Good Luck With That – Review

img_8459After much insisting from several readers, I decided it was time to pick up my first Kristan Higgins book, and I’m so glad I did. I requested this book from the library months ago and put it on the backburner in my mind. Naturally, the library gods love to give us every book at one time or while we are already swamped with a multiplicity of other reads. This apparently was the kick in the pants I needed to power through the book over the weekend, however! Thankfully, the book was a fairly quick read and one I didn’t want to put down.

Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.

For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life. For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.

But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.

Whew, this book was a doozy. In some ways, I was reluctant to read this novel because I wasn’t overly interested in the topics at hand. Immediately, readers are hit with heavy topics (literally and figuratively) and the story doesn’t let up until the end. Luckily, there are perfectly timed doses of humor thrown in or I’m not sure I would have been able to emotionally handle this novel. As I devoted more time to the story, I was impressed by the author’s ability to put me in her characters’ shoes. I was able to understand issues I have never faced and others that are all too familiar to women, no matter the shape or size she may be.

My reluctance to pick up this novel shows a bit of my prejudice about this topic to begin with, so in many ways, I was the perfect reader for this book. I would never treat a person poorly due to their weight or body, but I would have had preconceived ideas about their lifestyle due to my own various life experiences. I realize that may not paint me in the best possible light, but I think transparency is important, especially for a book review like this one. Prior to reading this novel, I would have believed that everyone makes choices about their health, without much gray area. While this is true in many cases, due to our sedentary society and a variety of unhealthy foods and large portions in American culture, this is not true for every person. This book makes readers realize making snap judgments about people is not fair. We are more than a body, after all.

Good Luck With That truly opened my eyes not only to the way society views bodies of both men and women but to the way we view ourselves too. I think in many ways we have and have had unrealistic beauty and body standards for a long time due to social media, magazines, celebrities, and more. However, I do see those standards beginning to change slightly in different ways, like the use of models of all sizes in various advertisements (i.e. Fabletics). Unfortunately, we’re all victims to the comparison game and tend to wish we looked better. Regardless of how people act, everyone has insecurities from the smallest person to the largest; from the best looking to the worst. This book reminds readers of how important it is to get to know people’s hearts, rather than making unnecessary judgments from the get-go.

I think the most persuasive part of this novel, for me, was learning of the ways overweight people can be discriminated against or made to feel less than. These insightful additions to the story truly broke my heart and made realize how important it is to always go out of my way to show kindness to everyone. Another lesson I took away from this story was to stop being negative with my own self-talk. A large majority of the things written from Georgia’s perspective were especially relevant to me. I think it’s worthwhile to always seek betterment, but not for overall happiness. Happiness and acceptance are sought daily in our present situations, not attained by a specific set of circumstances (or a specific number on the scale).

The lessons and eye-opening perspectives books are able to provide are my favorite things about reading. I appreciate being able to think about things in a different way and maybe even change my preconceived notions. I appreciate Kristan Higgins valuable novel with highly relatable and likeable characters from all walks of life. Good Luck With That tells it like it is. This story is real, honest, raw, and begs to be read — just be sure to have the tissues handy.

Purchase on Amazon!


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