When We Were Young by Jason Jepson
When We Were Young is an intense, and often humorous fictional narrative following the life of Jonah, a young man from a small town in Virginia, who experiences his first taste of freedom in the real world. Told in a first-person narrative, the reader is allowed access to all of Jonah's thoughts and feelings.
The work begins with Jonah in high school, shortly after the Columbine massacre. Because of the way he looks-shaved head, nontraditional-type clothing-Jonah is worried about being labeled as a troublemaker and being suspended from school. After the massacre, Jonah somehow feels more comfortable because, in this tense environment, everyone is suddenly being listened to, even those who look or act differently.
Although the book opens when the main character is in his last year of high school, he is just beginning to "find" himself. Similar to Kerouac's On The Road, the reader follows the character through high school graduation, a trip to New York City, the summer between high school and college, and into the first semester of college and beyond. Jonah, and the reader as well, experience love and loss, long drunken nights, success and failure. When Jonah's friends move on-to college, marriage, kids, etc.-the reader wonders if Jonah ever will.
When We Were Youngeffectively captures the emotions of a character who feels stifled by his surroundings in a small, conservative, southern town. When We Were Young takes the reader on a journey unique to Jonah, but a rite experienced by all generations.
Jason Jepson was born in Charleston, West Virginia, in 1980. He moved to Roanoke Virginia, where he spent most of his growing-up years in a "Leave it to Beaver" home-two parents and one annoying but loyal older brother. After high school, Jepson attended college before joining the United States Army. He was trained at Fort Knox as a cavalry scout-19 Delta. He received an honorable discharge from the military in 2004.
Jepson has always enjoyed writing and has kept a journal going since the seventh grade. These journals have been the inspiration for much of his writing. Jepson also enjoys writing poetry and short stories. A couple of his poems have been published in literary magazines. His poem entitled "Nephew" was written about his nephew, Reid.
Jepson currently lives in Richmond Virginia with his cat, Malcolm Cat, named after Malcolm X.
Most of the events in When We Were Youngare fictionalized experiences from the author's life.