ARC Review: How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne

Hi All,

Well. It’s been a while. A long while. Life has hugely got in the way of me doing any reading, any posts or anything other than day to day grind. A lot has been going on for me since I last posted on my blog but I’m back and I’m ready to break myself back in to reading, reviewing and posting!

I started readingΒ How Do You Like Me Now?Β over TWO months ago for an advanced reader review and although I usually would get ARC reads done ASAP, I’ve unfortunately had to de-prioritise reading to make room for everything else going on with me. Much to my disappointment because this book is amazing! I loved it!

Tori is in the start of her thirties and from the outside, smashing life. She’s the best selling author of a self-help bible for women in her twenties, she’s together, successful, independent and has the love of her life, Tom, by her side for the ride. Except society still dictates that isn’t enough. She’s not married, she’s not had children and neither are firmly plotted onto her life plan so in the eyes of society, is she really successful as a woman? The question is, what does Tori want? Regardless of what she feels she should be doing in her thirties, what does she want from her thirties and the rest of her life? Will she take her own advice that she doles out to her huge female following and follow her on desires?

I relate to this book on so many levels, it’s unreal. I’m 30 (tick), I consider myself fairly successful in my career (tick), I’m not married (tick) and I don’t have children (tick). Basically I am a slightly tweaked version of Tori! Although I do have differences in my life in that I am very happily in a relationship and accepting of my life I agree with so many messages in this book.

Why is it that there is a clear, unspoken definition of “success” for women in their thirties that’s heavily steered towards marriage and children? Why is that so many women can appreciate that another woman is successful in her career, but if said woman has not had children, the unspoken conclusion is “but she’s not truly made it, she hasn’t got children”? Or why is that woman who have a very successful career can appreciate that a woman has worked hard to raise a family but if said woman has chosen not to work, the assumption is “she’s lazy, and doesn’t want to work. Anyone can stay at home minding children all day”?

I don’t understand why society STILL can’t accept that success can only be measured by oneself. Whatever makes you happy; do it. Whatever makes you feel fulfilled; do it. What I firmly believe and what this book did a fantastic job of re-affirming for me was that no matter what you do in life, if you can’t take a step back and truly feel content at least every once and while – something needs to change!

Tori is a fantastic character and I don’t know any 30 something woman that would be able to read this book and not see themselves reflected in her in at least the tiniest of ways. She portrays such a perfect life when in reality, she’s clinging on to the hope of happiness behind closed doors. There were times when I felt like shouting in to the book for her to grow a pair and take control of her life for herself. Which is me looking down on her from my high horse…so many things are easier said than done.

As I’m sure you will have grasped by now, I loved this book. My reading of this book may have been incremental and broken, but I never lost interest in it. In fact just a few days ago, I spent a good 45 minutes ranting to my partner about expectations on women and judgement of decisions and situations. Evidence of just how much this book struck a chord with me! I’d be a moron to not give this book a more than deserved 5 stars!!




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