Book Review

How to be a Grown Up by Daisy Buchanan

how to be a grown up

I’ll start out by saying that How to be a Grown Up isn’t the sort of thing I’d normally read – I’m just not really into this kind of book, and so it was with a little trepidation that I started reading this.  And I was pleasantly surprised!  It’s a warm, amusing and light-hearted look at Buchanan’s experiences and what she’s learnt along the way.

Synopsis, from Amazon:

For fans of Bryony Gordon and Caitlin Moran, a comforting, witty, supportive book for real twenty-something women who want to discover how they can reach the end of the ‘fun’ decade knowing exactly who they are.

Have you ever felt lost, anxious, panicky about adulthood?

Have you ever spent a hungover Sunday crying into a bowl of cereal?

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and felt nothing but green-eyed jealousy and evil thoughts?

Award-winning journalist, Grazia agony aunt and real-life big sister to five smart, stylish, stunning twenty-something young women, Daisy Buchanan has been there, done that and got the vajazzle.

In How to be a Grown Up, she dispenses all the emotional and practical advice you need to negotiate a difficult decade. Covering everything from how to become more successful and confident at work, how to feel pride in yourself without needing validation from others, how to turn rivals into mentors, and how to *really* enjoy spending time on your own, this is a warm, kind, funny voice in the dark saying “Honestly don’t worry, you’re doing your best and you’re amazing!”

How to be a Grown Up addresses many different topics – how to manage money, how to love your body, how to survive at work etc. – common areas of concern that many people have struggled with at some point in their lives.  But it isn’t a book that tells you how to fix those problems, it’s not a book that says “do this” or “don’t do that” – I found it to be much more along the lines of “this is my experience, and what I’ve learnt from it” although there are suggestions and tips at various points should you be looking to make a change of some sort.

Given the broad range of topics covered, I think it’s inevitable that I found some of them to be more interesting and relevant to me than others.  I think it’s only natural – we’re all unique, and our own experiences and lifestyles will have led us along different paths, encountering different problems along the way.  That said, I think that there is probably at least one section in this book that would help most people to feel a little better about themselves – it will be a different section for each individual, but whoever we are and whatever life we’ve chosen or ended up in, there will be problems of some kind to deal with, and they are likely to fall into one or more sections of this book.

Buchanan makes several cultural references throughout the book, and I particularly liked these, and I’ll add one of my own:

If you’ve ever felt a bit like Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30 i.e. as though, almost overnight, you’ve suddenly become an adult, thrust into a strange new world and you don’t have a clue what you’re doing, then you might like this.  I quite often feel this way, so whilst I’m not the target audience, it’s comforting to know that there are other people are in the same boat.

How to be a Grown Up is a lighthearted and amusing book that essentially says “don’t worry about it, you’re doing ok” and I think that sometimes it’s enough to be told that.

How to be a Grown Up will be published on 6 April by Headline – many thanks to Georgina Moore for sending me a copy for review.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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