Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Mary Jane
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
Almost Famous meets Daisy Jones and the Six in this funny, wise, and tender novel about a fourteen-year-old girl's coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for--who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer. "Funny, sad, sharp, charming, surprising, big-hearted and true both to its characters and its time." -- Nick Hornby In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family's subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she's glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. A respectable job, Mary Jane's mother says. In a respectable house. The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it's a literal and figurative mess: clutter on every surface, Impeachment: Now More Than Ever bumper stickers on the doors, cereal and takeout for dinner. And even more troublesome (were Mary Jane's mother to know, which she does not): the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job--helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in. Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she's always known and the future she's only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she's going to be.
Amazon Indiebound Barnes and Noble WorldCat Goodreads LibraryThing
Pick icon
100%
blurb
mcctrish
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

#12booksof2022 in February I read 6 books and I have to admit I‘m struggling between this one and Braiding Sweetgrass as my favourite. This was just so well written, a coming of age story that centres not on romance but on what the world could hold for you, the options available ❤️❤️❤️

Andrew65 Sounds very interesting. 1mo
JamieArc I really liked this one too. Great audiobook. 1mo
mcctrish @JamieArc oh I can totally see this being a great audio book 1mo
See All 6 Comments
mcctrish @Andrew65 my blurbs don‘t do it justice 🤣 1mo
Deblovestoread I LOVED this book and the audio totally enhanced it. 1mo
mcctrish @Deblovestoread now that I‘m a hardcore sunday buddy reader I totally look at books as potential for it, I think we would have had a grand time discussing this one ( I am in no way trying to influence sbr it‘s just a thing I think of now all the time) 1mo
50 likes2 stack adds6 comments
review
Cortg
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Loved this coming of age story, 1970‘s Baltimore! 14 year old Mary Jane is hired to nanny for 5 year old Izzy while psychiatrist Dr. Cone treats a famous rockstar and Mrs. Cone keeps his actress wife company when they move into the house for the summer. Mary Jane is out of her strict parents house while having the summer of her life. #pop22 ~ a book that takes place during your favorite season

Cinfhen This one was super fun!! Especially great on audio 😁🎶 3mo
Cortg @Cinfhen Yes! Per your rec, I did the audio 😜 3mo
Cinfhen Hahaha, I honestly didn‘t remember 🤪 3mo
squirrelbrain I loved this one too! 3mo
Cortg @squirrelbrain Thanks for the rec! 3mo
44 likes5 comments
review
KarenUK
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

A sweet, nostalgic coming-of-age with ‘Almost Famous‘ meets ‘Dirty Dancing‘ vibes. A 14 yr old from a conservative family, becomes the summer nanny to the little girl of a bohemian couple in the suburbs in the 70s. There just happens to be a rock star and his famous girlfriend staying with them too. Her eyes are opened, world is rocked and she‘ll never be the same. So much joy, music and love in this. Could be too sweet for some but I loved it! 💕

BarbaraBB I still need to tackle that prompt too. I am using the Beastie Boys book, otherwise I would have chosen this one!
3mo
Cortg I started this on audio and it‘ll work for #pop22 ~ a book that takes place during your favorite season! How have I not read a book this year that takes place during the summer 😂 3mo
45 likes2 stack adds3 comments
review
squirrelbrain
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Oh, I adored this and I‘m so sad it ended! It was fab on audio too.

14 year old Mary Jane becomes the summer nanny for the Cone family, in the summer of 1975. Mary Jane‘s family are very strait-laced, and rather prejudiced even bigoted. They certainly don‘t show any affection for each other.

