Originally published: 20 January 2022
Author: Radhika Sanghani
Published by: Headline
Genre: Chick Lit
Length: 400 pages
Reading Dates: 22-27 January 2022
When Nina Mistry hits rock bottom – because no one plans to turn thirty in a prison cell – a tatty little self-help book finds its way into her hands. She doesn’t think she needs it; why would a strong, sensible Taurus like her go on a ‘life-changing journey’ to fix herself? But her inner journalist is curious. And by the time the sun comes up, she knows exactly what she needs to do…
‘This book will change your life . . . if you’re brave enough to let it.’
This will not be a journey for the faint-hearted, but whatever else Nina has messed up in her life, she’s never been afraid of a challenge.
’30 bold steps. One year.’
Her mother is – as always – appalled. Her brother is too depressed to care. The love of her life? He’s already moved on. And her friends . . . well, that’s another story.
But Nina has Nina.
And she’s about to find out if that’s enough.
‘It’s time for a brand new kind of love story. Are you ready?’
Thirty Things I Love About Myself starts with Nina spending her 30th birthday in a police cell. Nina realises her life is pretty near rock bottom – she is working as a freelance journalist, writing uninspiring stories; she has just broken up with fiancé Nikhil and needs to find a new home; her friends are pretty absent from her life and she is in prison! Desperate for something to read, a police officer brings her the only book in the police station called “How to Love Yourself (And Fix Your Shitty Life in the Process)”
When Nina is released from prison the next morning she is mortified that the police have contacted her mum to come and pick her up. Finding herself living back in the family home with her very judgemental and outspoken mother Rupa and her older brother Kal who is suffering from severe depression, Nina, with the help of the book, decides to compile a list of 30 things she loves about herself, but it is harder than she thought! So begins Nina’s journey of discovery and self love which doesn’t go as easily as she hoped!
This was a brilliant uplifting read. I really enjoyed the relationship between Nina and her mum who never hesitates to tell Nina of all the ways she disappoints her (everyone in the Indian community seems to know each others business) but it is done in an amusing way. I especially enjoyed it when Nina and Kal get their mum on an online dating app and we see she has equally high standards in the men she chooses! It was good to read a book with an Indian woman as the main character and to hear more about the British Asian community in Leicester. I also liked the new friends Nina makes as she starts her journey of self discovery – it is not without bumps in the road but Nina always picks herself up and you can’t help but like her.
The books doesn’t shy away from the debilitating effects bad mental health can have on people and there are references to suicide in this book, But overall Thirty Things I Love About Myself is an uplifting and joyous read that is a good reminder to love ourselves a bit more!
Thank you to Jessica at Headline for sending me a finished copy of the book in return for a review.
About the author:
Radhika Sanghani is an award-winning features journalist, an influential body positivity campaigner and a 2020 BBC Writers Room graduate. Her latest novel 30 Things I Love About Myself – a warm-hearted story about a woman trying to find 30 things she loves about herself after hitting rock bottom – is out in January 2022. She has previously written two YA novels: Virgin and Not That Easy.
Radhika writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Elle, Guardian, Grazia, Glamour and Cosmopolitan; was recently featured in Italian Vogue as well BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour and is a regular guest on Sky News and Good Morning Britain. She is also a TedX speaker on body positivity, a yoga teacher and runs a charity initiative with AgeUK fighting loneliness in older women.