All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Younger Man – Zoe Foster

on March 8, 2014

Younger ManThe Younger Man
Zoë Foster
Penguin Books AUS
2012, 304p
Read from my local library

Abby owns and runs her own business providing promotional girls for events. It’s a job she did when she was younger and she knew she could run a tight business that provided professional and respectable girls. And more importantly, she’d look after them and make sure they were never harassed or expected to do certain things.

In order to streamline her business and cut costs, Abby needs her website to be entirely overhauled and redesigned. She emails several companies and one of the ones who returns her email turns out to be Marcus, her one night stand from a little while ago who is 10 years younger than her at 22. Turns out Marcus works for the company she has chosen to rebuild the website and he’ll be the one she’s dealing with.

They are both quite happy to see each other again. Marcus makes it clear he wouldn’t mind taking things to the next level with Abby and although she likes him and his attention she’s not sure that she can see it going anywhere. After all she’s 10 years older than he is and she doesn’t want to end up getting invested only to discover that he’s taken off for some teenager in a miniskirt. Marcus thinks Abby’s reasoning is ridiculous and he sets out to prove to her that he’s only interested in her and that he’s not the sleeping around type.

However Abby is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime, visiting Italy and she thinks that it might be best if she made a clean break before she left. Has she made the biggest mistake of her life letting Marcus go?

After reading and really enjoying Zoë Foster’s most recent book The Wrong Girl I thought I’d go back and read some of her other books. I heard quite a bit about this one when it was released a couple of years ago and the idea of the relationship dynamic interested me.  And while I did enjoy it and it is a fun book, I do think that in some ways, it takes the easy way out because so much of it is really about the hook up and the first few weeks of not-even-a-relationship between Marcus and Abby. They have a one night stand and although Abby really quite enjoyed herself there she never expected to see Marcus again. He turns out to be designing her new website and they fall back into a kind of casual arrangement that Marcus is far more invested in. Abby is always assuming (and telling him!) that he’ll go off with some just-out-of-high-schooler at any moment which Marcus ends up finding offensive and I didn’t really blame him. Not ever 22yo is the same – I’m sure some of them are determined to nail anything that so much as moves. But some of them aren’t. Marcus however, did come across as quite mature (very mature) for a man in his early 20’s. Abby is often hysterical, she’s actually a bit of a shrew at times and he’s patient with her, steadily allying her fears about him absconding. To be honest Abby got on my nerves with her assumptions and paranoia so Marcus did pretty well to put up with her. Most of the time I wasn’t even sure what it was about Abby that had him so invested.

I liked Marcus although at times he did seem almost too good to be true! I’m not sure why Abby would want to leave him just to go overseas and I think she realises pretty quickly that she’s made quite a big mistake, although she does meet someone who gives her a holiday fling to compare to Marcus but I couldn’t warm to that part of the story and it wasn’t even because I liked Marcus so much. He was fine but at the same time I don’t think his character was ever given the depth it probably needed to carry this story. He’s not a big enough part of it and when he is there they’re basically in bed or Abby is telling him that he’s going to run off soon with someone 10 years younger than she is. There’s not a lot of exploration of their relationship which is what I mean when I think it takes the easy way out. They don’t really go many places or do many things, you don’t get any idea what it might be like for them in the future.

I felt that what happened with Abby’s business towards the end became a bit far fetched and the way that Abby, who seemed really go-getter and out there, had such trouble dealing with it, unlikely. She had such great ammunition and she really should’ve gone in there and gone for it instead of basically piking out the door and leaving a note. The book made such a big deal of it that it kind of demanded a confrontation and explanation scene and it was a bit of a rip off not to get one actually. It was a bit random, the way it all unfolded and definitely unsatisfactory.

All in all, this was a decent read but I think that perhaps Foster has matured a little as a writer and grown more confident in her craft because The Wrong Girl is definitely a superior book to this one in pretty much all aspects. This is amusing and a bit silly but it’s also inconsistent in some ways and a little bit lacking.



The Younger Man is book #20 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014


2 responses to “Review: The Younger Man – Zoe Foster

  1. Belle says:

    I’m not a massive fan of Zoe Foster so I don’t think I’d like this. The cover is so cute though!

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