Reviewing Elizabeth Neep's Never Say No
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I loved this book! Never Say No reminds me of The Devil Wears Prada, but with a different take of course. I really enjoyed The Devil Wears Prada, so it attests to this story.
Hailey rarely says no to her boyfriend Dom, her best friend, Sophie and her role model/boss Vivian Jones who is a partner at the law firm Hailey has recently started training at.
Hailey wants to make a good impression and have a seat at the “big boys’ table”, but she finds herself making sacrifices to get that seat. I can certainly relate to when Hailey thought:
Walking out of the office, documents in my hands, I forced my heartbeat in line with the sound of my heels, striking the pavement in a familiar monotonous beat. But familiar monotonous was not why I gave up a steady career in teaching, or why I had put my social life on hold for the last two years. It was not why I had pushed myself out of my comfort zone, forced myself into a world that felt so far away from my own.
I had to take a big risk to give up a full-time job after making a decision to go back to school to pursue a career in something that I truly wanted to do. I felt the determination and the fear of failure of not reaching aspirations of attaining the type of position I worked so hard to achieve. Needless to say, I got there after hard work, fortitude and pushing down inner voices of insecurities. While Hailey wanted to please everyone around her, she began to forget what she, herself wanted:
I had taken so much of their weight on me and given them none of mine in return, forgetting friendship was a two-way street.
I liked how the moral of the story was that life is messy, people make mistakes and it’s okay if you don’t always know what you want. Focus on today and tomorrow, but sometimes the future is intimidating, so it’s important to enjoy the ride.
Neep’s writing was refreshing and the story was such a nice change from a lot of the other books I’ve been reading as of late. The plot was a nice take on the law firm world that I personally have no insight about, but it was very interesting to read about!
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the advanced reader's copy. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
It’s always been yes. Yes, I’ll be your friend. Yes, I’ll be your girlfriend. Yes, I’ll move in with you. Yes, yes, yes. I can’t just change my mind now. Can I? Hailey has always been told she can have it all. And saying yes to every opportunity that comes her way seems like the obvious way to make sure she gets it. When she finds an engagement ring hidden in her boyfriend Dom’s closet, she knows she’ll say yes. Her best friend Sophie suggests they run a marathon together and although Hailey hasn’t done more than sprint for a bus in years, she says yes. And every time her new boss, the infamous Vivian Jones, asks her to stay late (again) at her dream job, the answer is always yes. But somewhere between saying ‘yes’ to Vivian’s latest demands and still trying to make it home on time for boxsets and burritos on the sofa with Dom, Hailey has lost sight of what she really wanted in the first place. Far from winning at life, Hailey feels like she is fighting to juggle two very different worlds. When those worlds finally collide, could having it all actually mean losing everything? Fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Holly Bourne and The Devil Wears Prada will adore this funny, heart-felt and honest look at navigating those moments in life where you reach a crossroads and have to decide who and what it is you want to be.
Elizabeth Neep was born in 1990 in Derbyshire and now lives in London Bridge. After studying Law at the University of Nottingham and the University of New South Wales, she worked in magazine journalism, most noticeably writing for Dazed and Confused and PETRIe. Elizabeth now works as a non-fiction Senior Commissioning Editor and writes and paints in her spare time.
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