The Gap Decade: When You’re Technically an Adult but Really Don’t Feel Like It Yet

Reviewed by:

Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


The Gap Decade: When You’re Technically an Adult but Really Don’t Feel Like It Yet


Katie Schnack


InterVarsity Press

Publication Date:

October 12, 2021




224 pages


It’s been said many times that the twenties are a difficult time. You’re finally a legal adult, but aren’t sure what you want to do with your life. Advice tends to be swing between “live it up and enjoy the freedom” and “find a career as soon as possible.” Katie Schnack felt these pressures, especially since she got married in her twenties and both she and her husband were liberal arts majors who entered artistic careers (one an actor, the other a writer). She describes the major phases she went through from age 20-30, helping readers consider what lessons will serve them well in this interesting period.

This subject has been explored extensively in books like Ready or Not: Leaning into Life Our Twenties, often giving a mix of basic principles and anecdotes. Rather than give formulas, Schnack focuses on telling her story and teasing out a big lesson she learned from each stage of her life. We see lessons about navigating the first job out of college, about the need for finding a new community out of college, about discovering you’re going to have children and that the job you thought you wanted actually doesn’t quite fits your personality.

As Schnack tells these stories (both about her journey and her husband’s journey), there’s a lot of humor and honesty. Sometimes the story unexpectedly plays on evangelical cliches, turning them on their head. For example, Schnack talks about meeting her husband in her early teens and how they married in their (very) early twenties – the kind of romance that Christian college alumni all seem to share, and expect their kids to follow. However, Schnacks highlights how unusual it is to meet a future spouse that young, and how they still had conflicts they had to solve (some made harder by the fact they’d been together in some form or another for years by the time they married).

Since this book is more memoir than instruction guide, many chapter will not apply to everybody. The points that Schnack makes about what it’s like to go through pregnancy will obviously not apply to men. Some of her concerns about being a mother (such as not wanting to wear an ugly swimsuit) are subjective and a bit fickle, the minor things that feel big in one’s mind but aren’t that big on reflection. However, even when she’s talking about things that are too subjective to apply to anyone else, her humor and pathos makes it highly entertaining and relatable.

Thus, Schnack hits on an important point: many times, telling your own story as well and as honestly as possible is more important than giving instructions. There is something about telling a story that sticks in our minds long after impersonal suggestions. Often, we find even when listening to a story about someone we don’t share anything with, we find small points of comparison that help us on our journey. Thus, while instruction guides are very timebound (dating advice from the 1990s doesn’t help much in the 2010s, and so forth), a good story well-told can survive generational shifts and other barriers. Schnack provides that kind of story, particular to her but with I just thought of that it has something deeply Universal for everybody.

A highly entertaining, highly insightful story about the difficult but glorious young adult phase of life.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

4.5 stars

Suggested Audience

Young Christians in their twenties, seeking guidance during this transitional period.

Christian Impact

The writer helps readers to consider what it means to find and follow one’s vocation, as well as what it means to contribute to a larger community.

The Gap Decade: When You're Technically an Adult But Really Don't Feel Like It Yet

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: