Our lovely XoXperts reviewed YOUNGER by Pamela Redmond Satran, now a TV series on TV Land staring Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar and directed by Darren Star of Sex and The City!
What did they think? Read on to find out!
First, a quick synopsis:
44 year-old Alice has had a difficult year and chooses New Year’s Eve to make a wish to be younger. She has never looked her age, but with her recent weight loss, she is looking pretty good. It is not that she wants to be twenty again, but Alice would like to have the opportunities of a young professional starting out with no judgement or sideways glances from the adolescent HR people. If you think that the job market is difficult for 20 and 30 somethings, you can imagine how difficult it is for a 44 year-old stay at home mom who has limited work experience. With the help of her best friend Maggie, she takes a second look at herself and decides to embrace her friend’s push towards a more youthful appearance. Commence the make-over montage now.
As Alice continues her path to becoming younger, she meets Josh, Lindsay, Terri, and a few others here and there. Each adds another layer to her experience, but also to her deception. Will Alice be caught and have to pay a price for the lies that she is weaving? How will everything turn out with her new friend and lover once they find out the truth? Most importantly, will she ever realize that age is just a number and that love can happen to anyone?
XOXpert Brandi says:
Who among us wouldn’t like a do-over? An opportunity to go back to a happier time in our lives before things went sideways and do things differently? With a divorce and a grown daughter on her resume, Alice Green is starting the next chapter of her life…she just doesn’t know what it is yet.
Her adventures lead her to a job at the company she’s always wanted to work for, a 25 year old boyfriend and a new outlook on life. This book describes what many of us think we would like to have happen: the opportunity to have a fresh start. The character of Alice is very relatable. There are things all of us wish we could undo in our lives but don’t have the chance to make things “right.”
While she doesn’t correct them when they guess she is younger, Alice doesn’t fess up to her correct age either. Younger takes the reader into this world where many of us aren’t familiar with – the world of someone nearly two decades younger. The life experience of Alice allows her to know what to do and what not to do as she navigates her new found life.
XOXpert Kathy says:
This is one of those books that I dove into without really knowing what to expect and also with a bit of hesitation because I am not easy to please when it comes to Romantic Comedy. But, I am a huge fan of books that tug on my emotions and this book did successfully do that. There were several scenes where I was definitely reaching for the Kleenex because it kind of hit the nail on the head for how I’ve been feeling now that I’m in my forties. It was also kind of eerie for me because I saw so much of myself in the main character, Alice. I’m the same age, I lost my mother last year, my kids are fleeing the nest, I also gave up a career to take care of my family. So, yes, Alice and I were kindred spirits in that regard.
I definitely connected with some of the personal challenges Alice was going through as a woman who has spent most of her life as a devoted housewife and mother. When the children leave the nest it leaves you feeling lost and wondering, “What the heck am I going to do now?” Being in your forties is a time when it’s “almost” too late to start over. You’re too young to give up but definitely too old for some things. But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try… right?? And, that’s where Alice decided to take a chance. She looks unusually young for her age, so she decides to use this to her advantage to take back some of the things she felt she missed, more specifically a shot at a career in the publishing business. What she didn’t expect was to find love again and with a man in his twenties. That’s when the façade she was playing really started to become a challenge.
I loved the friendship that Alice shared with Maggie and they were two sides of the same coin. Alice gave up her career for family and Maggie gave up family for a career. Now, Alice wants that career she gave up and Maggie is desperate to become a mom. These are both very difficult things to achieve in your forties. The one thing I kept thinking about was this… no matter what choices you make when you’re in your twenties, there are always consequences to those choices and regrets that will come back to haunt you when you’re older. That’s what the mid-life crisis is all about… Did I make the right choices? Would I do it all different if I had a choice to go back and do it all over again? In that regard I thought the author did a wonderful job of addressing some of these difficult issues we face during our middle age years and blending it into a story that is yes, a little bit farfetched but at the same time entertaining and thought provoking.
The ending of the book did leave me hanging a little, I had a lot of unanswered questions in regards to her daughter and some of her rash decisions. And, will the love between Alice and Josh prevail over the age gap? I guess we’ll have to fill in our own blanks in that regard. I can see how this would make for a great TV series, and I liked this story enough to go and check it out. Maybe I’ll get some of these questions answered. 🙂
Did this work for me as a Romantic Comedy?? Not really. I liked it more for the thought provoking, emotional moments that it evoked. I do think this would be a fun choice for a book club… a little wine, a little chocolate, a little debate… could be fun!
There is nothing more that I love to do than to read a book before I see it in the movies or on TV. For some reason, it the one rule in my life that I actually never break. Let’s face it. It is sort of the age old debate, but instead of the chicken or the egg, we are asking which is better the book or the movie/show. So with this in mind, I started Younger by Pamela Redmond Satran.
This book is a fun quick read with an unexpected reality check for the reader. You will want to yell and throw things at Alice, but in the end, I think that we can all see a little bit of her in all of us. I don’t believe that I would ever want to revisit my twenties, but I can see the appeal in starting fresh with all that knowledge.
When I flipped through the pages, I found that I enjoyed the banter of Alice and Maggie, and the brattiness of her Diana’s reactions to her Mother. However, with every funny quip or awkward situation, there was definitely an underlying tone of reality to it. I found myself constantly thinking about the consequences to the actions that the character decides to make. For every life choice, there is a good and bad. This story shows us that in spades. We all make the decisions that we think is best at the time. Some of us try to plan into the future with our mystical Magic 8 Ball in hand, but really…how can we know?
In many ways, this book is just as sad as it is funny. I can be reading too much into this, as I have been known to do, but it seems as if it was a commentary on woman’s roles in society. More importantly, it shows how we shame one another for our choices.
The jury is still out on if the TV show will be better than the book, but I have to say, that the book is worth a read. Who knows, maybe next year your will start of your New Years with a wish that could set you on a path that you never thought was possible.
Watch the trailer for YOUNGER and make sure to tune in on TV Land, check your local listings for air times!