[ARC] How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne

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4stars

‘You can be difficult, and yet someone will find it so easy to love you.’

Title: How Do You Like Me Now?
Author: Holly Bourne
Expected publication: June 14th 2018
Number of pages: 368 (kindle edition)
Good things about this book: It’s a great representation of being a woman in her 30s.
Bad things about this book: The kindle version of this ARC had some issues but they won’t be present on the final product so that’s okay.
Do I recommend it? Yes, worth a read.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

ARC given to me by NetGalley

I requested this ARC because I love Holly Bourne and how she writes. She usually strikes a nerve with every single book I read and this wasn’t the exception. I am 32 years old like Tori and I don’t know exactly what it is that I want to do with my life. And I’m afraid, just like her, that it may be too late and that I have to settle with whatever or whoever stumbles upon my way because then I’ll be an old lady and nobody will want me anymore.

I, too, worry about new little wrinkles on my forehead and under my eyes. I, too, worry that my body is getting old to have children and the pressure I feel seeing people younger than me or my age already with big families and so very much in love, is barely tolerable. I, too, am a strong woman with principles like I defend with whatever I can but I have weaknesses and insecurities that more often than not make me question my whole existence.

Tori is a very relatable character. She lies to herself and to the world to maintain an image she wants to portrait and that it’s not the person she is. It takes millions of selfies for her to get the right one to share in which she looks naturally beautiful but that it needed the right light, angle, filter and natural make up to achieve. She has written a self-help book about what a mess it is being in your 20s and now that she is in her 30s, the mess is still there, only mutated. But Tori can’t afford to disappoint her fans telling them that she isn’t happy in her long term relationship, that she starves herself to look the right kind of thin, that she doesn’t have any idea about her next book, that she sees her friends getting married and having children and that she secretly wants it for herself even if, at first, she wasn’t so sure.

It’s not fair to set people tests and then get annoyed when they fail them.

I may not agree with Tori’s decisions or how she acts but I can see why she did what she did. But being 32 is not decrepit old, like Tori seems to think. We are not falling apart, we are not nearly expired. There’s no schedule. No deadline. No pressure. Even if the world seems to expect so much from us and it’s overwhelming. Don’t get me started on panic attacks. Freaking out is part of the process, I suppose. Tori could be selfish, very insecure and egocentric. Always pursuing the idea of happiness she had in her mind. Tori made lots of mistakes and I often wanted to slap her (with love) to wake her up from the fantasy she was living. She could be pretty annoying but we all are, right? That’s not her flaw; it’s one of our many endearing qualities. Right?

I am a fan of YA book even if I’m very much not a young adult anymore. I do feel still pretty young, though. But I’m also always happy to read books about characters my age, someone I can really relate to. Life is hard and after 30 it doesn’t magically fix itself and let you live the life you’ve always dreamt. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that and it takes you by surprise with twists and tons of obstacles be them money, love, anxiety, or the sweet sweet fear of not being able to achieve what we were hoping to achieve before we were too old. One day you’ll wake up and think, yes, I’m old, and no, I’m not doing what I thought I’d be doing. And your brain will short-circuit for a bit. Again, this is part of the process of surpassing your 30s.

Turning thirty is like playing musical chairs. The music stops and everyone just fucking marries whoever they happen to be sitting on.

Long story short, this is a great book for everyone, not only for women in their 30s like myself. I think it can help giving you an insight of the future if you are younger, or giving you memories, bad or good, about your past if you are older. It’s for you either if you are living the dream or if you are struggling. It may help you understand more about what you do every day unconsciously and it may help you see things through a different light. I know it helped me. It gave me hope. I’m not late for anything; I’m just getting wherever I’m getting at my own pace and I don’t have to feel ashamed for not doing what everyone else thinks you’re supposed to be doing at my age. I will let myself be me. With love. With strength. With a big smile on my face.

I hope you’ll give it a chance and read it as soon as it comes out in June because it’s worth the little time it actually takes to read it once you start it and realize you can’t put it down. Trust me.

firmablog

What’s a Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne

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4stars

I’m just highly experienced in sexual harassment, like pretty much every other girl on this earth who dares to walk places.

Title: What’s a Girl Gotta Do?
Author: Holly Bourne
Good things about this book: Girl power and important themes.
Bad things about this book: The frustation about adults and narrow minded people.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

For every girl who does what is right, rather than what is easy.

