Living My Best Life is a very topical book for our social media obsessed world. Instagram is the focus of the story and it’s a form of social media which I am totally rubbish at! I like looking at other people’s photos and I can post a photo, but have to ask my daughters all the time for advice about stories and direct messages which they think is hilarious! I don’t really try to make things look something other than they are, although I do admit to loving the filters!
Bell is very down after an unexpected breakup with boyfriend of ten years. Social media exacerbates her feelings as she sees all the photos of people and their perfect lives being #soblessed and #makingmemories – including her ex. She decides to delete all her social media accounts as they are just making her miserable.
On the other side of the scale we have Millie who is an Instagram influencer. Every one of her photos is carefully considered, filtered, photoshopped and hashtagged to death! But they don’t really show the reality of her life where she has financial difficulties and issues with her little boy’s father. She also feels pressure to get thousands of likes for all her photos in case the brands she promotes decide she’s no longer influential enough.
Through both these ladies we see the positive and negative side of social media. In particular we see the effect which ‘trolls’ have on people even when their comments are way outnumbered by positives. The negative comments are what sticks in Millie’s mind. A chance meeting between Bell and Millie shows they have more in common than you might think. A good friendship begins to develop and the two become a huge support to each other. As they begin to work together on a local community project, Bell begins to see the good that can come from social media too.
Living My Best Life is a fun and enjoyable read. It reflects the modern obsession with showing that you are living your best life, at least online. But is also shows that actually living your best life for real and being more honest online is ultimately more important. Friendship and community spirit comes through strongly in the book and there are a few fledgling romances blossoming as well. There were plenty moments which made me smile in this entertaining debut novel – a feel-good read.
My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to publishers to Simon & Schuster for my review copy of the book. Living My Best Life is available now in ebook and paperback formats. It should be available to buy or order from your usual book retailer or you can order a copy from Hive (where every purchase supports your local high street) here: Living My Best Life
From the back of the book
Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong . . .
In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.
It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?
About the author
Claire Frost grew up in Manchester, the middle of three sisters. She always wanted to do a job that involved writing, so after studying Classics at Bristol University she started working in magazines. For the last 10 years she’s been at The Sun on Sunday’s Fabulous magazine, where she is Assistant Editor and also responsible for the title’s book reviews. She can mostly be found at her desk buried under a teetering TBR pile.