Cover Image: Really Good, Actually

Really Good, Actually

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

i really thought i'd be enjoying this novel more than i actually did. but it was not bad, i think i just overhyped myself. it is a good book, just not my favorite and i had really high expectations for it.

Was this review helpful?

While I loved the concept of this book and the way it was written, I just don't think it was for me. I did find it quite funny and laughed out loud many times. I just think this type of plot structure and storytelling is as captivating for me as other genres of books.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I think the writing of this book was nice, however I wasn't in the best mindset to read this type of story, which affected my enjoyment. But objectively, the writing was good and unique.

Was this review helpful?

This was so great! I always think "funny" is the hardest thing to write and Monica Heisey can sure write funny! Underneath though there is real feeling and her characters are just so lovable.

Was this review helpful?

This book was a pretty fresh take on what I imagine to be a difficult subject to write about : divorce. I think this book was unique in how relatable the protagonist was (at times) and although I found myself getting mad or annoyed with her, I also really appreciated her journey and wanted to see it through. I absolutely loved how tender and honest this book was AND the amount of humour throughout! Between chapters, to help introduce additional humorous content but also reveal more about the main character, the author chose to include funny google search histories, or super (un)helpful advice from friends, or her texting history for the past 24 hours, and so on. I enjoyed this book - I think there’s a little something in it for everyone - and I would definitely recommend it!

Thank you NetGalley for the advanced electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Was this review helpful?

This book had a lot of very funny moments, a few infuriating moments, and overall I'm happy I read it (especially on audio narrated by my favourite Julia Whelan). I forgot a few times that this wasn't a memoir but instead was a novel - something about the way it was written felt very much like a personal account, which it is, but I completely forgot that it was fictionally written.

I imagine this could be very triggering for others who have gone through divorce, especially recently, but I think that scenario is different for everyone so maybe some people would relate to some of it as well. I found parts of it to be very unrealistic, but it isn't my experience, and it IS fiction, so that's the way it is. I loved some of her lists and google searches and reactions to particular situations. I enjoyed the ending and how some things resolved.

I do think many, many people will enjoy this book significantly more than I did for the writing alone, which isn't COMPLETELY my style, but will appeal to many.

Thank you to the publisher for the ARC and thank you for your narration Julia Whelan!

Was this review helpful?

Really Good, Actually is the tale of Maggie’s heartbroken year following the breakdown of her marriage. It read like a very intimate, personal memoir and felt like we were getting a secret look inside Maggie’s head as we witnessed her rollercoaster of emotions, unpredictable behaviour and chaotic thoughts.

I found parts of this book absolutely hilarious (the list of daily google searches made me laugh out loud). I found some parts frustrating; I wished so badly I could reach in and hug Maggie (and to be honest probably give her a shake at points too) and I most definitely wanted to remove her phone from her hand on multiple occasions. I found a lot of it so sad, witnessing the rawness of Maggie’s struggles as she faced the realities of her first year alone.

I really, really enjoyed this one. This isn’t my usual type of book; there’s no big twist, no major plot point that everything’s building up to, it’s just Maggie’s heartbreaking story of chaos and growth, sadness and hopefulness over the toughest year of her life and I thoroughly enjoyed going along for the ride.

Was this review helpful?

This was a hard one to get in to it was messy Adhd felt all over the place at times but i could royalty relate with the loss of a relationship and everything the main character was going through and sometimes life is messy and isn't Always pretty

Was this review helpful?

one of my most anticipated books of the year, and i'm happy to say that it hit the mark for me. 'really good, actually' by monica heisey is the quintessential hot girl read, featuring maggie, a recently divorced 29-year-old who is doing just fine (so she says). she's broke, her grad school thesis is going nowhere, and her marriage was short lived, but she's on a mission to make the most of it. with the support of an eclectic group of friends and her academic advisor, we follow maggie during the first year of her new life as a single woman in toronto, and all the ups and downs that come with it.

this book is less about what happens and more about painting a picture of a very relatable young woman. maggie is simultaneously me and everyone else i know in this city, just doing what we need to do to get by, and jumping at any chance at something that might give us the smallest bit of happiness. maggie is chaos personified, but at her core is scared & just looking for love in any form. i think this book would be a really great beach read, as it is easily read in one or two sittings, and doesn't slow for a minute. one to check out, for sure!

Was this review helpful?

Great debut by Monica Heisey. This book sometimes gave me messy new-age Bridget Jones vibes. The premise of a woman discovering herself post divorce is not a new one so I was keen to see MH's take on this. Too much happens without moving the plotline and I found it hard to keep reading towards the end. And when it finished, I felt like Maggie dropped from my mind immediately. This was not the book for me but I would definitely pick up the next book by this promising author.

Was this review helpful?

Monica Heisey writes a with a comic self deprecating voice that is completely relatable. I found her writing style appearing as someone who enjoys dark humour.

Maggie was definitely a chaotic character with a lot of flaws. Her character development fell a bit flat. She just seemed to spiral downward through the whole book without any resolve. It leaves the reader wanting more to the story. I wanted to love this book more than I did, though I feel it’s a good taking off point for the author.

A good debut, would definitely read another title by this author.

Was this review helpful?

When I tell you I devoured this book! It was so great, the cover, the writing, the absolute relatability to the characters. I have staff picked this and I hand sell at least 1/shift!

