“How are you going to be come a brand-new person if you keep acting like your same old self?”
“That was an aspect of youth I didn’t think, no matter how good my makeup or my acting skills, I’d be able to reclaim: the belief that if you were smart or ambitious enough, you could make your life turn out exactly as you wanted.”
Fresh from her divorce—40 Something Alice needs to rejoin the workforce. Twenty years of being a stay at home mom has left quite the gap in her resume and it seems like no one is hiring anyone over 25. So Alice’s best friend hatches a plan to turn Alice into a younger woman. And just like that, closed doors now become open ones. She has an extremely attractive young boyfriend and a job she loves—but what happens when the secret comes out?
“…at this point you can’t just let shit happen, you’ve got to make it happen. It’s not about what you have or what you do, but whether you love your life. So Liza, are you doing everything you can to live the life you want? And if you’re not, when are you going to start?”
At 50, Liza Miller returns to New York City for the release of her novel “Younger” a story more memoir than fiction. After years tucked away in Maine, putting words on paper she’s ready for her next adventure. And to her luck, one lands in her lap in the form of her best friend Kelsey turning “Younger” into a TV show. Torn between staying in New York to help her daughter through her pregnancy and heading off the LA to bring her novel to life on screen, Liza compromises, heading off to LA for just long enough to write the screen play and return in time for the birth of her grandchild. However, between flight actors, unexpected love interests, and conflicting ideas for the direction of the show, things take long than expected. Then as life happens, it comes crashing in at the most inopportune moments and pulls Liza back to New York and back into a role she fought so hard to get out of a decade earlier. Will she surrendered or assert her well-earned independence once again?
It’s no surprise I picked up Younger after finishing the TV show Younger. For me this was one of those situations where the show was better than the book. Perhaps that wouldn’t be the case had I not watched the show first, but I really didn’t enjoy the book. Yes, the same concept was there, but it didn’t come together for me. I think the Charles character who is in the show but not the book—left a huge Charles sized hole in the story. The plot seems kind of flat and unremarkable. Even as I sit down to write this review I am having trouble recalling the story in any great detail.
Now, Older was more enjoyable for me. Perhaps because it does reference the show to a degree. Almost to the point that it can be a bit meta. (i.e. mentioning Sutton Foster). However, I found the Liza character the be a bit of a “blow in” like her character wasn’t really anchored to the story. She did whatever she wanted regardless of the consequences and sorta made a mess of things all under the guise of finding herself. I know that by the end she learned whatever lesson she needed to learn to grow and establish herself, but I felt she came off as flaky and I just wanted to shake her at times. I also found Liza’s daughter Caitlyn to be overly needy and expectant of her mother. She demanded Liza drop everything to help raise her granddaughter and was unwilling to understand why Liza was so resistant to that idea.
They were both easy reads, but other than the subtle references to the TV show, they really didn’t do much for me. If you are a fan of the show, I would recommend Older, but not Younger.
** I am using “Younger” as my entry for “People” for CBR13 BINGO. See the above photo of the cover with Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff and Debi Mazar.**