Hi All and a very Happy Weekend to you!
I hope you’re safe, well and relaxed. We’ve finally had the doors of our pubs, gyms, shops and restaurants reopened in England and what a relief it is. I’ve been to the gym and lifted real weights for the first time in 3 months (my smart watch is very happy with my sudden uptake in strenuous exercise!) and I finally got to see some of my friends for drinks and laughs on Friday night, having not seen them properly for at least 6 months, more in some cases. The table could only be booked for two hours, but we made sure that wasnt a problem..! I had a bit of a fuzzy head for 3 house viewings we went to yesterday. A tower of cocktail on tap may have been the culprit, but boy was it good ;).
This afternoon I shall be sitting in a friend’s garden enjoying afternoon tea, I cannot wait! It really is like a huge weight is being lifted on us all this past week, everyone appears to be so happy and giddy to be able to socialise with their friends and family again. It’s a really nice feeling.
I thought my next book review was a fairly fitting title for what I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of recently before the local world reopened – adulting (looking at houses and working) – and boy is that knackering!
ADULTS, BY EMMA JANE UNSWORTH
I decided to pick this read from the Rare Birds Book Club options last month as the previous month’s books were heavy and this one promised light relief and laughter, which I’m sure we’ve all needed during lockdown!
– Can’t afford her mortgage since her ex moved out
– is about to get dumped by her best friend
– spends all day online-stalking women with picture-perfect lives
And now her mother has appeared on her doorstep, unbidden, to save the day..
Is Jenny ready to grow up and rescue herself this time?Blurb, Adults, Emma Jane Unsworth
I’ve not read anything by this author before but of course know from the front of the book that her previous novel, ‘Animals’ became a film (I’ve not seen it), and it’s also published by one of my favourite publishers, Borough Press, so went into this one with high hopes.
A few pages in we learn that Jenny hasn’t been spending that much time with her glamorous, quirky, fortune telling Mother for the past couple of years. What she has been doing however, is spending far too much time scrolling, liking, commenting, crafting and obsessing over her social media. Quickly we are thrown in to Jenny’s brain, obsessively writing captions, thinking about hashtags, and being ridiculously neurotic by sending these to her best friend for thoughts and approval before posting.
This did make me laugh and relate to Jenny in some ways – my screen time has tended to get rather long during lockdown, and obviously I have this blog and my instagram and Facebook feeds as well as my own private social media accounts. I can account for bitching with other bloggers about algorithms, trying to get the right light for snaps and ensuring not to use those hashtags too much. I have to say I am definitely not in Jenny’s camp, I literally see something I like, take a photo of it and keep it for a post (or post it straight away if I feel like it) and I don’t tend to worry too much about captions, but I can think of a few large accounts who this seemingly ‘over exaggerated’ behaviour would perhaps apply to!
Jenny is basically needing rehab from her phone, quite literally. Her own life feels like a failure to her because of the perfect images she takes as a given to be happening, although she knows that can’t be the case because she spends so long making sure her own picture perfect life looks so candid and carefree, when she is anything but. In actual fact, Jenny is a successful column writer, living in London. No failures there. The only real failure is self obsession and perfection to the point of damaging relationships around her.
That’s our main themes – social media addiction, pressure to be a ‘real adult’ when you’re in your thirties, what that means, and not feeling good enough compared to others your own age or even worse…younger.
I think this theme, although written in a very funny way by the author, is actually a pretty big one. I’m not just talking about picture perfect lives, but also picture perfect people. I strongly believe that filters and editing apps are the reason behind the crazy climb in young girls getting everything overfilled and corrected, taking away their natural beauty. Hopefully it won’t go on for too much longer!
CAN’T PUT IT DOWN RATING: 3/5
I genuinely really enjoyed this book, it was funny, witty, I could literally binge like our character Jenny, just sitting for hours reading and reading. I love the format of using emails, texts, postcards to add a bit of a twist to some of the dialogue and situations. I think we can all engage and empathise with Jenny in a lot of ways as our screen time increases during so much downtime.
What dropped this off the pedestal for me is the use of some really inappropriate things to add humour. I’m not part of the offended by everything society and my favourite word is most people’s hated swear word – so to say that I found something inappropriate is pretty major. But there were a couple of instances like that, which let me down a bit.
In addition, whilst I found Jenny as a narrator amusing in an over exaggerated comical way, I also found her to be frustrating, paranoid and narcisstic. It was quite honestly like reading a book through the mind of some people I’ve known throughout my life and that was a little tiring to stick with through for 350 pages.
However, it was a very funny book and had a nice ending overall, and a gentle reminder to get off your phone. Much needed when our screen time is quite frankly, crazy!
Also available on audiobook
WASHED DOWN WITH:
When I ordered my cream egg tea from Bird and Blend, they very kindly sent me a sample of their builder’s brew tea. Now I’m a girl that likes her tea STRONG. No dishwater tea for me thanks! This one was a great flavour for a teabag brew, it actually rivalled Waitrose loose leaf for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would happily drink more! You can buy you own here http://www.birdandblendtea.com
Well my lovely friends, its time for me to get ready for my afternoon tea! I hope you have a lovely, relaxing day whatever you do, and all the best for the upcoming week,
Will you be picking up Adults? Have you read it? If so what did you think?
Until the Next Chapter,