Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth: Your Preview Verdict

Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth: Your Preview Verdict

Jenny is unloved, unemployable and emotionally unfiltered. Her long-suffering friends seem sick of her and whilst her social media portrays her life as a bed of roses, it is more of a dying succulent.
Could things get any worse?

Read some highlights from our Preview reviewers who loved meeting Jenny and reading about her struggles in today’s world.

Meet Jenny McLaine: Single. 35 years old. Radical feminist online magazine columnist. First impression: Obsessed with social media. Agonises over the image she projects. The epitome of shallow. Overthinks everything. Excessively needy. Endlessly seeks approval. Constantly second-guesses every nuance. Thinks IMPORTANT things in SHOUTY CAPITALS! Begs her friend to proof-read emails to her new boyfriend. Priorities severely distorted. Radiates insecurity. All this even before she loses her job, her best friend and her boyfriend. How did she get that way? Will she survive the challenges life has thrown her? Will she join the adults? Although a little disjointed, this blackly funny and perceptive novel will likely tick a lot of boxes, and not just for millennials. – Marianne, NSW, 5 stars

Adults is a story of Jenny McLaine who, at 35, owns her home, writes for a magazine and obsesses over social media. She has great relationships – that are all on-line. Her brand is what matters to her more than the real world. When things start falling apart, her relationships, job and home life, she has to find a way to move forward. Jenny’s fortune teller mother and friend Kelly try to help with varying success. Jenny has to work out how she will fit in her new conditions and what is really important to her. I loved when she started thinking about herself and the best fit for her real life, not her on-line one. Her ex-boyfriend Art is complicated, but I’m glad she worked out a way to resolve her feelings that works for her. Interesting read about the modern world with different issues and how they might be solved. – Tara, SA, 4 stars

Jenny’s internal dialogue is confronting, relevant, unfiltered and very unique. Jenny is apologetically herself and I loved being privy to her stream of consciousness. I was hooked from the first page. I also loved the unique touch of the chapter headings being the first words of the sentence below. – Kelly, QLD, 4 stars

‘Adults’ is a raw and honest look into a 35 year old woman’s life and the pressures and expectations that come with being both that age and a woman. The dialogue is sharp, witty and there were many moments which made me laugh out loud or deeply cringe! Very relatable and a thoroughly enjoyable read. – Alex, NSW, 4 stars

‘Adults’ is an engaging read full of enjoyable mischief, particularly relating to phrasing and words. I loved the clever dialogue and the perceptiveness evident throughout the book. Characters were interesting. I liked the drama of Jenny’s mother. It is a book about love, loss and growth. Technology and how we misuse it is a major theme throughout. I recommend it as a great read that will keep you thinking long after you have finished the book. – Sandra, ACT, 5 stars

I adored this book. The spectrum of emotions while reading was so vast, absolutely all the feels in this fab book by Emma Jane Unsworth. Anyone in their 30’s grappling with being an adult should read this. So relatable, so raw and so real. Jenny could be any of us. – Kasey, QlD, 5 stars

At first I found this book a little confusing because I am not used to this format. However, as I read on, I became more and more involved in Jenny’s story. It’s a bitter/sweet, funny/sad tale and completely relatable in these modern times. Recommended. – Verity, SA, 4 stars

Jenny McLaine lives an Instagram life, curated hashtags showcase her living her best life. Shame her real life is falling apart around her… Obsessed with online life and in pursuit of the approval of the perfect Suzy Brambles,  Jenny’s story begins bright and breezy, her most angst worthy moment involving ! Or !!? Witty writing makes for easy reading, slowly revealing the depth of her addiction and losses of job, boyfriend and friends.   At one or two points i did struggle to stay with the narrative as the tone changed, and some characters were fairly one dimensional, although i would argue this is reflective of Jenny’s view of reality and not out of place.  I am glad that I persevered through the slower spots as i did become invested in her journey. Thank you to Harper Collins Australia and BetterReading for the advance reader copy. – Juanita, NSW, 4 stars

I found Adults, by Emma Jane Unsworth to be an enjoyable, touching read. Although at times did have me questioning if I had already read something similar. I found the characters lovely and the plot moved well. Adults was a pleasurable Summer read. Thank you. – Rebecca, TAS, 4 stars

Adults is, ultimately, a book about life. Jenny is a thirty-five-year-old “adult” with a lot of problems, camouflaged by her obsession with social media. Yes, her thoroughly thought out and obsessively vetted Instagram photos seem to show an in-control life but underneath everything is hanging by a thread. Her job is trivial, her mother full on, her boyfriend gone and her best friend drifting away. I loved how each chapter allowed us to see Jenny as greater and more heartbreaking than her online image. I found Adults to be a lovely frazzled story and a reminder not to judge from the surface but to always try to understand why. Five stars from me. – Daniella, QLD, 5 stars

