*I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: ‘Turning thirty is like playing musical chairs. The music stops, and everyone just marries whoever they happen to be sitting on.’
Who the f*ck is Tori Bailey?
There’s no doubt that Tori is winning the game of life. She’s inspired millions of women to stick two fingers up at convention with her bestselling memoir, and she has the perfect relationship to boot.
But Tori Bailey has been living a lie.
Everyone around her is getting married and having babies, but her long-term boyfriend won’t even talk about getting engaged. And when her best friend Dee – her plus one, the only person who understands the madness – falls in love, suddenly Tori’s in terrifying danger of being left behind.
When the world tells you to be one thing and turning thirty brings with it a loud ticking clock, it takes courage to walk your own path.
It’s time for Tori to practise what she’s preached, but the question is: is she brave enough?
Woah. This one was a fascinating one for me, as it hit very close to home on a number of points (I’m in my late 30’s for one!).
At first I was lulled into a false sense of security, as we meet Tori and her apparently-perfect-but-not-totally life, as this seemed very much like Bridget Jones via social media instead of a Diary. There is a similar wry humour and deft touch with the reality of life as a woman: friendships, inner thoughts, public masks and so on.
What changed everything was my slow creeping awareness of the desperation beneath Tori’s smile. As she tweets and likes, sips wine and mouths platitudes, as a reader I became increasingly on edge. Holly Bourne manages to make Tori completely plausible in her denial while simultaneously letting you in on the truth and it is painfully real and intimate.
I became completely engrossed and invested in Tori’s life and choices and repeatedly begged her (out loud!) to just cry, ffs cry, it’s ok to cry when you’re sad, you’ll feel better! This as she constantly blinks back the tears, bites back her hurt and pastes on that Insta-grin.
Don’t get me wrong. This is definitely not a doom ‘n’ gloom book, and there were plenty of giggles and guffaws along the way, but this just not a frivolous look at levelling-up a bit. This is deeper and contains some hard truths for the reader as well as Tori: about changing relationships, facing our realities, and the gap between ourselves and even the closest of loved ones.
The easy recommendation is for women in their thirties, but I genuinely think there is a lot to enjoy here for any reader who is interested in real life truths vs social media legends.
Being in your thirties is like a game of Snakes and Ladders. You may think you’re beating everyone, but you’re only one dice-roll away from falling down a snake and suddenly coming last.
– Holly Bourne, How Do You Like Me Now?
How Do You Like Me Now? is out on Amazon right now!