Cover Image: Just The Way You Are

Just The Way You Are

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Member Reviews

Just The Way You Are, the latest novel by Beth Moran was just the heart-warming novel I was looking for. The book centers around Olivia Tennyson (aka Ollie) who at 29 dreams of moving into the home of dreams and discovering who she really is for the first time. There’s also the ‘Dream List’ that needs to finish completely on her own, and with a ‘No-Man Mandate’ signed, she starts her journey of self-discovery.

The novel is set in the sleepy little town just outside of Sherwood Forest, and before she knows it, Ollie has not only made friends in her new hometown but she’s discovered what feels like home for the very first time.

If you’re looking for a novel with characters who will draw you in so completely that you aren’t able to put it down till you’ve read the final sentence, this is definitely one of those books. An absolute must-read in my opinion!
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Thank you NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The synopsis of this book really appealed to me and I was looking forward to an uplifting story with a strong female character and a dash of romance. Unfortunately, this ended up being sooo dreary and I felt bored towards the midway point.

Ollie was too much of a cliché "nice girl" for my liking with her incessant need to help everyone. She was so pushy with it too! I mean, she muscled her way into her new neighbour's personal business and practically took over her house/child/entire life to the point that she even tracked down their parents (who they hadn't spoken to for over ten years) and brought them back into their life without even asking them if it was okay first...like what?! The whole savior complex thing was was too much and so infuriating.

The romance was a very minor part of the story, which I was a little disappointed about, but it was very sweet and Ollie and Sam had some cute moments together. I just wish there was less "woe is me and everyone else who is struggling; who I of course just HAVE to help even though it's none of my business" stuff and more fun, flirty fluff to the story.
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This story is so much more than a romance. It's a life story. I'll admit when I first started reading it I was appalled. Right out of the gate you meet Ollie's narcissistic mom. I was so happy when she was able to move past her mom. This is a heartwarming, happy, sad, beautiful book. It reads a tad slow in some spots but it was still great. Highly recommend!

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and Boldwood Books for the ARC! Get this book February 17th.
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Ollie Tennyson is stuck. Stuck living with and enabling her overbearing mother. So, she decided to do the one thing that may set her free and give her a chance at a happier life: move. 

In an effort to reclaim a chance at some happiness, Ollie moves to a cottage and begins the process of tackling a dream list that she made when she was just a teenager. 

With the help of an endearing cast of characters, Just the Way You Are shines and captivated me from near the beginning. 

The only thing I may have preferred was a slight bit more romance. However, I get that Ollie's arc was about more than finding true love. It was about finding herself.
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I loved everything about this wonderfully written story it really held me & was a great page turner.
The story focuses on Ollie who is learning how to become an independent woman, putting her own wants & needs first, after years of emotional abuse from her mother who has manipulated her for years.
She is desperate to get away from her controlling mum who falls ill at the drop of a hat every time she mentions going on a date or holiday but because she loves her she always cancels her plans .
When Ollie was sixteen she wrote a dream list she wanted to do in her life.
A happy marriage children etc. nothing too ambitious just the normal simple things we all do.
She decides to take things in her own hands as it's now or never, she has to get her mum standing on her own two feet & she also sets out to find a place to live to start her new life away from her mum's  control.
She enlists the help of others to put her plans into action.
A life affirming story which is uplifting & heart warming yet heart breaking, you will find it impossible not to fall in love with this wonderful book.
The books focus is more on Ollie's independence & not letting someone take complete control of you more than the romance side of it.
Brilliant page turner for me that had me completely hooked
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Ollie lives with a manipulative mother who prevents her from living life the way she would like to, but Ollie has a dream list and knows this will never be completed if she stays living at home.  She therefore decides to move out to a place of her own without telling her mother where she has gone.  Ollie starts a new life for herself and befriends her new neighbour, a young girl who, like Ollie, loves books.  Joan lives with her mother Leanne but spends most of her time on her own as Leanne works long hours trying to make ends meet.  When Ollie and Joan adopt a dog together their bond becomes even stronger and when Leanne becomes ill Ollie takes up the challenge of looking after them both.  There is a love interest – Sam, but Ollie’s dream list dictates that she is to stay single until she is 30 which complicates the relationship.   I enjoyed Just the Way You Are.  It was an easy read without too many characters and the main ones were quite likeable.  I thought the idea of the dream list a bit silly.  Ollie really liked Sam but wouldn’t let him get close because it didn’t fit with this list which didn’t seem very realistic.  All in all though a good book with a happy ending.  Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me an ARC of this book.
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After finally moving out of her mother’s house after decades of emotional abuse and manipulation Ollie is learning to become her own woman! Through a series of all kinds of events she finds out who she truly is and what fulfills her life!

This was so good and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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Just the way you are Review ⤸
I'm at a loss for words to describe how much I adore everything about this book. The book is simple to read, and Ollie's character is very relatable. You will definitely enjoy Ollie's character. 

