Review: Olive by Emma Gannon

Challenge prompt: A book by a blogger, vlogger, Book Tuber, or other online creator.

Blurb:

Independent.
Adrift.
Anxious.
Loyal.
Kind.
Knows her own mind.

OLIVE is many things, and it’s ok that she’s still figuring it all out, navigating her world without a compass. But life comes with expectations, there are choices to be made, boxes to tick and – sometimes – stereotypes to fulfil. And when her best friends’ lives start to branch away towards marriage and motherhood, leaving the path they’ve always followed together, Olive starts to question her choices – because life according to Olive looks a little bit different.

Moving, memorable and a mirror for every woman at a crossroads, OLIVE has a little bit of all of us. Told with great warmth and nostalgia, this is a modern tale about the obstacle course of adulthood, milestone decisions and the ‘taboo’ about choosing not to have children. 

Image via Goodreads

What I liked:

I’m also someone who doesn’t picture children as part of their future. So, reading this and seeing a character who was in the same mind frame as I was, was such a fantastic reading experience. A lot of other reviewers didn’t love Olive, but I really enjoyed reading her and connected to her more than I have any other characters I’ve read recently.

I also really enjoyed the inclusion of soundbites and snippets from actual people who don’t want to or plan to have children. It brought an extra level to this book, and I loved hearing the reasons some women are choosing not to have children. There were no two people who gave the same reason, which shows you just how complex this decision is.

This book is also a beautiful love letter to friendship. As adults we’re often told to re-evaluate our friendships, and to cull those we don’t feel are working for us anymore. The book does feature a friendship group which is now quite different to when it had formed. Members are married, mothers, or planning to have children. I loved that they still made time for each other, and even though there were some rocky moments between them you could tell they had a strong and deep friendship. Plus, this felt realistic to friendships nowadays.

What I didn’t like:

Despite liking reading Olive, I did sometimes find her actions a little grating.

Out of five:

Four. This is a wonderful book about figuring out who you are and what you want from your life.

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