Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – A book review

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – A book review

It has been a while since I have loved a book unconditionally and I am glad that I heeded to everyone raving about Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. Go on to read my book review to see what worked for me.

About Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a life, Chloe Brown book review cover

Book Name: Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Author: Talia Hibbert

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Chloe Brown, Redford “Red” Morgan

Setting: Nottinghamshire, England, The UK

Plot Summary of Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Chloe Brown just had a close brush with death which made her reassess her life choices. She moves out of her loving family home and “get a life”. She makes a list of things that she wants to do, whatever her chronic pain and fibromyalgia might allow her to do.

Redford “Red” Morgan is done with all the posh and society life in London, and content with being a building superintendent and painting for himself. He is hurt and hesitant to let in anyone, especially those remind him of his ex.

When they two meet, they dislike each other almost immediately. They dislike what the other embodies and do not hesitate to show their disapproval.

Does Chloe get a life and do they give each other a chance form the rest of the story in Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert.

Book review of Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown is my first Talia Hibbert book and I enjoyed every page of it.

Chloe is an absolute delight to read about. She loves her family but is mildly annoyed that they are over protective. She understands her health issues and her shortcomings. But instead of letting it define her, she understands what works and what doesn’t for her.

Reading how harmful an emotionally abusive relationship can be, from a male’s point of view was eye opening. Seeing how it changed Red was heartbreaking and so well written and he has become one of my favorite fictional male leads in a long time.

I loved how the author made her characters equally vulnerable and strong. Most of adult romances make one of their leads strong and the other vulnerable, and they become codependent. But neither of them do that in Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

I can’t wait to read about the Brown sisters in Talia Hibbert’s other books.

What worked for me

  • Both Red and Chloe have strong personalities and they are both hurt. I loved how independent, yet vulnerable they both were.
  • Talia Hibbert’s witty writing had me laughing loud at so many places. And she was as sensitive and respectful when she handled the emotional issues. She will definitely be one of my favorite authors of the year!
  • Representation matters. I do not have chronic illness, nor do I fall into any other category that these characters represent. But I have so many people on the Bookstagram and from the blogging world who say they felt represented.

What may have been better


Content warning

Chronic pain and fibromyalgia, Emotional abuse and gaslighting, PG sexual content

Bottom line

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert is a well written contemporary romance with wonderful characters that will stay with you even after you finish reading it. Plus one for the diverse (fat, Black) representations!

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – A book review

Normal People by Sally Rooney – A book review

Have you read a book that makes you an emotional fur ball and then climaxes with an open ending? Do you love or hate such a book? Let us talk about Normal People by Sally Rooney, shall we?

About the book

Normal People By Sally Rooney Book cover

Book Name: Normal People

Author: Sally Rooney

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: Marienne and Alan, and their mother Denise Sheridan , Connel and Lorrainne

Setting: Ireland

The plot

Normal People begins with Marianne and Connell as teenagers who are from different social backgrounds attending the same school. Connell’s mother works in Marianne’s mansion. Connell is kind of the popular jock at school while Marianne is ostracized and is rather invisible.

They begin a sexual relationship but later puts an end to it, because Connell doesn’t want his friends to know about it. When they enter University, their roles reverse. Now Marianne’s intelligence and wit wins her friends while Connell feels so out of it and gradually slips into depression.

Their on/off romance continues and they lean on each other time and again, whatever their romantic entanglements were then. Did they end up with each other forms the rest of Normal People by Sally Rooney.

My initial thoughts

As I was saying earlier, Normal People made an emotional wreck of me. I rarely get affected so much by a book that I had to stop take catch a few breathes while I am reading. This book did that to me.

The plot as such is not anything that we have not read earlier nor very intriguing. But it is the writing and characters that made me come back for more, repeatedly. The protagonists felt so real that made me reach out to an old time friend, just to ask if they were doing fine. We all were normal people, once.

Flawed characters that are deep and emotionally broken? Sign me up. Her penchant towards self destruction and his gradual slipping into depression hurt me viscerally.

The only issue I had was not being able to understand why Marienne’s family hated her so much or some kind of background about it. Every time she felt unworthy and mistook abuse as love based on her family, especially the men, my heart broke.

I loved the social commentary parts in the book as much as inner thoughts of the characters.

What worked for me

  • CHARACTERS. Such deep, flawed and real characters.
  • I love plot-less plots, if you get what I mean. Character and angst driven plots are the best and Rooney did a great job at that.
  • This might be a make or break thing, but for me, the open ending seemed like a perfect finish to Normal People.

What may have been better

  • I wanted to know more about Marienne’s family and their treatment towards her. How and why would they?
  • Some readers may have an issue with the style of Rooney’s writing. Trust me you will get used to it in a bit.

Bottom line

If you are interested to read a character driven plot that will affect you emotionally, Normal People should be your pick. Normal People by Sally Rooney deserves all the praise and accolades it has been getting. I am definitely reading more from Rooney in future.

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – A book review

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – A book review

How religious are you and how interested were in God as a teen? Our experiences may vary and sometimes our family gets a huge say in these things. There are things that we all have in common and then there are some gaps. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo talks a lot about religion and faith in these lines. Let us get on to my review, shall we?

