I read All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg a little while ago now, and even featured it in my 9 books to read in 2019 post, so it is well overdue a review.
About Jami Attenberg’s All Grown Up
All Grown Up follows the story of Andrea Bern, a 39-year-old designer living in New York. She’s single and childless, sometimes she drinks too much and has one-night-stands. She’s a little lost in life, she doesn’t know what she wants from it, and she doesn’t know what she doesn’t want.
I think with the single New Yorker stereotype you’d be excused for thinking she’s another Carrie Bradshaw. You’d be mistaken of course, she’s not so prim and proper. As you read on, you discover her past was not all sunshine and perhaps that’s what shaped how she is as a person.
Andrea’s our heroine, but she doesn’t fit the traditional mould. Sometimes she’s sarcastic and selfish and a little dark and buries her head in the sand instead of facing her issues head on. There are some funny moments where we would find ourselves nodding in agreement with her, even though we’d never think the thoughts publicly. One of them was when Andrea thinks to herself how she’d rather a glass of wine than to hold her friend’s new baby.
The background theme, which Andrea does her best to avoid is that her brother’s daughter is dying. It is referred to in Andrea’s conversations to her mother, but Andrea has basically avoided the situation and instead immersed herself in her life in New York. Throughout the novel you read about her eventually coming to terms with it, and realising new things about herself.
Throughout the novel Andrea compares her life to other people’s. She thinks they have it all figured out and she doesn’t, that her life is just a “sloppy mess of ingredients and feelings and emotions”.
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg – My Thoughts
All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg is funny and relatable. I don’t think everyone will absolutely adore everything Andrea does, and sometimes she is a bit acidic. She’s always genuine though and that’s what made the book easy to read for me.
Personally I don’t think growing up is having everything sussed out. Let’s face it, very few people have their life exactly how they want it I imagine. Growing as a person is about facing things head on though. What do you think?
Have you ever read All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg?