I am always a sucker for a queer found family, but Old Enough is so much more than that. It’s deceptively complex, digging deep into trauma and outgrowing your roots and discovering your identity. It’s the book I could’ve used as a teenager, the one I needed in my twenties, and the one I’m glad I’ve now found in my thirties. It’s a cozy, supportive, queer idyllic community with friends who are family before you realise it.
It takes a few chapters before you realise that Old Enough is more than it appears. Like Sav, you start to feel a little imposter syndrome-y. This can’t be hitting you as hard as you think – after all, it’s only a bi college student making friends, developing crushes, and drifting from high school relationships…
Jakobson’s writing allows Sav and her story to shine. I never questioned her emotions or actions because each scenario was well-defined, as were the other characters involved. Sav made mistakes and was awkward and second-guessed a lot of her choices, but it was never to force a plot point or mislead the reader. She was clearly trying to figure out who she was and what she wanted, all while balancing her privilege, identity, trauma, and past. It was very easy to fall for this character who was trying so hard to do the right thing and be the right kind of person without breaking any promises, even if it was emotionally and psychologically traumatising at times. I was so glad that Candace and Vera were incredibly supportive and encouraging people because Sav needed them and deserved them in her life.
Every single interaction between Sav and Wes was so cringeworthy in all the best ways. I got secondhand embarrassment every time, but I always wanted more. I loved how obviously they were into each other without being able to make any movement in the right direction. It was slow and awkward and achingly sweet.
I could rave about Old Enough for hours, but I don’t want to give any more away than I already have. I can’t wait to see what Jakobson writes next because if it’s anywhere near as honest and welcoming and supportive as Old Enough, it’s sure to be another worthwhile five-star read.