If you’re a fan of coming of age novels, don’t sleep on this one. Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau is such a charming, unforgettable story! Many have compared this book to Daisy Jones & The Six and Almost Famous, but it’s definitely a novel that stands on its own merit. The only thing comparable is the time era in which the story takes place.
Mary Jane is a story about a 14-year-old girl raised in a very conservative, narrow minded home. She’s hired as a summer nanny by a very liberal, free-spirited family and is awakened to a whole new world…one that is the complete polar opposite of her own. I absolutely fell in love with the characters and thought the author did an excellent job of writing the story through the POV of a naive teenage girl who learns there’s so much more to life than how she’s being raised by her parents.
The story is set in the 1970’s, so you can imagine that themes of sex, drugs, and rock & roll are explored while weaving in undertones of gender stereotypes, racial inequality, and classism.
An overall delightful, quick and easy read! Many laugh out loud moments and a few that were super cringe. I didn’t want it to end! This would make an excellent beach or poolside read.
4.8 out o 5 stars!
TW: sex scenes; drug use; classism; racial inequality
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