Ollie’s mother was very controlling, and Ollie desperately needed a breath of fresh air without her mother controlling her life. She made a dream list when she was sixteen, and now that she is 29, she is unable to date due to her manipulative mother; her goal right now is to complete her dream list before she is permitting herself to date. Along with fulfilling her dream list, she met a variety of people and clients, each with a unique story to tell.

Every time she met her client or the people around her, I felt as if I was meeting them as well. I'm looking forward to finding out what kind of person they are and what stories they have. And did I mention how much I adore Joan and Nesbit.

The plot was simple to grasp. It was fast-pace at the same time the romance was slow-burn. This book does not really focus on romance but instead with ollie’s independence. 

Thank you Boldwood books and NetGalley for sharing this ARC in exchange with an honest review. Just the way you are will be released on February 17, 2022. ✨

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
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Ollie is coming up to thirty and still living at home with her mother. Whenever she has plans whether it be a night out, a date or a holiday, her mum becomes poorly. Ollie is beginning to at last realise that she needs a life completely separate from her mum. No easy fix, so she not only buys a house, away from her mums but also finds her mum a new lodger. Nothing for Ollie goes exactly to plan. Her dream list which she wrote in her teens included the knight in shining armour never happened. So her best mate Steph decides she must do it man free now. Not easy when you have little confidence, few friends and no self belief. Also add into the mix a dog, a girl, a mysterious neighbour and a hunky ranger and what could go wrong. A lush story of how Ollie becomes a person who is confident, friendly, loving, happy in herself, with a mother who she loves and can she can .tolerate. Loved it and would love another to see how Joan, Leanne, Barry and Sam progress in there happiness too
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Just the Way You Are is an adorably sweet, feel-good read. Featuring a cast of quirky yet lovable side characters, cute dogs, and a hunky forest ranger, this found family story is sure to put a smile on your face.
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I read this in less than a day! The situation with Ollie's mother rang a bell for me personally  - it's sad but true that there are mothers who are like this. And there are women (and men) like Ollie.

But the message in this book is a memorable one, that learning to love yourself just the way you are is equally, if not more, important than any other relationship. 

Uplifting, heartwarming, heartbreaking... the story has so much going on, and is so full of love and drama that it's a real treat to read.
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2 *stars*

I really liked the premise. Unique experience.

At first it was interesting and engaging. As a child you can't let down your mother but at the same time you have to live your own life. She gave you what you needed, she taught everything that she could and it was just a matter of time till she had to let you go. Sometimes you have to be harsh and do it for the better future for both of them and that's what Ollie did. She just decided that she was manipulated by her mother and she had given her 20's to her mother. It was interesting and yet real story about life and choices and not wanting to let go. Just being comfortable where you are and not wanting to let go of the past. 
For me it was a slow burner and at the middle of it started to get really repetitive and boring. Yeah I was hooked about Ollie to finish her dream to do list and of course the love interest as well. But... It was so boring! I just lost the connection with the main character at that point.
As well I thought there was just a lot in this book. A lot was happening and it started to get really overwhelming. I couldn't wait for the romance.

Unfortunately I DNF'ed this one because I lost the connection and it felt a bit too much happening on the side.

But thank you for the experience! Very unique premise but I wanted the romance a bit faster to start as I was 60% through the book.
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Enjoyable read. Very easy to read and I devoured it in 24 hours. 

Ollie has lived for other people far too long. She finally breaks away from her controlling mother and sets about working through a list of dreams. 

Perfect for a rainy weekend.
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Just the way you are follows Ollie, a young woman approaching 30 with a dream list she has yet to make a dent in. She is in a rut mostly dug by her mother but also knowingly enabled by herself. Her goal for the dream list was to be completing it with her dream man but with the help of her best friend she decides to make some big changes in her life and decides to complete the list on her own to help her get to know her self and find strength and peace in being alone. The plan is in place and seems doable, until a spanner gets thrown in the works and hes the forest ranger who goes by the name Sam. 

I really enjoyed this book so much and felt a connection to the characters, all who were super fleshed out. I felt like I could relate to Ollie a lot and I feel like many people would be able to as well. She has a problem with attaching herself to people who need her and need to be looked after. She puts other peoples needs before her own and puts her dreams and needs aside, so much so that when shes left to her own devices shes unsure of who she really is and what her wants and needs are. I think a lot of females from my generation do instinctively default to these habits. 

I enjoyed the relationships throughout this book. The toxic relationship between Ollie and her mother was hard to read but also very realistic. Ollie's relationship with her neighbour's all unique but genuine, especially that to Leanne and Joan, who become more like family to her and obviously the will they wont relationship that is hers and Sam's.

If you are looking for a romance I would say this probably is not the book for you. The romance is not the main plot here or even the sub plot. In saying that the romance does still stand out to me in the book as being sweet and genuine. 

I also enjoyed all the real life struggles that were dealt with in this book and the darker topics like substance abuse and mental abuse. I felt the book to be pretty realistic in emotions and issues that were dealt with. 

