this is an entertaining, spiky skewering of modern social media obsession, I felt too uncomfortable with Jenny’s selfishness and pettiness to be able to thoroughly enjoy it. There just wasn’t the warmer, brighter side (that you’d get with characters from Helen Fielding, Marian Keyes etc) to draw me in to the story and make me care about her challenges.

I think I prefer my chick-lit with a little more heart and a lot less image-conscious posturing!





He rubbed his face. ‘Okay,’ he said. ‘We have a problem.’
I finished my comment, a simple, single red heart emoji – the classic choice; just enough – clicked the phone to sleep and looked at him. Art said: ‘You are on that thing when we eat, you are on it when we watch TV, you are on it when we go for a walk, and now you are on it when we are having sex.’
‘It was a slow bit!’
‘It was sex, Jenny. Not a film.’

– Emma Jane Unsworth, Adults


Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
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I think I'm now officially old!  I'm sure this book appeals to those in tune with the zeitgeist but to me, it was just irritating.  I didn't care for the characters at all, self-obsessed whinging and navel-gazing is not my thing.  Obviously being an adult comes much later in life now!
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I thought I would really enjoy this book, but in the end I found the main character to be utterly unlikeable and incredibly infuriating at times, to the point I was actually making myself angry by reading it!  She’s the 2020 version of Ally McBeal, but broken before she even started out the story and it doesn’t feel good to be dragged through her ongoing dramas. Then, all of a sudden, everything is fine by the end - perhaps a sign of how superficial modern dramas have become?
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I love love love this book! When we meet Jenny, the protagonist of Adults, she’s agonising over a picture that she’s sure will define her as a human being. It’s a picture of a croissant. Transcendental pastries and Jenny comparing herself to Ellen Ripley only a few pages in had me completely hooked. I wasn’t sure where this book would go but I definitely wasn’t expecting such an emotional and insightful story which showed just obsessed you can become with having the perfect insta life. 
Jenny’s mother is hilarious, one of the best characters I’ve come across in a while. Art however is the worst and I want to sit him down for a viewing of Midsommar as soon as possible.
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I'm probably any older than the target audience for this book, and almost gave up on it early on. However, I'm glad I stuck with it. The opening chapters of Jenny, completely social media obsessed didn't resonate with me at all but the unfolding of the story kept me interested. Jenny is recently single, having split from her 'famous' photographer boyfriend and is struggling on all counts with her life. We follow her gradually coming to some painful realisations about her and her life. A different sort of coming of age story.
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Jenny is a 30 something online columnist who has been trying so hard to live her best ‘online’ life, that she has become obsessive and completely neurotic about the likes and followers. She has totally lost sight of her real life, which has been slowly falling apart.
There were some great moments in this book, laugh out loud funny at times. But for me it just didn’t seem to flow as I was reading it. I think that may have had something to do with the main character, Jenny, I just couldn’t take to her and found myself almost getting bored of her neuroses a little bit.  That said, overall I still enjoyed the book and was definitely rooting for Jenny towards the end.
My thanks to NetGalley and Borough Press for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review.
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Jennifer is witty, charming and completely anxious at any given moment. A lot of her anxiety seems to come from the place of her power: she is a writer and feels she is well liked for her funny one liners, but the pressure to appear clever and funny in an effortless way makes her feel nearly ill. Her turmoil over the perfect instagram post about a croissant, complete with trying to drag in her long suffering friend Kelly  to proofread her "off the cuff" offering, tickled me, but I felt like I needed more than this. I did enjoy Jenny's psychic mother and trying lodgers, but ultimately the book wasn't for me, as I just couldn't warm to Jenny. I would still recommend for anyone looking for a light read about modern life and romance.
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