Dr Cone is treating a famous rock star for various addictions and Mary Jane gets drawn into their tumultuous lifestyle, which ends up changing her life.

squirrelbrain #pop22 #aboutabandormusicalgroup I adored gorgeous, naive Mary Jane, as well as Jimmy and Sheba and of course little Izzy. I could read a sequel! 3mo
CarolynM Great review. I‘m tempted🙂 3mo
BarbaraBB I am very tempted too!! 3mo
See All 18 Comments
Suet624 I forgot that I wanted to read this. 3mo
charl08 Like @CarolynM I'm tempted too. 3mo
JamieArc I really enjoyed this too. I listened to it earlier in the year and still think about Mary Jane. 3mo
KarenUK Ooh, I was going to read Opal & Nev for this prompt, but I think I‘m switching to this! 3mo
Caroline2 Sounds good. Stacked. 3mo
Cinfhen I loved this on audio!!! I think you‘re gonna love it too @KarenUK 🫶🏼 3mo
squirrelbrain @KarenUK - strictly speaking it‘s about 2 musicians but they are both in bands so I‘m counting it! 😁 And it is *so* much better than Opal and Nev. 3mo
squirrelbrain @CarolynM @BarbaraBB @Suet624 @charl08 it might even make my top 20 favourite books of the year… or if not certainly somewhere near. (edited) 3mo
squirrelbrain @Caroline2 - I nearly tagged you in my post as I think it‘s right up your street. 3mo
squirrelbrain @JamieArc - she was so sweet wasn‘t she, but ballsy as well! 3mo
Oryx Was going to stack this - turned out I already had 😃 3mo
Deblovestoread One of my favorite audio reads of the year. Such fun! 3mo
LeahBergen This sounds good! 3mo
Cortg Whelp! Just downloaded the audio. Thanks for the rec! 3mo
Megabooks She‘s been a favorite author for several years, so I was glad to finally see her make it big with this one. Happy you enjoyed it! 3mo
70 likes3 stack adds18 comments
review
jdiehr
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

I loved the story of sweet, sheltered Mary Jane.

At 14 years old, she gets a job as a nanny for a family that is the polar opposite of her own.

At Mary Jane's house, rules are followed, everything is in its place, and no one says 'I love you.'

It is quite the opposite at the Cones house - plus, Dr Cone has invited his very famous, rock star patient to stay for the summer.

Mary Jane is in for the time of her life and an unforgettable summer.

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks On my list! Great review! 4mo
28 likes1 comment
blurb
Karons1
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

Next 😆😎

review
ncsufoxes
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Finished this one the other day (the fluff ball is in desperate need of a haircut & was a mess since it had been raining for 2 days straight…he‘s a SoCal dog & not used to all this rain). I was born in the mid 70s & love all things 70s. It was a good coming of age story. After Mary Jane babysits for one of the neighbors she realizes just how different the world is outside of her straight laced home. She begins to learn more about herself & who she

ncsufoxes really wants to be. There are several areas touched on: racism, feminism, & changing views in the 70s. #bookspin book 5mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 5mo
13 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
ncsufoxes
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

It‘s a cold rainy day in Boston, figured it‘d be the perfect day to sit & finish my book. My kids decided it was a good day for a Harry Potter movie marathon. Can‘t say that I‘m too upset about their choice. Although I might sneak in some reading since I‘m almost done with my book.

review
TracyReadsBooks
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Another fast, mostly entertaining read that is a familiar story filled with familiar characters which nonetheless keeps you turning the pages. These are the 70s that I never saw—14 year-old Mary Jane, who‘s led a mostly sheltered life up until now, takes a job as a summer nanny for a family in her neighborhood. It‘s a job that exposes her to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Nothing will be the same after this summer.

24 likes2 stack adds
blurb
TracyReadsBooks
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

Up with sun, time for some quiet reading…🌅📖☕️

blurb
Deblovestoread
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

Another #MarvellousMay has come to a close. I had hoped to make more progress on The Book of Longings. I spent the weekend with my dad so not much daytime reading was done but lots of good book talk.

