Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Welcome to Your Life by Bethany Rutter Book Review

Cover of Welcome to Your Life by Bethany Rutter, which features a cartoon brunette woman sitting on a wall with her back to viewer, her arms in the air. The title is in orange above her and below her the author's name is in white with a blue background. There are confetti pieces falling from the sky
Serena Mills is on the way to her wedding when she suddenly realises she can't go through with it and asks the taxi driver to drop her at the Harvester. It's there, eating a large ice cream sundae and drinking a glass of wine, that she meets her fiance and tells him it's over. Serena has not been single since meeting her ex in university, so as she moves to London to live with her friend Lola, she must navigate this big city and the dating scene. She sets herself a challenge, one date a week for a year. Can she find love or has she just made the biggest mistake of her life?

As much as the romance does play a big part of this book, it is also a coming of age story, Serena is almost 30 yet hasn't found her groove in life. Part of this is to do with her weight, which is a big part of the story, fatphobia and how it can impact your life. As someone who is plus sized, it is refreshing to have a character who I can relate to but I did feel at times it was relied on a bit too much. It could also be triggering for some people but I do think the fact it is written from an own voices experience does help add authenticity to that element of the story and we do see Serena work through some of her own internal biases and make progress. We also see Serena grow in her friendships as well, especially with her workmate Nicole (even if she does say 'my dude' too many times!)

Romance wise, there is an overall romance plot which was a bit frustrating at times but I feel like the story had to play out that way to allow Serena herself to grow and find confidence and independence. The romance wasn't why I wanted to read the book, it was more to see Serena grow and change. 

There are a few elements which could be removed and I think the story wouldn't suffer. Overall it was a fun read. I listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed the narrator, I felt like she got the tone spot on for the story. I would be interested in a sequel to this, as I enjoyed the characters in the book, maybe focusing on one of the friends as the main character instead could be fun

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