Gillian Harvey’s ‘Everything is Fine’ Reminds Us to Stop Taking Ourselves so Seriously [REVIEW]

Instagram food
On Instagram, it may look like she loves rabbit food, but that’s just because nobody’s caught her eating all those biscuits. (Photo courtesy Canva)

A blog seemed like a great idea in the beginning, when all she wanted was to lose a little weight. She thought a public diary would help her stick to her goals. Little did she realize just how much it would take over her entire life. In Gillian Harvey’s Everything is Fine, she reminds us that the road to ruin is paved with good intentions.

Gillian Harvey's EVERYTHING IS FINE
Orion Books

Seven pounds. Jessica Bradley, owner of a boutique public relations firm in the UK, wonders if she should have just ignored her muffin top. Then maybe she could eat her daughter’s sweetened cereal anytime she darn well pleased. Instead, she had to go and start a blog and Instagram account, chronicling her weight loss journey and healthy eats. Now she has trolls following her every post, waiting to pounce on something they don’t like.

Of course, there have been perks to her life since she became a social media influencer. She got killer abs working out with her beefcake boyfriend. Businesses want to give her freebies if she’ll blog about them and give their products and services an “honest” review. New clients hire her to represent them and their companies because of her growing popularity.

Yet, the more successful she becomes, the more she feels like a hamster in a wheel, running endlessly to keep up the charade that her life has become. No one knows her boyfriend just dumped her via Post-it note after catching her chowing down on chocolate cookies. Parents at her daughter’s school want to use her newfound fame to their own benefit. And even the facial she was so excited to get comes with some rather unsettling—not to mention messy—strings attached.

The world she’s built for herself rests on carefully constructed half truths with more than a dollop of fantasy thrown in for good measure. But how long can she play the game and fool her followers? And since her illusion doesn’t quite make her happy like it used to, what will it take to find happiness once and for all? You’ll have to read Everything is Fine to discover the answer.

Harvey’s debut is one of the funniest, cheekiest books I have read in years. There are so many scenes in this book that left me holding my sides with laughter and gasping for breath. Other moments had me nodding along, knowing just how the protagonist feels, grappling with her love/hate relationship with social media. As Harvey said in a recent guest post on this site, it’s all really a two-edged sword. But it definitely makes for some unexpected scenarios and insanely hilarious moments.

It will not surprise me at all if this book wins Harvey a legion of new fans with its US release in January 2021. The author has a very clear, distinctive voice propelled by her charming manner and irreverent wit, and she simply shines here. Throughout the novel I had no doubt that I was in the hands of a very capable writer. And I closed the book feeling like I’d made a new BFF, and I don’t frequently have that reaction. Yet after reading Everything is Fine, I truly feel like life will be okay if we can learn not to take ourselves quite so seriously.

Who knows, perhaps Heather and I will be lucky enough to hang out with Harvey someday post-pandemic. I’m sure it would be great fun. If not, I’ll simply make due reading her work, enjoying the vibrant way she sees the world. After all, you sense her honest, shy smile beaming at you on every page, along with that hearty dollop of delicious mirth. I have no doubt, Harvey is an author well on her way to winning over the hearts of the American people. Make sure you pre-order this book today!

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Gillian Harvey
Gillian Harvey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gillian Harvey writes nonfiction articles for UK magazines and newspapers, as well as short stories for several different publications.

Everything is Fine is her first novel and was released by Orion Fiction in May 2020 (UK) and is due for release in paperback in January in the US. Her second novel, Perfect on Paper, is due for a UK release in May 2021.

She lives in France with her long-suffering husband Ray and their five children: Lily, Joe, Tim, Evie and Robbie.

To find out more, visit GillianHarvey.com, like her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

EVERYTHING IS FINE
By Gillian Harvey
384 pp. Orion. $15.99

Pre-order Everything is Fine direct from Jathan & Heather Books or from one of these other fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, Hudson Booksellers, or IndieBound.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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