Cover Image: Just The Way You Are

Just The Way You Are

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Member Reviews

Another lovely book by this author.   Ollie is a great character, realising that if she is to have any life of her own she has to get away from her overbearing mother and so moves to her dream home in the forest, where she soon starts making friends and living her life to the full.   Lovely heartwarming story full of wonderful characters that draw you in from the start
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Aged 29 and still under her mother's thumb, Ollie Tennyson decides (with the help of her friend) to take charge of her own life. She starts by moving out of home and sets out to accomplish her 'Dream List' that she made at 16.

This book surprised me because the romance wasn't the central plot. The story focuses more on the relationship between Ollie and her next door neighbour Joan and their friendship, which is quite sweet. The book is charming but predictable, a feel-good easy read.

Thank you to NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for a review.
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It seems like an unpopular opinion but I am really disappointed. The blurb/cover seemed very interesting. But:
1. I could not connect with the characters.
2. I could not connect with the writing style, too much telling. Plus the dialogues are quite mundane.
3. It's not really a romance novel, it's just a small part.
4. Certain things seems unconvincing: I understand the insecurity of a mother but but she's unrealistically dramatic. I totally understand the protagonist's wish to have some space and life of her own, but it's too convenient that you find someone to accompany your mother while you have moved out to live somewhere alone. 

Didn't really enjoy. Thank you for the ARC.
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Thanks to Boldwood Books and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Loved the characters and the story.  Ollie is 29 and lives with her overbearing mother and has a secret Dream List she wants to complete but living with her mum she's never going to achieve this. 

A delightful book.
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Beth's latest book was an absolute joy to read, well written, heartwarming, and emotional, with a sprinkle of romance. 

I adored Ollie, a very relatable, and realistic character. I loved seeing her come into her own the further we read. Her mother was such a selfish cow though, wasn't she? So hell bent on destroying her daughter's life, to sate her own loneliness. Diamanté Butterfly, who prefers being called Joan, carries the weight of the world on her young shoulders, her only form of escapism her books. My favourites were Ebeneezer, and Irene, both seemingly miserable, but with a little digging their true personalities began to shine through. 

"𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙬𝙤𝙧𝙡𝙙 𝙞𝙨 𝙘𝙧𝙖𝙯𝙮, 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩'𝙨 𝙬𝙝𝙮 𝙄 𝙥𝙧𝙚𝙛𝙚𝙧 𝙗𝙤𝙤𝙠𝙨, 𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙢𝙖𝙠𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙨𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙚."

By far one of my favourite reads this year. Beth's books are like big hugs, that envelop you in their warmth, giving you all the feels.

Now if you don't mind, I'm off to do my dream list, it's never too late.

Many thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for my tour spot.

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Well this book blew my expectations out of the water. It wasn't at all what I thought it would be and it was just fabulous!

It was such a humble read, and with so many important issues spoken about and addressed. I loved how diverse everyone was and how they were all so openly accepted.

If your looking for a feel good book with likable characters then you should definitely give this a try. All the characters served a purpose and I just thought it was wonderfully put together.

Ollie's character was superb but honestly the book was not just made by her, Joan and Ebenezer and even Irene were just 👌
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Ollie Tennyson is 29 years old and still living with her mother.  Every time she tries to go on a date, her plans are foiled by her overbearing, lonely mom.  Fed up, Ollie embarks on a mission to move out and start checking items off her “Dream List.”  Ollie’s friend Steph insists that she agree to a No-Man-Mandate whereby she must accomplish all of the items on her list while staying single.  The goal is for Ollie to become independent and figure out who she really is before jumping into another people-pleasing relationship.  What follows is a wonderful ride full of ups and downs and lots of new beginnings.

