Welcome back all. I seem to be reading at an even faster pace than I expected while on holiday’s so I’m working myself further and further ahead on my schedule than I had originally anticipated! Normally I work about 3 weeks in advance to make sure reviews are ready to go, but I seem to have worked myself into over a month in advance! Which is not normal for me!
Anyway, I’ll just into the book because I really enjoyed reading this while flying from NZ to Brisbane, and then from Brisbane to Fiji. My first thought when I started reading this one was “is this Australian?” because a few things jumped out immediately as locations I’d been to when visiting my mum in Brisbane. Turns out my hunch is right and this is set in the sunny (if not spider infested city, not that that’s mentioned anywhere in the books!) relaxed city of Brisbane in Australia’s north eastern state of Queensland.
Jumping into the book we join Isla on the day she finds out her ex uploaded a nude photo he took of her onto a revenge porn website. And even though she’s tried, the website is run out of a country that doesn’t care about women’s rights and so the photo is left sitting out there in cyber space for anyone to find if they want.
Then fast forward a few months and Isla has gained a number of kilos (we find out later it’s about 25kgs) and is constantly indulging her sweet tooth. Until that is someone who works for a bakery Isla is buying more sweets from asks her when she’s expecting her child, obviously mistaking her for being pregnant. Like women have to put up with that kind of crap from men enough as it is. Why do we have to take it from other women?
And this is the moment her cousin Grace calls her “Kawasaki moment”. The moment she realises she’s hit rock bottom and decides to change her life for the better. And I think we’ve all been those those moments in regards to some part of our life at one time or other. I know for me it was when I was needing to buy size 12 clothes (my body size naturally should sit in a 6, and don’t judge! I’m short as and short tends to means skinnier!) and that’s when I realised I needed to get back to my normal size. Or at the very least into a small 8! So Isla calls Grace (who btw is a model and super into fitness) and Grace starts coaching her on nutrition and healthy habits including exercise.
So Isla starts this journey and it was so refreshing to read about someone who fell off the wagon, didn’t always go to the gym but kept eating healthy etc. Because I know it’s really hard to keep up those habits when shit hits the fan and work gets so busy you don’t have time or motivation for the gym. I love the feeling of being fit and looking good but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel like going straight home to a glass of wine, or a tv show, or a book or a game sometimes. I’m not saying I don’t try to go but sometimes one little thing going wrong is enough to make those other options way more enticing than going to the gym! So it was really reading about someone else who faced the same struggles as I constantly do.
And on top of that she’s trying to navigate her way through multiple job changes and challenges (just like me) and try and maintain a relationship (ok, so I don’t quite fit the bill here but sometimes it feels like it as every relationship has it’s ups and downs. I’m lucky mine is mostly up) and make her life the life she wants for herself.
To hear about how she can face her fears head on and get through it in a way that feels real is amazing as well. I know I for one don’t face my fears as gracefully or maturely as Isla does. I’m prone to hissy fits and tantrums when it come’s to facing my fears so kudo’s to Isla! And kudo’s to Kirsty who has written this in such a way that it feels really real to me. Even the comment about fashion in Australia being about 6 months behind America and Europe! Little details like that really made this book so much more enjoyable.
Throughout this book I really felt like I could relate to Isla which got me way more emotionally invested in this novel. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, if you have please like or comment!
Thankyou for reading and I will see you next week when I review the “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Nine World’s” by Columbkill Noonan.