October 4, 2021

A Touch of Jen

A Touch of Jen

by Beth Morgan

Published July 13, 2021
by Little, Brown and Company

Rating: 1 Star ⭐

Genre: Humor

From the Publisher:

Remy and Alicia, a couple of insecure service workers, are not particularly happy together – but they are bound by a shared obsession with Jen, a beautiful former co-worker of Remy’s who now seems to be following her bliss as a globe-trotting jewelry designer.  In and outside the bedroom, Remy and Alicia’s entire relationship revolves around fantasies of Jen, whose every Instagram caption, outfit, and New Age mantra they know by heart.

Imagine their confused excitement when they run into Jen, in the flesh, and she invites them on a surfing trip to the Hamptons with her wealthy boyfriend and their group.  Once there, Remy and Alicia try (a little too hard) to fit into Jen’s exalted social circle, but violent desire and class resentment bubble beneath the surface of this beach-side paradise, threatening to erupt.  As small disturbances escalate into outright horror, Remy and Alicia tumble into an uncanny alternate reality, one shaped by their most unspeakable, deviant, and intoxicating fantasies. Is this what “self-actualization” looks like?

Part millennial social comedy, part psychedelic horror, and all wildly entertaining, A Touch of Jen is a sly, unflinching examination of the hidden drives that lurk just outside the frame of our carefully curated selves.

My Thoughts:

Here at With a Book in Our Hands, we’ve promised to bring you the truth about the books we read – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  No blog flush full of only 4- and 5-star reviews here!  Well, today we bring you the ugly truth.

A Touch of Jen was one of the few books I was torked off that I actually read the whole thing (ha ha).  I didn’t love the characters, they seemed rather self-centered and needy, but was curious to see where the story was going.  Then…. total 90 degree turn and somehow we’re in the paranormal?  What the heck did I just read??

Once I read the novel, I was also very confused by the cover.  I can’t for the life of me figure out what that bubble-gum pink, overtly feminine cover has to do with the story… at all.

That said, every book has its audience and this one is recommended for lovers of social satire with a small dose of horror.

A big thank you to Beth Morgan, Little, Brown and Company, and NetGalley for providing a complimentary Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for this honest review.

To grab a copy of A Touch of Jen for yourself, head on over to www.BookShop.org – the online bookstore that gives 75% of each book’s profit margin back to independent bookshops.  Find yours at https://bookshop.org/a/13638/9780316704267.

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