A group of geeky 20-somethings in Scranton, PA, struggle to form post-college identities without alienating each other in the process. When happy-go-lucky Wade is dumped by his longtime girlfriend, he’s left to wonder whether she might have a point about his lack of ambition. Needing a distraction from the heartbreak, he begins programming a video game, which soon becomes a passion project as he strives to prove he can follow through on his own. Meanwhile, his brother Ian barely has time for games now that he’s overloaded at work and struggling to connect with pregnant wife Kat, who’s starting to doubt whether she wants a baby at all. In fact, without the shared experience of college, their entire friend group is splintering. Needing his friends more than ever, Wade becomes obsessed with turning back the hands of time. But with everyone’s hopes and expectations so tangled up, it might take an outsider—someone like painfully shy librarian Eleanor—to provide some much-needed perspective. That is, if she could get out of her head long enough to risk making a connection.
November 15, 2017
Now That We’re Adults is a beautifully crafted book that will affect different readers in different ways. For some, this will be a book about a time that has passed you by, before the complexities of adult life fully took over. For others, it will be a tale of the inevitable – a glimpse into a period of life that is different for everyone, but always has the result of shaping us into the people we will be. Even much older people who haven’t been in their twenties for decades will find that while the scenery changes, the nature of people doesn’t. This is a book about ups and downs, and the minor and major tragedies that unfold as the result of the decisions we make. Whether the reader is looking at the book with the benefit of hindsight or as a cautionary tale of the future, the story that unfolds is one that will evoke a number of emotions and culminates in an ending that will leave you satisfied.
The characters in Now That We’re Adults are well-written and convincing twenty-somethings. Wade is a childish lover of video games who feels the sting of first love lost and must mature as a person to heal and move on. Eleanor is stuck in the past, and has self-esteem issues which prevent her from finding happiness. Ian and Kat are well-intentioned newlyweds who, like most young married couples, are confronted with the burdens of adulthood sooner rather than later. A lot of their conflict arrises when they have their first child, and each find themselves less-enamored with their role in the new family than either had anticipated. What follows for each character is a tale of growth and compromise, and without giving away too much of the book, the endings will resonate with many people who have witnessed or are in similar situations as authentic. This a down-to-earth presentation that doesn’t shy away from the most uncomfortable of emotions, and the author has a gift for depicting guilt, grief, melancholy and listlessness. That isn’t to say that the book is all maudlin, and each character’s arc reaches a satisfying conclusion.
The dialogue is snappy and realistic, and the author does a good job of making interactions and events seem organic. The book’s structure alternates focus on members of the main cast, but it isn’t guilty of head-hopping and the character focused on is clearly depicted at the beginning of each chapter. The stories interweave at points, and having the characters play off one another is a particularly enjoyable aspect of the book. Readers of all ages will find something to like in this book, although obviously the closer to twenty you are, the more the story will resonate. I give Now That We’re Adults 5 stars and recommend it for inclusion in Awesome Indies.