I absolutely loved this book.  Ollie is the kind of girl I wish I’d been in my 20’s.  She faces the fear of being alone and comes to enjoy her own company.  She learns to set healthy boundaries while being witty and kind.  As Beth Moran so vividly puts it: Ollie is “like Nesbit with a dirty sock” – once she’s grabbed hold of an idea, she wasn’t letting it go without a fight.  This story was uplifting and inspiring and helped me realize that I should work more on getting to know myself and setting healthy boundaries in my own life.  

This was the best story I’ve read in a long while and I was sad when it was over.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Beth Moran has smashed it again with this moving and emotional novel. I always fall in love with a Beth Moran novel and her characters within the first few pages and Just the Way You Are and Ollie were no exception. As usual, Beth Moran also tackles some serious and very relevant issues. Despite reading easily, Just the way You Are tackles many of these. She gently and sympathetically navigates the impact of poverty, drugs, toxic family relationships, illiteracy and mental health.
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Really enjoyed this book. Ollie makes a break from her over bearing mother and moves to a cottage to fulfil her Dream List. The characters in the story were very likeable and she sensitively touches on subjects such as poverty and mental health. Obviously a happy ending so that was me hooked!
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This book was a delight to read. You find yourself rooting for Ollie as she starts her new life and works her way through her list. She certainly proves herself to be a kind and empathic young woman and her vulnerabilities are clear. She also has a huge amount of courage and determination. You certainly feel as though you are on her journey with her. In Sam, you certainly have a candidate for her 'dream man' and although he has his own insecurities, he too proves himself to be dependable and a bit of a rock as their friendship develops.

Friends and family are major themes in the story. Some of the relationships are dysfunctional but there is always the air of hope about them that they can be healed. I enjoyed some of the other characters who Ollie met, especially at the library. Each of the characters are placed carefully in the story and tell you something about Ollie through her reaction to them. There are some difficult issues beneath the surface which are sensitively dealt with. A mixture of romance, humour, sad moments and sacrifice all add up to make this a lovely read.

In short: A coming of age story
Thanks to the publisher for a copy of the book
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I wish this book was in my life when I was younger. It really puts the pieces together of people trying to ring themselves. Absolutely beautiful and invaluable.
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I’m a sucker for a book that  is set by the sea, and there is never a shortage of such reads. With this book, Beth Moran sets her story in and around a forest. I wasn’t sure that I’d take to the setting, but I have to admit, I loved it. It felt fresh and unique. 

Ollie is heading full speed towards thirty, but she still lives at home with her manipulative and controlling mother. Putting a plan in place, Ollie finally makes her escape and moves to her own home. 
Having been under her mother’s influence for so long, living alone is a big adjustment for Ollie. 
As a teenager Ollie wrote a ‘dream list’. Now she has her freedom, Ollie can start completing her updated list. The only problem being that Ollie is on a ‘man ban’ until the dream list is completed. This is ok, until she meets Sam the forest ranger. 
Aside from all this going on, Ollie also has a job teaching adults to read. Throw in a grumpy neighbour, a troubled neighbour and her daughter who is a very grown up eleven year old, a sour faced librarian and a rather endearing dog. What you get is a story full to bursting with content. 

I liked this book very much. It was well written, with some likeable and well rounded characters. Ollie is a kind person, she has a big heart, but she is no pushover.  
Ranger Sam is a delight. Strong, fit, caring and capable. Just the sort of man you’d like to bump into in the middle of the forest. 

This is an engaging read that will draw you in from page one. It’s full of love, friendships and the complexities of family. 
There were parts of this book that put me in mind of Bella Osborne’s The Library, and I’d guess that if you enjoyed Bella’s book you will enjoy This too. 

A truly lovely story. 

With thanks to #Netgalley and #Boldwood for a digital arc of #JustTheWayYouAre by #BethMoran. 
Out now in paperback, ebook and audio.
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With a date on Valentine's Day, Ollie is so glad
But her Mum's reaction makes her cancel - so sad!
She's a selfish, over- protective Mum, a nightmare parent, that's for sure,
Ollie Tennyson can't take her interference any more!

