My (extra)Ordinary Life by Rebecca Ryan

The book is written in first person, so we’re straight away taken into the mind of the main character Emily Turner, who is a 28-year-old teacher. She lives with her best friend Kaz who is an A&E nurse. Watching a BBC2 programme about human life, Emily discovers that not only are both her names incredibly common, but so are her habits. She is average in every way. So she decides to compose a Life List and achieve something different every month.

After vowing to be distinctly un-average by NOT finding a life partner and getting married at 31, a lovely man turns up. Thankfully he’s got a girlfriend. But he’s also got dimples and gorgeous eyes and … Will Emily manage to resist?!

The book is written in a lovely chatty style. We get chapters in the present day and chapters written about the events of the past beginning in 1997, when we learn what happened to Emily’s twin sister Claire. Although the book is incredibly witty and funny, it is also about grief and loss. The balance is very well done, it feels real. Let’s face it, all our lives have highs and lows in there.

It’s such a clever book, it would make a great film. There are so many hilarious moments, when you really feel for Emily, and some wonderful one liners and brilliant lines I wish I had written! But it’s not any kind of throwaway comedy, it has a big heart at its centre and you really follow Emily’s story, caring what happens to her. She has lots of little quirks and a big dollop of social awkwardness, but you know she’s a good person and deserves to have a good life. However, before she can believe that herself, she needs to process what happened in her past and not blame herself for being alive, while her sister isn’t.

Oh it’s so lovely, this story, Emily is so huggable! Rebecca Ryan’s writing is gorgeous, you get drawn in straight away and enveloped by the heart and soul of the book. It’s beautiful, read it!


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. 

Published by karenlouisehollis

53, lives in Lincoln, England. Published writer, book blogger and reviewer, mum, grandma, cat owner, vegetarian. Loves reading and sewing. My second novel is out now - a second chance romance set at the seaside - STARTING AGAIN IN SILVER SANDS BAY.

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