Review: The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

A few months ago, when I had time to be more disciplined about blog posts, I kept to a fairly regular schedule of posting new reviews on Thursdays and other literary content on Mondays. However, you might have noticed that the number of posts on the blog has dropped sharply in the last few months! Let’s just say I’ve been busy.

But busyness aside, it’s been too long since I shared anything other than my monthly reading challenge posts. So since I’m on Fall Break this week, I’ve decided to try and get some of these reviews written and scheduled so that there’s more content on the blog. That’s the goal, anyways–we’ll see if it actually happens!

Today’s review is of a book I read back in May after randomly picking it up off of a table at Barnes and Noble. It’s funny how the right books seem to fall into our lives at exactly the right moments, because this was a book I needed to read. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay is all about how to maximize your twenties and take steps towards reaching your personal, career, and family goals.


Normally self-help books make me a little wary, but this one doesn’t come across as a one-stop shop for solving all of your problems. Instead, it’s full of genuinely helpful suggestions for readers at any stage of their twenties. I’d just turned 27 when I started this book, and I was halfway expecting to feel defeated by it. With only 3 years before I turn 30, I honestly thought this book might drive home just how much I still needed to work on before I leave my 20s behind.

Instead, what I found was that I’d already been doing many of the things Jay mentions. I was very glad to find out that (so far!) I haven’t wasted my twenties. Jay’s main argument is that this decade sets you up for the rest of your adult life, so twenty-somethings need to be intentional about the directions in which they’re heading. Often we think this is the decade you can spend “figuring it out,” but Jay argues that by really focusing on your long-term goals in your twenties, you can actually set yourself up for long-term success later on. This means that hopefully you won’t get to age 30 and feel like nothing in your life is settled or focused. Instead, you have a plan in place and you’re working to get there.

My favorite part about this book is how Jay describes the challenges facing twenty-somethings today–challenges like feeling isolated, disconnected, and a little lost. It was encouraging to know that I’m not the only one feeling overwhelmed by adulthood or distant from friends and community. Her book showed me some practical steps to take when it comes to building relationships and capitalizing on “weak ties” in order to grow personally and professionally. I’m still working on some of the concepts she talks about, but I’ve also seen some growth in myself as I’ve tried to apply her principles.

While this book isn’t written from a distinctly Christian perspective, I do think Jay writes with a lot of wisdom about how to set goals and achieve them. She lays out helpful action items and scenarios that illustrate her points, and I never felt like she was talking down to me. If you are in your twenties, I highly recommend this book! I wish I had read it sooner!

Keep reading,



One comment

  1. This book is on loan to me from a friend but has been sitting on my bookcase for a bit, so I’m glad to hear it’s a gratifying read 🙂 I’ll bump it up in my queue!


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