Thanks for hosting! @Andrew65

review
Deblovestoread
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

At the end of this book I wanted to pull an Izzy, raise my fist and yell Hurrah! I loved every word of this book. A complete delight 5🌟

If you have recs for any of her other books please share.

review
NikkiKey94
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

I finished the audiobook for Mary Jane yesterday and I really enjoyed it. I wasn‘t sure about it at first but the story very quickly sucked me in and I loved the characters. They were dysfunctional as heck but they were a family. I definitely recommend this book!

blurb
Karons1
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

I was born in ‘71 but love ❤️ all things 70s so debating whether to hold onto this and read on my next hols . Why are some books so difficult to get hold of ? No bookshops have this near me, it‘s not on Abebooks , Waterstones didn‘t have it only to order from the publisher so had to get it from Amazon 🙈even then iv had to wait & yet it came out in the UK 🇬🇧 in April! #maryjane #waitingforthepaperback #summerreads

Tiffiney I listened to the audiobook of this one. Loved it! 9mo
Desha Such a cute puppy! 🐶♥️ 9mo
21 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Chab256
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

Also:
6. "Dirty Work" Steely Dan
7. "(If Loving You is Wrong) I Don't Want to be Right" Millie Jackson
8. "Hosanna" Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack
9. "Angel from Montgomery" Bonnie Raitt and John Prine
10. "Shining Star" Earth, Wind & Fire

JackOBotts Love when there‘s an author‘s playlist! 🎶🎵🎶 9mo
16 likes1 comment
review
Chab256
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Altho I was only just born in 1975, I sped through & really enjoyed this coming of age story of 14 yo Mary Jane. After accepting a babysitting job for the summer, Mary Jane introduces some order and stability into the chaotic Cone family household while they introduce her to a less strict and over-protected life style. She learns about the importance of finding who you really are and accepting the differences and struggles in those you love.
⭐⭐⭐⭐

29 likes1 stack add
review
nichollinlove
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

How is this book flying so low under the radar in book circles? It should be glowing up right now. It's a visit to the warmest memories of your youth. The place where you found a piece of your most authentic self in a safe and loving place. What a stunning surprise this story was. All the feels in this 70s throwback. 💜

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

AudiobookingWithLeah I totally agree, it was fantastic! 10mo
CBee I loved this book so much! 10mo
JenReadsAlot I loved it too! 10mo
82 likes3 stack adds3 comments
review
CBee
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

I loved this so much! I‘d heard it was good for fans of Daisy Jones and Almost Famous; honestly, I don‘t see much of either ?‍♀️ I love Mary Jane, I could somewhat relate to her naïveté, I loved her journey. And the ending was perfect ?
This was my #bookspin!! ? @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 10mo
62 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
peacegypsy
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

This was the singsong version of how I hoped the ‘70s to be—a gentle introduction to new ideas and people that let America‘s youth see the hope in this kind of world. A really lovely book that showcases seeing America through its best sense…happiness, love, and good music. Totally enjoyable.

35 likes1 stack add
blurb
peacegypsy
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

I‘m on a 1970‘s kick, okay? And I love it! ✌️

EvieBee ✌️🌼 10mo
peacegypsy @EvieBee I love this! Thank you! 10mo
36 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Clwojick
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

#MarvellousMarch was a success! I managed to finish 26 books, with a couple DNFs thrown in. I made some pretty good progress with my 63 different reading challenges I‘m tracking. Thanks again for the reading inspiration! @Andrew65 💚

Favourite of the week is tagged!

Andrew65 Awesome, thanks for playing along. 👏👏👏🙌🥳 🍾 🥂😍 11mo
melissanorr 63 reading challenges?!?!? I wouldn't even begin to be able to keep track of all that. I'm not nearly organized enough but I admire those who are! 11mo
Clwojick @melissanorr I definitely wouldn‘t be able to keep track of it all with out my bullet journals I have all the prompts written out in 2 bullet journals, and I go through them and fill them in after I finish every couple of books. 😅 I‘ve been calling 2022 #TheYearOfALLtheReadingChallenges! 11mo
82 likes3 comments
review
Areader2
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Set in 1975 Mary Jane lives in a upper class neighborhood of Baltimore with her very strict and conservative parents that have certain prejudice views Mary Jane gets a summer job watching the Cones little girl for the summer the Cones father is psychiatrist helping a rock and roll addict , they all live unconventionally and It changes Mary Jane forever
It was a easy read with a feel good theme
1 book of #20in4 #readathon

Andrew65 Great start 👏👏👏 11mo
25 likes1 comment
review
mcctrish
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Basically finished this in one day ❤️ I loved it!! The world is MESSED up and 🇨🇦 feels front row centre BUT this book lovely!!! 14 yr old Mary Jane spends the summer being a nanny for a family that is the complete opposite of hers, she is a saviour of sorts for them while they open her eyes to the world beyond her neighbourhood.