As someone who has chosen not to be actively involved in social media, I was keen to read this book for an insight into this “other world” with so many self-confessed addicts. Right from the beginning I really enjoyed Jenny’s observations of the people around her and her comments about her mother, Carmen, intrigued me – the Prologue had me hooked. The first few chapters about Jenny’s stressing and obsessing over Instagram captions and photos set the scene. Social media consumed her in both private and professional life. She was not a character I could relate to. As well as the problems and pressures associated with social media, the main characters have to deal with their insecurities, anxieties, relationships, finances and other issues in the real world of everyday living. By the end they have developed some acceptance of, and insight into, themselves and others; they seemed more content. There were some very dry and witty conversations and observations throughout the book. I found it to be a delightful modern read. – Sue, QLD, 4 stars

When I was younger I thought all adults had it together. Now I’m older I realise that some of us as just good at faking it. Adults is a great example of how appearances can be deceiving. In a world where social media only shows what we want it to and Instagram doesn’t show the entire picture Adults highlights that illusion. Jenny’s story is funny and tragic in a way that isn’t wholly apparent until she fully lets us into her life beyond the superficial. I found Jenny hard to like at first but came to adore her because of all her flaws. The secondary cast are fabulous (especially Jenny’s slightly eccentric mother) and I enjoyed reading a story where you needed to see beyond the obvious to get to the heart of it. It’s heartbreaking at times, ridiculous at others. But entirely entertaining and a fun and thoughtful read. – Kate, QLD, 4 stars

I absolutely loved reading Adults! Emma Jane Unsworth’s punchy writing style had me laughing out loud as Jenny McLaine navigates her job, social media addiction, relationship breakdown, friendship crisis and family drama. Caught in the hampster wheel age where every moment is shared on social media, the themes of this novel resonate every time you feel the habitual compulsion to grab your phone to check for the latest like and follow. For anyone who finds themselves caught in the #epidemic of endless scrolling, capturing the best angle of their morning #croissant and debating the #besthashtag this book will have you laughing while cringing at the realisation that you identify just a bit too closely with Jenny’s digital addiction. So put your phone down and pick up the book Adults because each page will make you want to hit like! The characters are real, the dialogue really delivers and the timely themes will resonate with many readers. Emma’s previous book Animals was made into a film and it will be no surprise if Adults is also adapted for the screen. I became an instant Unsworth fan and I can’t wait to see what this she writes next. #5stars – Vanessa, NSW, 5 stars

I have never read Emma Jane Unsworth book before, but after reading this I know I will look for her other novel. It’s very rare that I read a book and within the first few pages I am completely hooked. I fell in love with this straightaway! ‘Adults’ features Jenny McLaine, who has some umm let’s call them social issues. I particularly liked the use of social media in this book. You could imagine in this internet era where people constantly posting on Instagram and texting on a mobile. Through some mild stalking and other questionable behavior, the story plot is hilarious and heart- warming. The interaction between Jenny, friends, ex-boyfriend and her mother are so funny. Thank you Jenny for being so funny and so blunt! A must read book that that will keep you smiling every time you turn the pages. Smart, warm, uplifting, Adults is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary adult whose deadpan weirdness makes an irresistible journey as she realizes. A magical blend of romance, good-natured humour and likeable main character that make this novel special. I’m looking forward to reading more of Emma’s books. Thank you to Better Reading Team for my copy in exchange for a review. – Margaret, NSW, 5 stars

I laughed, I cried, and I invested in these characters. There’s a little bit of Jenny in all of us and Emma Jane Unsworth drew her so perfectly. This is the essential guide to modern womanhood. A must read! – Kirsten, WA, 5 stars

Reviews

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      25 February 2020

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        Emma Jane Unsworth's Adults is Hilarious and at Times Heartbreaking

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        25 February 2020

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            Publisher details

            Adults
            Author
            Emma Jane Unsworth
            Publisher
            HarperCollins
            Genre
            Fiction
            Released
            20 January, 2020
            ISBN
            9780008334598

            Synopsis

            Jenny is unloved, unemployable and emotionally unfiltered. Her long-suffering friends seem sick of her and whilst her social media portrays her life as a bed of roses, it is more of a dying succulent.Adults is what you want it to be. A misadventure of maturity, a satire on our age of self-promotion, a tender look at the impossibility of womanhood, a love story, a riot. And Emma Jane Unsworth is the only voice to hear it from. Adults is excruciating, a gut punch of hilarity and a book laden with truth that you will read again and again.'DAZZLING' Marian Keyes, ‘HILARIOUS' Dolly Alderton, ‘TENDER' Jessie Burton, ‘MAGNIFICENT' Daisy Buchanan, ‘INCREDIBLE' Candice Carty Williams, ‘MOVING' Laura Jane Williams, ‘BRILLIANT' Nikesh Shukla, ‘I LOVED IT' Sam Baker, ‘PAINFULLY TRUE' Kate Davies
            Emma Jane Unsworth
            About the author

            Emma Jane Unsworth

            Emma Jane Unsworth is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. Her novel, Animals has been adapted into a film, for which Unsworth wrote the screenplay. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival 2019. She also writes for television and various magazines.

            Books by Emma Jane Unsworth

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