Book Review: How to Be a Grown Up by Daisy Buchanan*

12:00 pm


* Thank you to Headline Books for sending me a proof copy of this wonderful book. The final product will have a much more exciting cover! *

'...the only difference between being a proper grown-up and an idiot sitting in her own vomit in the back of a taxi is perspective.'

As someone who recently found themselves in this situation post-work Christmas do, I was very pleased to read this sentence at the beginning of Daisy's spectacularly hilarious and incredibly comforting book How to Be a Grown Up. The tagline is 'You're doing fine and let me tell you why', which fondly reminds me of Laura Jane Williams' subheading on her website: 'Because none of us is fucking up like we think we are.' And that's the whole vibe of the book. We all become adults, but we all also have no clue what we're doing. We can follow rules and advice and do what we think adults are supposed to be, but things still *happen* and life goes on and we're all just pretending. Now, I don't know about you, but that's really bloody comforting.

'It's difficult to be an adult child who suddenly has to deal with reinstated curfews, parental pressure and a limited amount of space. But it's just as hard for parents who find themselves held hostage by hungry young people who are old enough to drive and vote, yet immature enough to leave wet towels all over the floor.'

Daisy's book is refreshing in the way it's telling people who are already grown-ups how to be a grown-up. It's not aimed at fresh-faced teenagers heading off to uni, ready to take on the world. It's aimed at the twenty-somethings who have finished uni and have probably had to move back in with their parents, looking for a shitty graduate job that has nothing to do with their degree, trying to earn enough to move out, navigating the weird world of dating in the twenty-first century, trying to hold down old and new friendships left, right, and centre, attempting to have confidence and a good view of their body despite not having time to exercise or cook, scowling at the glamorous lives of others online, and probably developing some mind of mental health problem in the meantime. Phew. Never fear, Daisy is here to make you feel infinitely better about all of it, with her own personal anecdotes, stories from her friends, and actual actionable advice you can implement to feel a little less like you're fucking everything up. She's great.

'Self-belief is a team effort, and a gift to be shared. If you love someone, give that person reasons to be confidence in him or herself and the vibes will come back multiplied to you.'

I would recommend this for fans of the aforementioned Laura Jane Williams' Becoming and Emma Gannon's Ctrl Alt Delete, both wonderful books that I've previously reviewed here and here. Daisy's voice is one of a friend at the other end of the phone, consoling you with her own stories and giggly anecdotes. She's comforting without being coddling, and inspirational without being unrelatable. She's your best friend's cool older sister.

How to Be a Grown Up will be published by Headline on April 6th and I urge you to pick up a copy if you've ever felt like you've been doing this whole 'adulting' thing completely wrong because, long story short, there's not really a wrong way of doing it.

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