DivineDiana Are your snowmen made of wax? They look vintage! 12mo
mcctrish @DivineDiana they are candles and vintage 12mo
DivineDiana Love them! ⛄️ 12mo
56 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
mcctrish
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

It‘s a long weekend here 🇨🇦 so I‘m going to read LOTS 🎉🎉

Trashcanman 🤗 12mo
36 likes1 stack add1 comment
quote
rather_be_reading
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

Book 26

Tiffiney I loved this one... 12mo
KathyWheeler I really enjoyed this book. 12mo
54 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
JenReadsAlot
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

So most of the adults sucked, but Mary Jane was fantastic!! My #doublespin for December @TheAromaofBooks @StayCurious

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 14mo
Megabooks Such a cute book! 14mo
36 likes2 stack adds2 comments
blurb
JenReadsAlot
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

My #bookspin and #doublespin for December! I love the Dalai Llama's cat series! @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 1y
JamieArc I really enjoyed the audio of Mary Jane 1y
27 likes2 comments
review
Megabooks
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

I‘ve been a fan of Blau for years, and I previously enjoyed this in print, but the #audiobook adds to the fun with music!

Singer Jimmy and star Sheba come to a sleepy Baltimore suburb to get treatment by a local psychiatrist. Mary Jane is hired to care of the doctor‘s daughter and learns a lot about adult life and music while teaching them about domesticity. Some may think it‘s too cute, but it hits the right note of fun and innocence for me.

KathyWheeler I loved this book — I listened to it as well and agree about the audio. I‘d never heard of the author before though. 1y
Cinfhen I did audio too and thought it was super fun!! A sweet coming of age story 1y
Megabooks @KathyWheeler @Cinfhen definitely great on audio! 1y
Reviewsbylola I enjoyed this one! 1y
75 likes1 stack add5 comments
review
JoyBlue
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Mehso-so
blurb
mandarchy
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

My parents got married on this day in 1965. We share a Kindle account & they are voracious readers. I tagged the last book all 3 of us read. Since the start of the pandemic they have sheltered in place in Florida. They only go out to see a dr or pick up groceries. All of our visits have been canceled. This picture is from the last time they came to stay with me. I can't wait to see them again & it breaks my ♥️ that I don't know when that will be.

TrishB Covid sucks 😞 1y
SamAnne I am so bummed about Delta. I live in a hotspot. The only bright spot? I‘ll have more time for reading the next few months…. 1y
SamAnne And love that photo! 1y
mandarchy @SamAnne stay safe! The numbers are really climbing here and it's unsettling. 1y
54 likes4 comments
review
AudiobookingWithLeah
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Overall Rating 4¾⭐ | Narration 😍 = Amazing
This is a real feel-good kind of story...
Mary Jane is fourteen years old and coming of age in 1975 with the help of some groovy music, a drug-addicted rock musician who is trying to get clean, a lovable starlet, and a quirky, progressively liberal (for the times) family of three. This for sure gave me some Almost Famous vibes. If you liked Almost Famous, you‘ll probably like this too.

27 likes1 stack add
blurb
OriginalCyn620
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

#two4tuesday

1. Beauty and the Beast! Oh, and You‘ve Got Mail! 📚
2. The tagged book. Love the 70s setting! 🎬

If you want to play, consider yourself tagged! 🤗

TheSpineView Thanks for playing and happy Tuesday! 🤩📖📚🌞 1y
30 likes1 comment
blurb
peaknit
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

Listened to Mary Jane on my run today. I‘m really enjoying this story, the narrator is so good. The story is told from the perspective of a 14-year-old Mary Jane. She is so earnest and curious, on her best summer nanny gig. Wildly different.

review
OriginalCyn620
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Loved it! A great summer read!