About the book

Cover Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo review

Book Name: The Poet X

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Characters: Xiomara and Xavier Batista, Caridad, Aman, Isabelle

Genre: Fiction – Romance, YA, Contemporary

Setting: Harlem, New YorkThe United States of America

The plot

With an emotionally distant and a super religious mother, Xiomara Batista, a young teen, feels all alone in her questioning life, religion, on being a woman and her changing body. And boys.

Her Twin brother, who is a closeted queer, seem to know what their parents want and doesn’t have any problem in just doing that. Even if he has to hide things from them. Of course, he doesn’t get picked at by their mother or have so many restrictions as Xio because he was a guy.

Her best friend Caridad, is what Xio’s parents want her to be like. Soft, religious and obedient. But sadly, Xio was born ready to be a fighter, a protector and a spitfire.

Honestly all Xio wants is to be a normal teenager. Wear sexy clothes, meet boys, have a boyfriend, and to be kissed, all of which are forbidden by her religious, controlling and guilt tripping mother.

And Xio has questions. And doesn’t have anyone to help her figure them out. No one except her notebook that she has filled her poetry. Another thing she has to hide from her mother.

What happens when Xio finally finds someone or something where she could just be? Why would her questioning be so frowned upon by the religion. Read The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo to know more.

My initial thoughts

Xio is a Dominican, twin, catholic, thick girl and a poet and the author makes sure that she stays true to all the identities – from what I hear. Even if I am not a part of those representations, I could still relate to her and her thought process.

As someone from a “religious but not super religious” family, where guilt tripping, blind faith, sexism and casteism are encouraged, I felt connected to Xio so much that I even forgot that we are not talking about the same religion. I suppose most religions have a lot in common.

Acevedo’s writing, especially the poetry, was so raw and vulnerable that I had to often take my eyes off the book and collect my thoughts, which rarely happens.

If you had not realized it by now, I loved Xio. I wish I were this brave and fierce as a teen myself. And that I was as body positive as she was and I hate that she had to undergo the catcalls, groping, ogling, leering and then be guilt tripped by her mother.

Things that worked for me

  • I loved Acevedo’s writing. LOVED.
  • Xio’s questions about religion and women are so spot on, that she may have picked them from own teen dairy.
  • I love the way the author built real, relatable characters. Xavier, Aman and even Caridad and of course, Xio.

Things that didn’t work for me

I wish I got to know more about Caridad, Xavier and even Aman, for that matter.


The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo is a contemporary romance that focuses very less on romance. Written in a verse format The Poet X doesn’t shy away from intense themes like religion, women in religion, puberty, body positivism, and parental control. Good recommendation, even if you are not into Young Adult books.

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – A book review

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – A book review

I picked The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary more than six months ago from the airport bookstore and carried it with me during my travels last year. But when I finally started reading it earlier this month, I knew it was a mistake.

It was a mistake to have waited so long to read it. Yes, I loved it. Let’s get on to the book review of The Flatshare, shall we?

About the book

The Flatshare by Beth O'Leary cover

Book Name: The Flatshare

Author: Beth O’Leary

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Tiffy Moore, Leon and Richie Twomey, Gerty, Mo, Justine, Kay

Setting:  LondonEnglandThe UK

The plot

Tiffy Moore has just been dumped (again) and wants to move out of Justin’s house ASAP. Despite what her friends say, she has hope that Justin will ask her to take him back. But at the same time, she knows this has happened far too many times, now. 

Leon Twomey is a nurse who works night shifts. His brother has been wrongly accused of a robbery and is in jail. Leon needs urgent cash flow to get him acquitted.

And a flatshare made sense for both of them. Leon will use the flat during the day, when Tiffy is at work and vice versa. It sounds perfect in paper,right? What could go wrong? 

For starters, emotionally abusive boyfriends, trips in search of a long lost lover, and the work schedule. But how long can they go without meeting forms the rest of The Flatshare. 

My initial thoughts

The Flatshare is a well written romance with great characters and witty humor. But what I loved about this book was how it talked about emotional abuse – keeping it real and without being preachy. 

I loved Tiffy’s arc especially. Initially she would not even stand a criticizing comment about Justin from her friends. But she slowly understood how he was gaslighting her and had been emotionally abusive and manipulating her. ALL BY HERSELF, with a bit of help from her ever supporting friends. And for once, the male protagonist was not her savior.  

Leon was just a perfect sweetheart. He is an introvert who loves helping everyone, even going out of his way to do so. In fact, he spends his free time to help an aged patient to find his family. He is on first name basis with his younger patients who seem to know more about him than himself. 

I loved Gerty, Mo and Rachel. And Richie. They were colorful and well developed, making it a treat to read about them. 

Things that worked for me

  • The Flatshare is just more than a romance, even when it has a cute love story in it.
  • The characters. From Tiffy to Holly, were well written and adorable. 
  • I loved how the emotional abuse was portrayed, without making it all about the guy.

Things that didn’t work for me

I know this is a weak point but the flatshare arrangement without even meeting each other sounds too unrealistic right? Or is it just me? (It was not a deal breaker, though)


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary is a fun romance with British humor that deals with heavy subjects like emotional abuse, gaslighting and friendships. Pick it up if you are a newbie reader or someone trying to get off a slump.

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