Adult book reviews, Book Reviews

How to be Perfect by Holly Wainwright



My Rating ~ Four and a half stars

4half-gold-stars copy

RELEASED: 3 September 2018

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Format: Paperback

Pages: 352

RRP:  AU$29.99

Source:  Received from Allen & Unwin in exchange for an honest review


The bestselling author of The Mummy Bloggers is back with another page-turning, rip-roaring story about mums, phones and the cult of self-improvement.

In the rolling green hills of Australia’s hippest hinterland, a new guru is blogging about her breakfast.

ELLE CAMPBELL is back, holed up in an exclusive retreat where women pay thousands to mimic her extreme lifestyle, or die trying. But who’s bankrolling Elle’s new empire? And why are her two tiny sons suddenly absent from her glossy public image?

ABI BLACK just wants to marry her true love under a tree in the garden on New Year’s Eve. But her ex-husband is building a financial cult in the shed, Elle is looming and her teenage daughter’s YouTube channel is gaining followers for all the wrong reasons. The wedding might have to wait.

FRANCES GRAHAM has a colicky newborn, an absent husband and a WhatsApp mothers’ group that’s giving her anxiety. But she’s certain that if she can just be more like those fitmums on Instagram, things can only get better. And surely, if she can scrape enough money together to make it to Elle’s retreat, everything in her life will be just . . . perfect.

Through a world of fake gurus, green smoothies and bad influencers, How to Be Perfect follows Elle, Abi and Frankie into the cult of self-improvement that’s taking over your phone . . . and your breakfast.




Many thanks to Allen and Unwin for providing me with this copy of How to be Perfect in exchange for an honest review.

How to be Perfect alternates between the point of view of 3 key characters – Elle, the ‘newly reinvented’ health guru blogger, Abi, another blogger who is Elle’s sworn enemy and Frances, a struggling new mum who just doesn’t understand why the mum’s on Instagram seem to have it together and she feels like she’s failing at every turn.

This book made for amusing, sometimes confronting and often relatable reading.  It lays bare the trials and tribulations of parenting – whether that’s of a newborn baby, toddler or teenager, the complex, messy situations that families can become and the pitfalls of social media – from the perspective of influencers who will go to any lengths to gain a following and the people who get caught up in their (usually far from the truth) glittering lifestyles. It brought home just how alienating it can be, especially for people in a not so great place in their life, to be surrounded by perfect, carefully ‘styled’ lifestyle social media accounts.

For a very character driven book, with a lot of characters, I found them all to be so engaging to read about.  There was no-one I felt I didn’t get to know well.   I especially adored Abi and Grace, even with their flaws and craziness.  Their relationship was just so real and some of their moments were my favourite parts of the book.

“You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life, Grace’, Abi said. ‘The sunset will be embarrassed showing up next to you”

This was a super fun read, that combines both laugh out loud and cringeworthy moments!  I have not yet read The Mummy Bloggers, and although this book was a follow on, you don’t need to have read the first book to thoroughly enjoy it anyway.





How to Be Perfect pic by bookbookowl

Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl



2 thoughts on “How to be Perfect by Holly Wainwright”

  1. Aww this sounds really fun! I mean, I am not a mother or a mummy blogger 😂so almost definitely not the target audience lmao, but I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And your photos are STUNNING as always. 😍

    Liked by 1 person

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