When I met Rebecca Ryan at a recent Team BATC blogger and author evening and heard her read from My (extra) Ordinary Life I knew I’d love it so I was delighted to be invited onto the blog tour by Sara-Jade and it’s a real pleasure to share my review today.
Published by Simon and Schuster on 5th January 2023 My (extra) Ordinary Life is available for purchase through the links here.
My (extra) Ordinary Life
Have you ever wondered how normal you are?
What if you were perfectly average?
More than anyone else.
For Emily – it’s true. When she watches a documentary on the average human she sees her life. Her job, her hair, her favourite food. All of her – plainly, horrifically average. Even her blood group. Right there and then, she decides she wants more.
She’ll travel the world (i.e. venture out of her hometown)
She’ll become a vegan (it’s interesting to hate cheese, right?)
She’ll do something daring (As long as it’s safety tested)
Nothing will stand in the way of Emily living her best life. Not even Josh and his dimples. Because she absolutely can’t fall in love… that would be too ordinary.
And from now on, Emily is going to be extraordinary.
My Review of My (extra) Ordinary Life
Emily is far too average!
I absolutely loved My (extra) Ordinary Life. Reading about Emily felt as if Rebecca Ryan had climbed inside my head and voiced every doubt I’ve ever had about my own existence. Her perception of how we think and feel is exceptional. And the book is joyously funny. I laughed aloud so often I think my husband thought I was quite mad. I think My (extra) Ordinary Life would make the most fabulous film as Rebecca Ryan’s writing is so vivid, fast paced and engaging that it is as if you’re watching Emily’s life rather than merely reading about it.
The plot revolves around Emily’s attempts to make herself less average, and simply romps along, but it is also far, far, more than a humorous and brilliantly entertaining read. It’s imbued with emotion too so that self-doubt, loss and grief form the catalyst for the action and Rebecca Ryan has the amazing skill of being able to make her readers laugh even as tears are streaming down their faces. My (extra) Ordinary Life feels like a book written by an author who truly understands human nature.
What I think works so fabulously is the concept of finding your own path in life. Emily learns that she isn’t just a teacher, a friend, a sister, a daughter. She’s the sum of her grief, her responses to life, and her own actions, making My (extra) Ordinary Life incredibly affecting and, indeed, life-affirming and helpful. I was desperate for Emily to be happy from the very first word.
I loved all the characters (save for Mr Hughes, but you’ll need to read the book to find out why) and whilst Emily is exceptionally well drawn, Kaz is also simply brilliant. There’s smashing love and romance in My (extra) Ordinary Life but even better is the portrayal of female friendship through Kaz and Emily’s relationship. Indeed, I didn’t want simply to read about them. I wanted to climb into the book and be friends with them too because they felt so authentic and real.
My (extra) Ordinary Life is one of those books that remains with the reader long after the last page is read. It entertains, it teaches and it moves, but even as is does those things, it leaves the reader feeling uplifted, understood and completely satisfied. I just loved it and cannot recommend it highly enough. Emily might feel ordinary, but My (extra) Ordinary Life is extra-ordinarily fabulous!
About Rebecca Ryan
Rebecca Ryan lives in Bradford with her husband and three young children. Although she always loved writing, it hadn’t really occurred to her that she could do it professionally. She recently left her job as a teacher to pursue writing full-time. She enjoys walking in the countryside and takeaways (if that counts as a hobby).
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