All, Book Reviews

Review: How do you like me now by Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne is a British author of young adult fiction. She is a bestselling and critically acclaimed author. This was my second experience with holly’s book. I am quite impressed with her work done in ‘How You Like Me Now. It is an adult fiction that humorously focuses on significant issues. She highlights issues of emotional abuse, dealing with a narcissist, ageism, toxic social media, and shows the sad reality of society impeccably.

Tori Bailey is a bestselling author and she’s inspired millions of women around the world with her ‘Who the F*CK Am I?’ Tori is winning the game of life. She has a successful career, millions of followers on social media, supportive friends, and a perfect live-in relationship with her boyfriend, Tom. Yet, Tori is miserable. She feels lonely and desperate. Behind the perfect life she illustrates on her social media, the reality is quite different and tori somehow acknowledges this fact.

Tori is thirty and that makes her anxious. Although, this is not the worse part.  She is in a long term, seemingly dead-end and toxic relationship with her boyfriend Tom. Tom’s lack of commitment and refusal to discuss the future has been poisoning the connection between the two. It’s also deteriorating Tori’s life. 

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

Her friends are getting married and having children, yet tori is not dealing with these upheavals entirely. What finally shatters tori is when her best friend, Dee, falls in love with Nigel and gets pregnant. Tori’s world comes crashing down. She is glad for Dee, yet she feels envious and furious. Tori’s insecurities strike her which destroys everything.

Tori is a complex character. She is flawed. She is human. She is me and she is you. Because none of us is perfect. She deals with her securities through seeking validation in her Instagram posts. It showed her speaking the truth, but in hindsight, she was just beating others down. She was scared to leave Tom because she was under pressure of what society will think. Besides, thirty was an age to settle down not to start all over again. Society has led us to think that way. They have created this taboo that burdens us down.

Tori was successful, still, society kept telling her that women can truly achieve when she is married and becomes a mother. No doubt, marriage and being a mother is an achievement, moreover, it is a blessing. However, taking control of other individuals life and telling them what to do and when to do is unjustified.

“Lost is easier than stuck …”

― Holly Bourne, How Do You Like Me Now?

Tori’s relationships with her female friends were incredibly well described. Furthermore, it was sad to see it shattering down which illustrated Tori’s insecurities and self-loathing. The stark light that shone on the toxicity of social media was also remarkably done. It perfectly emphasized how toxic social media can be – how it can shape our perceptions of ourselves and everybody around us and how often those perceptions are distorted. Holly has done a tremendous job outlining the absurdity that comes from social networks and how destructive it can be in defiling our perceptions.

Holly Bourne wrote a great eye-opening read that explores dark comedy. It was authentic, heartbreaking, and cleverly written. ‘How You Like Me Now‘ is a candid and life-changing read. I would recommend everyone to read it.

“It’s hard enough, feeling the clock ticking and yet life not obliging to give you the things others have. To feel defunct and left behind and scared as hell about it — and the more nervous you get about it, the more you give off some smell that makes it less likely to happen.”― Holly Bourne, How Do You Like Me Now?

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