Continuing our discussion about what makes a twentysomething reader tic, let’s dissect an imaginary book using a twentysomething mindset. I want to show you how the principles we’ve learned so far about twentysomethings would apply in this case. I wrote this plot myself, but I think it will serve our purpose:
Jenni, a promising businesswoman, is working her way up the corporate ladder at a pharmaceutical company. Her heart is not in her work, but she wants to be successful, so she continues to play the corporate game. Everything changes on a Christmas vacation to her great-aunt’s hometown of Callough, Nebraska. While enjoying her stay with Aunt Betty, Jenni meets a young, handsome farmer, Brent, who seems to be genuinely happy. Jenni is determined to discover the secret to his happiness before her week-long vacation is over. She starts to follow him around, trying to remain in the shadows.
Her stalking skills, or lack thereof, lead Jenni to believe that following someone looks way too easy in the movies. The first night, Jenni follows Brent out the “back door” of a restaurant and finds herself in the men’s room, and later in the week she is forced to dumpster dive when Brent comes out of a lawyer’s office sooner than she anticipated. She’s sure happiness isn’t found in the men’s room or a dumpster. Near the end of her week, Jenni finds out that Brent knew she was following him from the beginning as he warmheartedly confronts Jenni outside of his church. Brent invites her to come with him for the Christmas service. Jenni, who is all nerves and embarrassment, agrees.
The Christmas service rings true in her heart, and she begins to seek happiness in the right places. The week comes to a close, and Jenni returns to California and to her job. The only thing she can think about is how her life is empty without the God Brent has. She gives her life to the Lord. That evening her great-aunt calls her with an offer to work as her caregiver. Jenni quickly quits her job and gets ready for a new life. As she waits at the baggage claim in the Nebraska airport, she turns around and sees Brent waiting to drive her to her new home. At that moment, Jenni is sure that God has some wonderful things planned for her.
If this book had a great back cover blurb, I think twentysomething women would pick it up for this reason: It’s about a twentysomething who is facing the same changes many of us are going through. Remember Monday’s post? Jenni would fit in the “budding businesswoman” category, the “single or dating” category, and the “no idea what she is supposed to do with her life” category.
The reasons a twentysomething wouldn’t enjoy this book are explained in Tuesday’s post. This plotline isn’t very realistic. It could happen, I guess, but Jenni’s perfectly timed conversion and the providential caregiver job opening near handsome Brent’s farm is enough to make a twentysomething gag. Thankfully the couple didn’t get married at the end of the book. That would have been way too much of a happily-ever-after ending.
This book is also a small-town read. Jenni goes from the big city to a small town and finds happiness. Most twentysomethings don’t see moving from a big, vibrant city to a small town as a tempting choice.
The story isn’t really “edgy.” There’s nothing new here. It doesn’t require much thought, and it doesn’t stretch the emotions. (Okay, I’ll admit I felt bad for Jenni when she ended up in the men’s bathroom.)
Tune in tomorrow for a twentysomething reading list based on what my friends are reading. You’ll find a few surprises.