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Reviews & Reactions

The book all families need to read.The Telegraph

Cogent, coherent, and corrective, [NOT QUITE ADULTS] puts to rest the stereotype of American young adults as entitled, maturity-averse slackers. This book is myth-busting and eye-opening. It should be required for parents, educators, policymakers, sociologists, and this group’s most important stakeholder: young adults themselves.
—Library Journal (starred review)

Aside from enjoying a panoramic perspective on one generation, readers will be able to glean tips on everything from dating to parenting from this admirably lucid and fair-minded study that, in describing what is happening, reveals what is working.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A provocative look at how a changing reality is transforming the transition to adulthood for a generation of Americans, and the implications of this transformation in today’s competitive world.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

NOT QUITE ADULTS offers a valuable portrait of the diverging destinies of young people today. In a country that prizes self-reliance and private solutions for social problems, more young adults are doomed to sink. Regardless of where one assigns blame, when nearly two-thirds of the next generation is struggling to find ‘a secure foothold in the middle class,’ everyone ends up paying the price.
—The Economist

Eye opening … The message of NOT QUITE ADULTS is impossible to candy-coat: In a landscape of dwindling economic opportunities, booming higher education costs, and burgeoning inequality of family resources, becoming an adult has never been harder. And it won’t be getting easier anytime soon.
—Boston Globe

NOT QUITE ADULTS, which is based on extensive data and field research … is a thoughtful, thorough analysis that offers constructive suggestions for parents to gently lead their 20-somethings out the door.
—The Washington Post

There are three huge strengths that set this book apart from anything else available on the transition to adulthood.  First, it is written in a lively and jargon-free style by two rare social scientists who are familiar with the English language. Second, its scope is stunning, including challenges to becoming an adult created by dramatic changes in education, relations between young adults and parents, marriage and its precursors, civic life, and the world of work.  Third, the tone is relentlessly upbeat about the advantages these changes are opening up for young people.  This book proves that it is possible to write an interesting book about a big social problem that reflects research knowledge while nonetheless being accessible
to the American public.
—Ron Haskins, co-director of the Brookings Institution’s Center on Children and Families

Amid all the outcry over young people stuck in adultolescence and failing to launch comes this sensible portrait of a generation of almost-adults.  Based on empirical research, and not hand-wringing punditry, Settersten and Ray reveal a new stage of development that slows the clock, but does not stop it, making slower, but steady progress to more durable relationships and stable social networks.
—Michael Kimmel, author of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men

One of the most important functions of social science research is to raise the quality of public debate by challenging myth, conjecture, and sensationalism with empirical realities.  This book does just that by presenting an integrated social map of young adulthood in 21st-century America.
—James Garbarino, Ph.D., author of Children and the Dark Side of Human Experience

This outstanding book offers a fresh and compelling view of why it is taking this generation longer to make career and family decisions.  The message here is about the value of ‘slowing down,’ and it makes sense not just for young adults, but also for their parents and educators, who are ‘fast tracking children’ into a lengthy period of being nearly, but not quite, adults.  Learn about today’s young adults, why they are making the life choices they are, and why we should feel good about it.
—Barbara Schneider, author of The Ambitious Generation

The rulebook has changed; the good ol’ days of a universally accepted school-work-family-retirement fast track are gone. Despite mainstream media’s attempt to portray 20-somethings as a group of lazy, no-good slackers, NOT QUITE ADULTS uncovers the real story—how a slower, more calculated transition into adulthood often makes more sense and leads to a better future for us all.
—Sean Aiken, author of The One-Week Job Project

In a world that is confused by 20-somethings, NOT QUITE ADULTS offers insight that will help us understand this generation. Hopeful and challenging, this book is a must read for parents and policy makers alike.
—Jane Isay, author of Walking on Eggshells

NOT QUITE ADULTS is perhaps the most important contribution to date about the strange new life of America’s twentysomethings.  Settersten and Ray are able to combine a deep grasp of the research with common sense advice for ‘not quite adults’ and their parents.  The slower path to adulthood is here to stay; thanks to the authors, we are now much wiser about what that means for all of us.
—Kay Hymowitz, author of Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys

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