UNACCEPTABLE! This book deals with unacceptable situations almost all women have to endure during their lives. I would love to know how many women haven’t been in some way victims of sexual harassment because I don’t think there are that many. I know I have been a victim of it in the past. I have been afraid of going anywhere by myself because every time I knew there was going to be at least one man thinking it was nice and cool to compliment me and follow me around.

Do you ever think how it must feel to have horrible things you’ve seen or experienced judged and questioned by someone? Like it’s our responsibility to convince you we’re not lying, rather than yours just to believe us?

It is not okay and it’s awful that this is consider normal and if I say that this thing happened to me I’ll be laughed at and maybe they will say I’m overreacting and that I was being ridiculous.
How is it that we live in a world in which being a woman is by default considered as always in danger? How is it that when I go out I have to feel that every man I encounter is a possible aggressor? I hate that it has to be like that.

I hear so many sexist things at work since I’m mostly surrounded by male co-workers but I also hear cringe worthy things from my few female colleagues who grew up having this wrong ideas put into their minds and still don’t think they are, indeed, not right. No, co-worker n.1, your son won’t become gay because of ballet lessons. No, co-worker n.2, I don’t feel cold because I’m a woman and all women, in your opinion, feel cold but I’m cold because the heater doesn’t work well. No, co-worker n.3, I don’t have a partner and no, I didn’t lose weight because, as you said, “there’s someone in my life and you wanted to look cute”. Hell, I’m the cutest creature in that office, excuse you. Yes, co-worker n.4, I’m perfectly able of doing “manly” things because I have taught myself how to do them; did you think a hammer was too heavy for my female arms? If I don’t do something is solely because I’m too lazy to do it, certainly not because I’m not able to do it.

I realized it takes a great deal more courage to fight for yourself than to fight for others.

It may be only in my very small world, but I do everything in my power to point out every sexist thing I can. I choose my battles, though, because sometimes the listener is so beyond salvation that I prefer saving my voice for something worthier of my time. I want the world to change but I don’t want to lose my mind in the process.

I don’t just want to complain about the world, I want to change it.

Lottie, the main character of this book, has come to a point in which she can’t take it anymore. She has been a victim of harassment, feeling powerless, afraid and guilty. Guilty because she thinks something she is wearing might have been the reason of this terrible event. She feels so angry because she feels she is strong enough to fight what she thinks is wrong but in that moment she froze and couldn’t react to the situation. In what world red lipstick is secret code for girls who want to be molested by horny men? Lipstick doesn’t equal asking for it. What the hell? Lipstick! Paint on my lips. Paint! Sigh.

The project Lottie starts along with her best friends (and our old spinster friends) Amber and Evie, and a very cute (of course) but too logical cameraman called Will, is called VAGILANTE and I think that’s the greatest name they could have thought of. Why put a boy/love interest in the equation? Didn’t like that. It wasn’t necessary and it could be avoided. Let’s Lottie have time for herself, her friends and her project. She can have love interests in the future. Again, unnecessary.

If a woman had written this, it would be called chick lit and win nothing.

The trolls the project unleashes are the worst. The worst of them all are the other girls because they don’t really understand the gravity of the situation and how important it is to have equality. This book made me so mad because I know and understand how hard it is to fight every single thing Lottie is trying to fight and how frustrating it must be having so many people deeming the project as pointless and useless. Lottie’s parents!!! The adults are always the worst. They grew up with different values so they think it’s useless to try and change how things are. Do you hear how dumb that sound?? Ok, right, let’s leave everything as it is. The future will be really interesting. Read: dystopian apocalypse.

There’s this part of the book that bothered me a little bit, but then again, I’m easily bother just as much as how I’m easily entertained. Lottie is starting the project and the first thing Will says to her is why she is wearing make up since she is supposed to be a feminist. What the hell of a question is that? I can do whatever I want to feel pretty and you don’t have the right to question that. I, for example, don’t wear make up because I think it makes me look weird and I personally don’t like feeling weird all day long. I choose how to face the world for myself, not to impress an audience.

I wrote about everything and nothing in this review but this theme is close to my heart. Fight the wrongness of the world. Please, do it. This is worth fighting for and if you want to start talking about period with your male friends to make them feel uncomfortable about normal things, then do that. I do it at work all the time and the ones that don’t give me a disgusting look gain points in my “how to be a worthy human being” book. If I look in pain and you ask me what’s wrong I’m not going to lie. My period is tearing me apart from inside out and everyone should know it. This fight can be fun, too, right?

Maybe all you needed in life was the belief you could change things. Somehow. Some way.

LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD!

firmablog