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I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Everything is Fine by Gillian Harvey
Published by Orion on January 26, 2021
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Chick Lit
Format: eBook (368 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
Jessica Bradley has it all: the perfect boyfriend; influential healthy-eating blog; successful PR company and wonderful daughter, Anna. Or at least that is what her thousands of followers believe.
The truth is, her boyfriend just broke up with her in four words on a post-it; her zest for healthy-eating has all but disappeared; her PR success is all reliant on her now not-so-honest online-life and she just got caught eating her daughter's Coco-Pops.
So as they say: fake it 'til you make it. A few little white lies and phoney smiling selfies and Jess can keep up appearances. But when her real-life starts to spiral out of control how can Jess tell the truth from the lies? And will she be able to seize real happiness when it is right in front of her?
Hilarious, heart-warming and oh-so relatable, prepare to fall in love with Jessica Bradley's search for happiness. Perfect for fans of Louise Pentland, Anna Bell and Lindsey Kelk.
Proceed With Caution:
This book contains dieting, body shaming, and mentions of miscarriage and depression.
This is about Jessica, a fitness blogger, single mother, and PR agent. She appears to have it all figured out online, but her life is actually a mess.
Everything Is Fine is the first book I’ve read about an adult being tangled up in social media and an online persona, so I was excited. Jessica has a successful fitness blog which she started when she was trying to get into shape. One post went viral, and now she’s considered an influencer. Except she doesn’t want to be. Her posts are perfectly curated and worded to keep up the persona, but behind the camera, she’s skipping gym sessions, sneaking cookies, and her hunky boyfriend just left her.
What I liked best about Everything Is Fine is how it takes a deeper look into how social media isn’t all that social. Most feeds are staged and certainly don’t tell the whole story. Of course, everyone wants to put their best shots online and only the most interesting stories turn into blog content. But for Jessica, more and more of what she posts isn’t even her. People are cheering her on and telling her how much she’s helped them, but who are they really talking to? Even her relationship is a performance for the masses, since she can’t let anyone know that “gymbo” Dave broke up with her (by post-it) for gaining weight.
I also appreciated how Jessica doesn’t hate her body or demonize carbs. Sure, she started out eating super clean and spending two hours in the gym every day, but she realized that’s not what she wants. She’s fine with her size and wants to enjoy the occasional slice of cake and glass of wine. It’s not worth her happiness to force herself to lose weight and tone up just to please her following.
The one thing that kept me from enjoying Everything Is Fine fully was the humor. It felt like everything was done for a laugh, especially in the beginning. I could have done without the over-the-top incontinence undies, semen facial, and public embarrassment. It was all too much, and overshadowed the heart of the story. I struggle with comedic novels to begin with, but this one was particularly cringe-worthy in places. I know this type of humor works for a lot of readers, but I’m not one of them.
Overall, Everything Is Fine was fine. I loved the premise of a blogger figuring out what’s actually real in her life. It was also sweet seeing her interact with her tween daughter who has also just gotten started with an online life. But the non-stop jokes in the first half bogged it down.