These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff

These Days Are OursThese Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff
Published by Grand Central Publishing

From the publisher:

Six months after September 11th, New Yorkers are instructed to get on with their lives despite the terror advisories, streets filled with 9/11 merchandise, and mail that may contain Anthrax.

But for Hailey, still jobless after college and living in her family’s Fifth Avenue penthouse, getting on with life means getting closer to Michael Brenner, the Princeton graduate and future human rights lawyer who seems to have it all. The city feels as if it’s on the brink of apocalypse, and seeking out any sort of future seems pointless. So Hailey and her friends – Katie, already working at Morgan Stanley; Randy, a trust-fund kid who wears sweaters with holes in them; and Jess, confident of her future success regardless of her present inertia – stay out all night, dream up get rich quick schemes and aspire to greatness while questioning how much that greatness really matters.

But when Hailey meets Adrian, a transplanted Pennsylvanian and recent Brown graduate who doesn’t belong to Hailey’s privileged mileu, she begins to realize that her view of the world might not be the only one there is, and soon she is questioning everything she thought she knew.

I’m surprised this book didn’t get more attention from bloggers when it was published. A lot of bloggers I know would really relate to These Days Are Ours simply because a lot of them are of the same generation as the characters in the novel. I’m a little younger than Hailey and her friends – I was seventeen on 9/11, these characters were twenty-two – but the ages are similar enough that I related to them to a fair degree.

I totally experienced the post-college “what the hell am I going to do with my life?” paralyzing feelings that these characters face, although in my case I had to get a job pretty darn quick because those college loans weren’t going to pay themselves. So I wasn’t anything like these spoiled, rich New York City kids – but the feelings of missing college life, wondering what to do with this crazy thing called adulthood, I got that. I experienced it myself, and Haimoff captured those feelings perfectly here.

Something else that Haimoff just totally got was how when you’re a certain age with very few real responsibilities to speak of, the smallest things can feel like big moments. I can’t really explain it but while on the surface, these characters did almost nothing with their days, to them each new experience, each time they had a poignant conversation with each other, was momentous. I remember that feeling and I get it – and Haimoff gets it too.

These Days Are Ours is short, but there’s quite a bit of character growth in Hailey – to the point where she went from someone who really annoyed me in the beginning to someone I really liked and rooted for by the end. Whatever the book may seem to be on the surface, it’s not. What it IS is smart, funny, true, and like a snapshot from another time – a time not all that long ago, but emotionally way far away. Does that make sense? It’s good, though, really good – if any of the things I said even remotely strikes a chord with you, pick up These Days Are Ours.

10 thoughts on “These Days Are Ours by Michelle Haimoff”

  1. I’ve never heard of this book but it does sound terrific. I was a lot older than that on 9/11 but still think I might be able to relate to the characters.

  2. I haven’t heard of this book but it does sound interesting. I was 21 on 9/11 and in my last year of college and remember just being stunned. I also remember that realization that in just a few months I was going to have to get an actual job instead of just part time work and support myself. Terrifying! I’ll have to look for this one.

  3. I didn’t love this book, but there’s a line in it where the girl says that she wishes her parents would acknowledge that some of the choices they made during her childhood hurt her. Not that she’s so enormously furious about any one thing, but just that she wants that acknowledgement. She says “I wish it wasn’t a fucking fight for reality all the time” — and that line resonated with me SO MUCH, not because of any way that my own parents behave, but just, in life, it’s so often the case that you know reality to be this one thing, and you are constantly having to say over and over again “It’s this” when other people want to insist it’s something else for their own peace of mind.

  4. One of my all-time favorite books! I rated it six stars out of five because I loved it so much, and despite my pleadings, it hasn’t taken off. Glad to see you read it and enjoyed it!

    1. I think I actually put it on my TBR when you reviewed it! Because I remember you raving about it and I can’t imagine how else I would have wanted to read it since, like you said, it hasn’t taken off at ALL. Thanks for the recommendation, Carrie!!

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