2020 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge · 2020 Reviews · contemporary fiction

POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth

pop sugar 2020 13 march

Today I am marking off my seventh #7 checkpoint category for the POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 with:

pop sugar 2020 13 march social media

Jenny is unloved, unemployable and emotionally unfiltered. Her long-suffering friends adults smallseem sick of her and whilst her social media portrays her life as a bed of roses, it is more of a dying succulent.

Could things get any worse? Her mother is on her doorstep with a suitcase, and Jenny is about to find out…


‘You’ve been in my life so long, I can’t remember anything else. I used to think it was about motherhood. Now I know it’s about social media.’

Adults is a story penned by the award winning writer of Animals. Emma Jane Unsworth is an acclaimed author and screenwriter. Her latest piece of fiction offers a scathing account into the life of a thirty something woman dealing with love, life, relationships, friendships, work and above all social media. This is definitely a book that speaks for the current generation of young adults, negotiating a tech savvy and social media obsessed world.

Emma Jane Unsworth casts a critical eye on the term ‘adult’ through the guise of her complicated lead, Jenny McLaine in her latest book. Jenny is a thirty five year old that has a job many would envy, a gaggle of friends and she owns her own home. But everything comes crashing down for Jenny in a spectacular heap when all facets of her life take a nosedive at the same time. From the demise of her relationship, to her fed up best friend, the arrival of her frantic mother and a career crisis means that Jenny’s perfected formed life begins to shatter. Adults looks at the images we project of ourselves to others across social media channels and the dramas of real life. It is a novel that interrogates contemporary womanhood.

Whether we choose to embrace social media, or completely hide away from it, there is no denying its influence in present day society. Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth, looks at the social media phenomenon, movement and obsession, through the narrative of a thirty year old woman who is a social media fiend. Unsworth’s book is definitely a book for our times, it is pointed and insightful.

Jenny McLaine is our guide for the duration of Adults. Jenny is a somewhat typical young woman, she has a successful career, she has a good collection of friends, a relationship and overall things appear very peachy for Jenny. However, the image she presents to others via her carefully ordered social media posts is threatened by a series of setbacks. The problems Jenny deals with as the book progresses are situations and challenges we have all faced, or someone we know has faced. Adults presents a realistic narrative.

As Adults is a book based on the complexities of social media, Unsworth presents her readers with a rather busy narrative that is comprised of social media posts, feeds, emails, messages, trolling and even therapy session content. This format felt a little hurried at times and I had to work hard to connect to the overall story. I think I also felt some distance and age difference to the lead, which made it hard to really appreciate this book. However, I do feel it offers a good reflection of our behaviours and fixation on social media in our lives.

Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth offers a cutting glimpse into the world of a woman dealing with romance, friendships, family life, job pressures and loss. It is sharp and witty, but also a little manic at times. Adults will resonate with contemporary fiction readers and those who don’t mind a rather scathing glimpse into the influence of social media in our lives.

*** 3 stars

Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth was published on 24th February 2020 by Harper Collins GB. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Adults, Emma Jane Unsworth, visit here.





4 thoughts on “POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020: Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth

  1. Love your review, Amanda, you’ve made the book sound really interesting. And go you for fitting in another pop sugar challenge book! Only five to go before the end of the month, lol, but then again you can catch up anytime during the year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you Sue, that’s great. The book was an eye opener, it certainly made me examine my social media fixation! I’ve got a nice pile of pop sugar books on book trolley, one arrived I ordered for a hard category yesterday! I have to get to 12 (I’m only at 7) published by the end of the month to be on track!


      1. Ooh wonderful that you’ve got one out the way and ready for one of the hard categories. I have so many challenge books to catch up on that I seem to be choosing only the easy prompts at the moment and I just haven’t had the time to search/research book titles for the hard categories 😦
        Yep 5 to go to be on track, I truly hope you manage another five by the end of the month!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes it feel like a big relief! But there are so many hard categories that I must tackle, but I think I have books all set out it’s just the time to read them and of course review. Good luck researching and adding books to categories. I think you are amazing at staying on track and onto the challenges. It might be possible with 5 to go if our schools close down before the holidays in three weeks because of the virus.


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