52 weeks. 52 dates. 52 chances to find love.
Serena Mills should be at her wedding.
Instead, she’s eating an ice cream sundae and drinking an obscenely large glass of wine in a Harvester off the M25.
Everyone thinks she’s gone mad. She’s jilted the man everyone told her she was ‘so lucky’ to find. But Serena wants to find love. A love she deserves – not one she should just feel grateful for.
So, she escapes to the big city and sets herself a challenge: 52 weeks. 52 dates. 52 chances to find love. It should be easy, right?
Bethany Rutter is a writer, podcaster and plus-sized influencer. Her adult debut, Welcome To Your Life, came to life through conversations with her friends over drinks in London. Swapping stories of toe-curling online dates, workplace harassment, new crushes, fashion discoveries and workout classes, she wanted to write a heroine who turns her life upside-down just ahead of her thirtieth birthday and is plunged into the wonderful chaos of contemporary urban life.
In her words: ‘My heroine Serena Mills makes huge decisions. She wants things for herself, she has Big Feelings, she desires people and is desired in return. And… she’s fat. Of course, so much about her story has little or nothing to do with her body, and I hope Welcome To Your Life resonates with you, whatever your body looks like and whatever you feel towards it. This is just one story that I wanted to tell, where a fat girl gets to be the protagonist of her own story, rather than a silly footnote in someone else’s
Welcome To Your Life is dedicated to ‘anyone who’s ever held themselves back’ and encourages us all to shake off our insecurities and wholeheartedly embrace everything that life has to offer.
My thoughts: I am a massive Bethany Rutter fan, from her blogging days to her fashion on Instagram to her books and the earrings she’s currently making. I’ve followed her for ages, love What Page Are You On? podcast with Alice Slater (another super talented writer) and was thrilled to be on this blog tour.
Welcome to Your Life does not disappoint. I loved it, I loved plus size Serena, from jilting her almost husband to deciding to date 52 men, to realising she could be whichever version of herself that she wanted. I loved her friends Lola and Nicole, I loved the tour of London pubs and restaurants, which made it all feel more realistic. I could not put this down. It’s funny and honest and I related hard, despite being nothing like Serena – except fat.
I completely recognised her feelings about her body and her worries that men were either fetishising her or being creepy. But thankfully that wasn’t true and some of the men she met in her epic dating adventure were nice and sincere and up for fun.
I really enjoyed this one, I thought I probably would as I liked Bethany’s two YA books as well, but you never know! Luckily this was absolutely cracking and left me with a warm happy glow.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.