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars
Really Good, Actually took me a bit to get into.
But it ended up being quite as the title suggests.
Thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins Canada for my eARC for review.
Maggie and Jon had been together since they were 19, but ended up divorcing after less than a year of marriage.
At 28 and newly single, we are taken through all of her emotions and thoughts in a book that reads like a fictional memoir.
Author Monica Heisey is a talented writer at capturing all that's associated with a major breakup - the sad, the bad and the wryly funny.
Regardless of our own relationship histories, Maggie's emotional upheaval, anxieties and insecurities ring true.
This is a Canadian author to keep an eye on - recommended!
Released on Jan. 17.

Was this review helpful?

Book Review
Really Good Actually
Debut author by Monica Heisey

Told in first person we follow “Maggie” a recent divorcee who finds herself slipping into depression. Work sucks, her friends lives all seem shinier and brighter than her own , and dammit, he took the cat.

My Take
At times this book read like jumble of thoughts (think, randy squirrel hopped up on fermented walnuts).
Maggie’s inner dialogue is full of self doubt, anxiety, an acutely honed habit of people pleasing and self deprecating humour doused with a side of insecurities . It is both sad and laughably accurate. I felt seen, and also relieved to know I am not the only one that has an internal struggle with myself, apparently, fictional middle aged women do too. Phew.
This book was emotionally exhausting and felt kinda like group therapy. Cathartic. Bitchy. Whiny. Funny. Witty. Embarrassing. Sad. Not gonna lie, there may have been an unsolicited tear or two towards the ends when “Maggie” finally picks herself off the proverbial “sticky floor”. Spoiler- she finds her happy.

Thank you to @netgalley and @harpercollinsca for my copy in return for an honest review. Opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

What a fantastic and hilarious book! This reads like Bridget Jones and Adrian Mole (the grown-up version) got together, had a love child, and that love child is the sarcastic and a little bit dysfunctional Maggie. Initially, I was a bit overwhelmed by some of the information being thrown at me in chunks (various observations, texts, etc.) but I think that's mostly due to the format of the ARC and not the fault of the writer.

This is a fun and reflective book that almost also feels like a fictionalized Lindy West story. Super enjoyable and worth checking out. Bonus points to the fact that it's set in Toronto and I knew every place and every reference.

Was this review helpful?

This book has some really good bits in it, lots of laugh out loud lines and a quirky and at times unhinged, yet lovable MC. Maggie is going through, and understandably, struggling with a divorce after only 2 years of marriage in her late 20s. She's kind of a mess, and you'll likely find yourself cringing as much as laughing throughout this book.
As much as there were great parts in this story, I found the writing a little all over the place, and parts dragged on a little longer than necessary. I think some people with connect better with this character than I did.
With that said, this was a solid debut novel and I would definitely read this author's next book!
Thank you Netgalley and Harper Collins Canada for an arc copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

“This was it, forever! Maybe!”

Equal parts hilarious and heart-breaking, a memoir-like fictional rendering raising the question: Just how far is one Millennial willing to go towards (or away from) a newly adjusted life, uncoupled?

Maggie, our first person POV narrator, is 28 yrs old, - a smartly sarcastic (read: deeply self-reproving) English literature graduate student, suddenly cast into emotional upheaval with the (self-suggested, but not actually contemplated) breakup of her marriage.

Nothing seems impossible, in this fire-hose blast of a life upturned, as our heroine, long-accustomed to un-facing the unfaceable (as achingly vulnerable in her parody of self as she is alarming in her brutally escapist shenanigans) must now pull out all the stops.

As Maggie struggles to consider the emotional ramifications of a “new life as an unlovable husk”, there are problems to solve everywhere - choices to be made involving housing, career, and of course, her flagging personal and social life.

“Everywhere looked like the kind of place where a neighbor has drums.”

“It looked like the second nicest room in a very humane Scandinavian prison”.

Gifted with wry observational humor (turned inward at its sharpest) Maggie is a charmer - a cleverly reflective emotional composite echoing a modern day woman’s darkest fears, feminist ramblings, misguided reactions - and dream-like glimpses, brief but visible, of a fantasy world still out there to be discovered, made more perfect by its elusiveness.

A warm and witty read, with more than a hint of thoughtfulness, this comedic drama is a Millennial testament to the trials (and truths) encountered fighting for love (self and other) in a world gone spiral.

A great big thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Sarcastic, exhausting, funny and sad. Is it possible to describe a protagonist this way? Yep, because I just did. Maggie is the woman you root for but also get frustrated by as she navigates life after divorce.

It’s a messy book, which always speaks to me because life is indeed messy, but it’s also one that can feel like messy goes from entertaining to sad.

Totally conflicted on my feelings for this one. The writer is talented (no doubt) but I’m thinking this book was one for a specific audience. I enjoyed it, laughed out loud at times but then I also felt like some things didn’t sit with me well (eating disorder for example as a quirky personality trait).

So yes I liked it. No I didn’t love it. I do however love seeing new debuts with good writing so I wish the author so much success in this side of her writing. perhaps this is better played out as a sitcom?!

Was this review helpful?

I had expected this book to be a funny take on the aftermath of a young woman getting divorced (a Bridget Jones type of story with Schitt’s Creek vibes, the latter given that the author wrote for that show). Unfortunately, this book was not for me and I could not relate to the character.

Thank you to Harper Collins Canada and Netgalley for this ARC. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Unfortunately, this just was not the book for me. I had high hopes after reading the synopsis but could not get into it so decided to DNF at about 20%.

Thank you to NetGalley & HarperCollins Canada for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?