Want to be transported to another decade? One where life was a little less complicated, but still just as interesting? I introduce you to Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau. Mary Jane is a coming-of-age story about a teenage girl who finds herself caught between pleasing her straight-laced family and being her true self in front of the progressive family she nannies for. Recommended for those who love Almost Famous and books like Daisy Jones & the Six, I can see the appeal.
I enjoyed this book and it reminded me of a heartwarming after-school special where all the character's problems are solved in the mere 30 minutes it takes you to watch. It is impossible not to see yourself in Mary Jane, especially if you grew up in a strict household that suppressed your true self (you can't see it, but I'm raising and waving my hand over here.) Mary Jane has a transformative time during the summer she is 14 years old. She experiences a completely different family dynamic that opens her eyes to the world outside her parent's house and church. I found the Cones family that Mary Jane nannied for so incredibly endearing and Izzy is such a cutie! It reminded me of my own babysitting days and how mature I felt at the age of 13 when I was responsible for babysitting young kids.
If you enjoy coming-of-age stories set in the 1970's with a dash of rock-n-roll and plenty of nostalgia, pick up Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau.
"To feel something was to feel alive. And to feel alive was starting to feel like love.”
“Part of being alive is figuring out the balance between what you want, what you need, and what you have with what you don't want, don't need and don't have.”
“Fear, I suddenly realized, was an emotion that ran through my home with the constant, buzzing current of a plugged-in appliance.”