Living My Best Li(f)e
by Claire Frost
It’s my stop on the “Living My Best Life” blog tour! Thanks very much to Anne Cater at Random Things Blog Tours and author Claire Frost who have kindly provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Bell had it all, the perfect job, the perfect partner, and on their 10th anniversary she thought she would get the ring… But two weeks later, Bell wakes up to find herself still clutching a wine bottle and the memories of Collin saying those dreaded words: ‘We need to talk…’
Determined to get on with her life before she hits 40, Bell starts following ‘inspirational’ people on Instagram. Her favourite lifestyle guru is @mi_bestlife, whose life seems Insta-perfect but if you were to zoom out of the heavily filtered picture, you’d see reality strike.
Millie is a single mother, with a cute son called Wolfie, whose father is absolutely useless and not much on the scene. Instagram and the profile she has built up online is more ‘best lie’ than ‘best life’. It isn’t until Millie and Bell’s paths finally cross that the two women begin to understand what is real and what it is that they really want.
Bell is 39 years old, dreading the big 4-0 and recently single following the end of a 10 year relationship. It’s been a couple of months since the break up and she’s still lounging around in her PJs on a Saturday night. Her best friend Suze is determined to get Bell out of this slump and back on her feet but Bell’s not quite sure she’s ready to move on as quickly as her ex.
“You need to find out who you really are and what you enjoy, after being part of Bell and Col for so long.”
Bell’s skin is breaking out and she’s got bags under her eyes so she’s in no mood to go out dancing, but she knows that she needs to meet new people so she enrols herself in a photography class at the local community centre. It’s the community centre where she meets Millie and her son Wolf (after having Insta stalked them a few days before…)
Millie is an Instagrammer, regularly posting filtered pictures of her ‘perfect’ life. With some terminology specific to this platform I think you’ll need to have a rough understanding of how Instagram works in order to enjoy this story so if you’ve never logged in, this probably isn’t the book for you. Millie’s handle is @mi_bestlife but her profile shows a completely different life to her reality. While the photos show glistening smiles and flashy outfits, she’s actually just a single mum struggling to pay the bills.
A friendship soon blossoms between Bell and Millie and while this book is cheesy at times, it’s a light read that’s bound to put a smile on your face.
There’s a hint of romance, but I wouldn’t say that that takes priority in the plot, really this is a story of female friendship. I did find parts of this book to be a little cliched and that’s not something I’m really a fan of, but in general Claire Frost’s debut is a really fun read that I know a lot of people are going to love. It’s well written and these ladies and their situations feel pretty realistic as I personally could relate to both of them in some way.
It’s really nice to read something with such a warm, positive message: you be you. It’s so true that we’re all so wrapped up in social media that we sometimes need a reminder to be truthful to ourselves and to be more present in reality than behind a filtered lens.
Overall rating: Living My Best Li(f)e is a feel-good story of friendship and community spirit that would be a ideal holiday read. It’s also an important reminder that what you see on social media isn’t always the truth – sometimes #livingmybestlife is a little more #livingmybestlie.
Don’t forget to check out the reviews of other blogs on the tour and if this sounds like your kind of book, support the author by picking up a copy on Kindle or Paperback through Amazon UK.