All in all I found this a really enjoyable book with great characters and a beautiful setting. I am and always have been such a sucker for a journey of self discovery and life changes and this book hits it all. I would recommend this book for readers of Beth' O leary and Mhari Mcfarlane.
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It only took me a single chapter to realise that this is a very special book.  Ollie could be any one of us.  It’s so easy to be driven by a sense of duty and to lose yourself as you commit to others.  This is a story about rediscovering your identity whilst remaining loyal to yourself and others.
As the story opens, Ollie is overwhelmed by her mother’s manipulative ways.  She feels like she is forever cancelling dates and has no life of her own.  Making the drastic decision to move out, she takes the time to ensure that her mum is in good hands, but that those hands aren’t hers.
Ollie’s best friend, Steph, takes charge of Ollie’s new plans for an independent life.  She introduces Ollie’s childhood dream list and tasks her with ticking off all the items before looking for romance; The No-Man Mandate.  So, Ollie sets about meeting all the items on the list as she embarks on her new, independent life.
I loved the wide array of characters in this book, and particularly enjoyed the blossoming of Irene from harridan to increasingly popular, Library Lady.  Notwithstanding that, it’s Ollie’s friendship with Joan that really captured my imagination.  The way that Beth Moran introduced her and then entwined her into Ollie’s life was wonderful.  I could almost see her as she grew in confidence with the love and time that was shared with her.  As each character found themselves drawn to Ollie’s warmth and kindness, it was obvious that only a very special man could tempt her from breaking her agreement with Steph.
I am so very glad that I read this book, but also frustrated that I haven’t read any of her previous stories.  I’ve had the chance, I have a towering to be read pile, which boasts at least one of her other books.  I will certainly be bumping her up my list and tucking her into my preferred authors list.
This is a fantastic read which is written with a skilled understanding of how loyalty and duty can manipulate a person.  A difficult subject that was a little close to my heart.  I laughed, I cried, and I ended with a goofy grin.  Absolutely lovely!
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Just the Way You Are is Ollie’s story of finding herself. Ollie is almost 30 and has always lived with her mother. Now she has a chance for her own home.

The first thing that grabbed my attention  was the beautiful cover. Its bright pink with a path represents what lies in the book.

The characters are funny and relatable. The grumpy neighbor, the hot neighbor, the teenager down the street, the dog; all were perfect in the book. 

This boom is perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and if you like books about finding yourself in a serious but funny way.
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When she’s sixteen Ollie writes her Dream List; a list of things she’d like to achieve. Unfortunately, she’s not managed to fulfil any of them. We learn this is partly because of her mother’s reluctance to let her have her own life. However, now she’s 29 she determines to take things into her own hands.
Ollie - with a little help from one of her clients - arranges to move into her own house and start the process of working her way through the list.
Moving to a quiet village, Ollie finds herself - for the first time ever - in charge of her own life. We get to join her on her journey.
This is predictable in some ways, but it had such a feel-good vibe that it would be hard to find fault. There’s the inevitable (eventually) romance but there’s also strands focusing on friendship, loneliness, community spirit, illness and developing self-confidence. Emotional, yes, but uplifting too.
Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this in advance of publication.
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What a wonderful, heart warming read. I loved how this book flowed and the story built. Ollie was just an amazing character, I loved her strength, it took a lot to step away from her mum and stand on her own, and it also took a lot to follow through on her Dream List and not turn to others to help prop her up. She had support from the people in her life but she was still able to be independent and strong.  I liked how each character as a little bit broken and scared and needed a friend and a caring helping hand. Together they all grew and gave each other the strength and tools to heal. Sam had his own demons that kept him from Ollie as he needed to work through them, I liked that he was flawed also, but that he also understood and respected Ollies choices to be independent as he’d also gone through a similar process in his life. Joan was a wonderful addition and her strength helped more than one person.
I loved this and didn’t want it to end.
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Oh my what a true delight to read Beth Moran new book. It was just want I need, it has the most amazing plot with Ollie feeling the need to spread her wings and the story of how that plays out. It gave me inspiration to create my own dream list. 

Ollie has an awesome nature of caring for everything and everyone. Needing to do everything she could to help other people. Wanting to she her apply this to herself made this book very intriguing and left me unable to stop reading. Her home, her plans but would she truly recognise herself and her wants and desires aside from the contract she signed. 

Ollie struggles with her want to succeed to living independently while meeting new friends that offer some life experiences that make Ollie question her morals and to decide to step in. 

A throughly enjoyable read for 2022,  full of contemporary issues in a heart warming story of self development and growth. A must read for all singles and everyone that's wanted to change and challenge themselves. Beth Moran has given up a true gem of a book with more thought provoking what would you do? Dilemmas to set you up for the year. 

Highly recommended, Must Read. Wonderful story of personal goals and the struggles with addressing big life changes. 

#JustTheWayYouAre #Netgalley #BethMoran
#5starreads #NewIn2022 #BookReviews
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Such a heart touching story of a woman finally breaking free of her emotionally abusive mother and finding herself at last. Olivia finally takes a chance on herself and begins a life away from her mother whose manipulative behavior ruins all of Olivia’s chances at finding someone to love. Her journey is not easy but it is so captivating to read with all of the changes she undertakes.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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