With the encouragement of her best friend
Ollie decides her Mum's manipulations must end.
Finding out she's been snooping in her journal is the last straw
Ollie plans to move out and not take it any more.

In the back of her journal is a Dream list of things to do
Thirteen years later she's not done one, it's true.
Her friend inspires her to achieve them all
And until then no man may call!

Get ready for fun, a new home and more friends
With inspiring, supportive folk and challenges to end.
Completing the personal challenges is quite a feat so
She'll learn more about herself - and others - as she has a go. 

A lovely story of caring and supporting others, too,
Whilst making time for yourself and doing things that are new.
An inspirational read, with a heartwarming romance
I highly recommend you give this delightful book a chance!

For my complementary copy of this book, I say thank you,
I throughly enjoyed reading it and this is my honest review.
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Just The Way You Are 
by Beth Moran
4 stars 

This is such a warming and loving to read. Ollie has never lived on her own or done much of anything on her own. She finally breaks free from her overbearing mother by setting ground rules and moving out. She has this list of dreams that she made at 16 years old to someday do with her dream men, well after being with her mother for so long and living under her smothering she decides she can do this list on her own and learn who she is. Ollie goes through ups and downs with finally being on her own and not knowing how to navigate it, she also becomes friends with an awesome eleven-year-old, her grumpy middle neighbor, and a forest ranger. 
This book had me laughing and crying a little bit. The eleven-year-old is witty and smart doesn't hold back, grumpy neighbor is so damn cute how he just does little things for everyone but isn't that sociable, the ranger is too hot and sweet. With Ollie a lot of us can relate to her and what her thoughts are going through her head especially when it's your first time on your own alone. Beth has beautifully written the struggles of all the characters and handled the struggles with cation. The only reason this isn't a 5 star is I didn't like how it ended; I need to know what happened to the after there wasn't any 6 months later so I'm hoping there will be a second one I need answers to.  I will be recommending this one to my friends for a light pick me up.
I received this free copy from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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At first I thought this book was yet another rom com:  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  It is so much more than that - Ollie is working her way through a list of achievements while leaving one caring/controlling  relationship and trying to avoid falling into another.  Ollie works as a reading coach, helping people who struggled to learn to read as a child.  This leads to her meeting an interesting, varied and unusual bunch of people, including stern Irene - the library lady.  Scenes set in the library are particularly realistic.  Ollie’s cosy cottage is delightful.  I loved everything about this book.
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Beth Moran has smashed it again with this moving and emotional novel.  I always fall in love with a Beth Moran novel and her characters within the first few pages and Just the Way You Are and Ollie were no exception. 
Ollie is stuck in an impossible position. Her mother has developed a huge fear of being abandoned that Ollie is trapped into staying there with her, living a solitary and dependant life.  When she finally decides to make her break she has to go through so many changes to find her own way as a woman.  In additions, she has promised her best friends that before becoming involved with any man, she will complete her dream list made as a teen and do it alone.   What Ollie isn’t expecting is to find friendships in unusual places, and also Sam.  Can Ollie find her happiness?
I loved Ollie’s journey.  She is such a sweet character and I think her more vulnerable moments were developed well but also showed how brave she could be.  It was heart-warming how she struggled with something by herself but was able to step up easily where other people were concerned.  She is a great character and so relatable.  I really rooted for a happy ending from the beginning.  I also loved Sam, a very kind and selfless man with his own demons to work through.  
I adore community driven novels and enjoyed the way Ollie pulled together members of the community but was also rescued by some other members.  A lot of Biggley Bottom seemed to need what she, and her friends, provided and it was so heart-warming to see the way many people pulled together or benefitted from each other.   
As usual, Beth Moran also tackles some serious and very relevant issues.  Despite reading easily, Just the way You Are tackles many of these.  She gently and sympathetically navigates the impact of poverty, drugs, toxic family relationships, illiteracy and mental health.  
Despite exploring some heavy and emotional themes, the characters, setting and feel of this novel is uplifting and heart-warming and it’s simply perfect. 
I cannot recommend this novel enough.
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What a beautiful and heartwarming story. I couldn’t put it down. 
Yes it has romance but it’s actually more than that. 
I loved Ollie so much. She is such an amazing character
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A really delightful book, I read it in one go and I throughly enjoyed it. The story was well written and I lost myself in it very quickly. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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This book really was an absolute delight – heart-warming and uplifting, with the most wonderful well-developed characters, and a story I engaged with from the very beginning. As Ollie’s thirtieth birthday approaches, she decides it’s time to break free – she’s been smothered and manipulated by her self-centred mother for far too long. She has a dream list of things she wants to accomplish, written when she was sixteen – she’d hoped to complete the list together with her dream man, but that hasn’t happened either. So she breaks the ties with her mother and moves to a cottage on the edge of Sherwood Forest – one that shares a garden with two others, close to the library where she delivers her adult literacy classes – and, supported by her closest friend Steph, sets about living her own life, completing her list, and discovering what her future might hold. And the idea of doing it all with a significant other? That’s firmly on the back burner for a while – a no-man mandate until her list has been completed.