#bookspin #bookspinbingo

TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 2y
39 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
JafPete
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Read Mary Jane and The Final Review of Opal and Nev back to back. Both great reads, though growing up in a very conservative area and getting the chance to expose myself to new ideas and people in my teens, I identified with Mary Jane more than Opal. Loved the music both books evoked!

blurb
GidgetsTreasures75
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

7-11-21: My 74th finished book of 2021! 1970s Baltimore. Mary Jane is spending the summer as a nanny for the Cone family. From the outside they seem respectable but inside are a mess. Dr. Cone is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer to take care of one patient, a famous rock star. Throughout the summer Mary Jane helps the family maintain some normalcy. This was a cute one. ⭐️⭐️⭐️👍🏼📖#️⃣7️⃣4️⃣

review
Cathy_J
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

I enjoyed this one. I don't usually read "coming of age" stories and I haven't been able to do much reading before falling asleep lately ? but this book was a bit like comfy slippers that I was happy to keep coming back to. Mary Jane is a sheltered 14 year old living in 1970s Baltimore who learns a thing or two when she accepts a summer babysitting job with the Cone family ? ⭐⭐⭐.5

81 likes1 stack add
review
BekaReid
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Perfect summer read! Mary Jane is a coming of age story set in the mid-70's that lightly touches on some heavy topics. I found it to be both entertaining, hopeful, and at times frustrating. There were points where I laughed out loud and others where I cringed recognizing things from my own upbringing.

12 likes1 stack add
quote
BekaReid
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

This ⬆️

review
BookishTrish
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Mehso-so

A 14-year year old summer nanny learns there is more to life than what her conservative parents have promised. Not much happens and Mary Jane is alternately super naive and wise beyond her years. Imagine: Dirty Dancing with no romance and no lift.

AmyG Yeah, I felt the same way about this book. 2y
48 likes1 comment
blurb
OriginalCyn620
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

Just like last month, I‘m SO excited for my picks! My #bookspin is the tagged book, and the other is my #doublespin. Let the games begin! 🎆

EvieBee Your mug is so hilarious! 2y
OriginalCyn620 Thanks @EvieBee … I chuckle every time I use it! 2y
TheAromaofBooks Yay!!! 2y
37 likes3 comments
review
mandarchy
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

I really loved this book. It made me crave being part of a group. My pandemic circle is too small and not nearly as desirable. Good thing they aren't reading my review... this book was a lot of fun. As for my reading challenge, I'm right in schedule. I need to find my next read. But I think I'll let Mary Jane linger a while. I'm glad my parents weren't squares ❤

Megabooks So glad you enjoyed it!! 2y
56 likes1 comment
quote
mandarchy
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

I think I'll hang this in my house.

quote
mandarchy
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

#FirstLineFridays @ShyBookOwl
First sentence and part of the next sentence for shock value. 😲

rwmg 🧐 I don't think I could read this book. My nerves wouldn't stand it 2y
mandarchy @rwmg 😄😆🤣😉 2y
37 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
Jas16
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Spending the summer working for the Cone family taking care of their daughter, sheltered Mary Jane comes to realize that every not family is like her own and not every adult shares her parents‘ world view. I was annoyed by Mary Jane in the beginning but overtime was just as charmed by her and her story as everyone else in the book grows to be. A fun and light audiobook with a great narrator.

KathyWheeler She really was a great narrator. I‘m glad I listened to this book because of her. (edited) 2y
53 likes1 comment
blurb
daena
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image

Library hold is in! Really excited for this one, as I am in need of a light escape. #dogsoflitsy #pitbullsoflitsy #dobby

CaffeineAndCandy ❤️ the bookmark 2y
Nute Nice bookmark! 2y
34 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
KathyWheeler
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

I really liked this coming-of-age story. Mary Jane is 14 in the 1970s, and becomes a summertime nanny for a family that‘s very different from her strait-laced, conservative one. I loved both Mary Jane & Izzie (the child she took care of.) The narrator is excellent too and is especially good at capturing Mary Jane‘s and Izzie‘s voices. There‘s not a lot of plot or action, but the book is still good. I was 14 in the 70s and could relate. #audiowalk

30 likes1 stack add
review
RandomReetie
Mary Jane | Jessica Anya Blau
post image
Pickpick

Loved it!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️