#bookreview: Living the Dream by Lauren Berry

Living the Dream book cover

Format: Paperback
Published: Virago Press
Publisher:6th July 2017
Pages: 336 Pages

The Blurb
A funny, satirical, sharp and honest look at modern British life from the perspective of two young women. The launch of an exciting new voice from Virago Press.

Emma Derringer is an assistant at a branding agency in London. Each morning she arrives at the office, types in her password (Fresh_He11) and shoves her jacket under her desk (DEAR ALL, Please keep your coats and bags out of sight and NOT on your chairs as they are unsightly. Thx). Most days Emma wears a mask of indifference that disguises either her boredom, her hangover or both. When her overbearing boss isn’t looking she pursues her career as a writer, sending articles, posting blogs and trying to get noticed for her talent, instead of mistakes on her PowerPoint presentations.

Clementine Twist arrives home from a stint in New York with a hefty overdraft, a crushed heart and a waning confidence in her budding career as a screenwriter. She moves in with her mum, gets a job in bar and spends her days composing emails to agents, producers and anyone who might help her onto the slippery ladder of the film industry.

As their 30’s loom and the freedom and fun of their 20’s gives way to the adult pressures of job satisfaction and perceived success, Emma and Clem realise it’s time to ramp up their efforts, and think about quitting the day job.

Amid life’s larger questions Emma and Clem have to answer to the daily challenges of big city life on a little budget, as well as inane questions about getting their nails did from their mutual frenemy Yasmin, the phone to increasingly technophobic parents and emails to ever more rejection letters.

Living the Dream is a razor-sharp comic novel of office life, friendship and the search for meaning.

Purchase the book: Amazon UK

The Review

Hooray, finally a novel that accurately represents a typical twenty-something’s life without the need to include children and boyfriends. Just because you’re in your late twenties does not mean you have to have children or have you life completely planned out. I for one think it’s insulting to those that don’t have children and don’t see them in their future. Yes, I know I’m nearly 30 and yes, I’m happily married, but I’m quite comfortable as I am, thanks. Anyway, enough of my ‘issues’, here’s the review!

Although they’ve previously lived separate lives, Emma and Clem are back together – thick as thieves. Emma is working as an assistant at a branding agency and Clem is working in a bar. They’re easy jobs, but both have creative dreams that they want to pursue. Living in London aids in their career path, there’s so much more opportunity and fun to be had. I honestly feel like there’s a slight disadvantage if you don’t live in a big city, especially if you’re after something creative.

I loved how Living the Dream was a humorous tale following the girls as they attempt to achieve their dreams, which by their own admission isn’t easy. Yes, there’s bad language and adult situations, but it’s not crude and that’s something I liked. Clem’s character was my favourite, she was less serious and although she felt ‘old’, she never acted it and often enjoyed herself. Although, being in debt can’t be nice – poor Clem.

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Published by Clare

Book lover, tea drinker and sushi fiend!

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