She develops a very special friendship with 11-year-old Joan who lives in one of the other cottages with her struggling single mother, tries to get to know her reclusive next-door neighbour Ebenezer, unexpectedly acquires a dog (Nesbit – he’s quite a character!), finds a friend in Sam the forest ranger – and at the classes she teaches, crosses the path of a whole range of quirky and intriguing characters while managing her relationship with stiff and formal library lady Irene. And while getting increasingly involved in everyone else’s lives, her dream list isn’t forgotten – she slowly ticks off each item, knowing that when it’s completed she can be ready to start afresh, abandon her no-man mandate, and see whether anything might develop with the lovely Sam.

It might just all sound rather light and lovely, but this is a book that tackles quite a few serious issues, every one handled with exceptional sensitivity – Ollie’s journey is a particularly emotional one, and she had a firm hold on my heart from the moment she stood up to her mother and decided to follow her own path to happiness. And while this is very much Ollie’s story – of fresh starts and new beginnings, and of finding her courage and learning to love herself – one of the real strengths of this book is most definitely the wider characterisation with the whole cast just wonderfully drawn, the relationships between them, and every one of them very real with their own unfolding and very engaging stories. And along with the rich emotional content, there’s plenty of laughter – the humour gentle and perfectly judged, moments that can’t help but bring a smile to your face.

I really loved this one – it’s gloriously life-affirming, escapist but rooted in life’s realities, with far more depth than the cover might lead you to expect, filled with exceptional warmth, and quite beautifully written. Totally lovely – and very much recommended.
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For years Olivia ‘Ollie’ Tennyson has had her life controlled by her overbearing and over-protective Mum. Meaning she has lost out so so many things in life, including being in a happy relationship, and even married. Deciding enough-is-enough, and without telling her Mum, Ollie decides to move out of her childhood home and buy her own dream home. End Cottage is just perfect for Ollie – with a duck-egg blue front door and a garden leading to acres of forest to explore, Ollie knows this is the perfect place to start living out her dream life.

Putting measures into place to make sure her Mum will cope on her own, Ollie sets the wheels in motion on her new dream life. Living on her own for the first time in her life takes a bit of getting used to for Ollie, but she ends up discovering she has great neighbours, who support her on her new life journey. Also, the appearance of the lovely Sam – the very handsome ranger makes Ollie realise what she really wants in life.

Just The Way You Are is a beautifully written story about growing as a person, and not only finding out who you really are, but also what you really want in life, and this journey was told beautifully through the character of Ollie. A feel-good and heartwarming story that explores some very poignant and emotional topics. I would highly recommend this for everyone to read.
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