Book Reviews

Can Life Get a Reset Button? A non-angry review of a book by @LaurieEllingham

Title: How To Throw Your Life Away
Author: Laurie Ellingham (@LaurieEllingham)
Publisher: Self-published
Date of release: April 14th 2016
Format: eBook
Source: I bought it!
Number of pages: 256
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Have you ever wondered how much it would take to make you snap? For thirty-two year old Katy Davenport it was the littlest thing… All her boyfriend of five years had to do was answer her question about dinner. Not ignore her. Not continue to watch the football like she didn’t exist.

In that moment Katy snaps. One moment of insanity and Katy throws her life away.

The policeman who arrests her laughs. Her best friend cheers. And her anger management counsellor insists on embarrassing her in front of the entire class. For Katy this is just the beginning as she struggles to find her place in a whole new world where her ex-boyfriend refuses to move out of her house, and Katy finds herself snapping again and again. Will Katy be able to control her anger for long enough to pick up the pieces of her life?


Kathy has a job, a house, a long-time boyfriend. Plenty to make a thirty-something year old woman happy, right?

Well, if your answer was yes, you are wrong. Kathy wants more.

Her dream of a life path filled with a successful career, a wedding and a baby hasn’t happened and she’s forever stuck in adulthood with no prospects of progress any time soon. Depressing, isn’t it?

What if you’re forever left in the queue while everybody else is getting cake?

Nothing has happened to Kathy in so long that her subconscious decided to act on it and made her throw a remote control at her boyfriend. Yes, contrary to what so many people think, girls can throw and she did not miss his face. A bit too much, you say? Add a layoff and an anger management class to the list and here comes the action Kathy was wishing for. Sort of. I am pretty sure this is not what she had in mind, but action is action!

She needed to wear a bra about as much as she needed to be sat in a police interview room wondering if her life would ever be normal again.

The first thing that hit me with this story (no, it was not the remote control) is that Kathy is a character you can relate to the minute you meet her. Kathy is thirty, she had big plans and somewhere along the way she let the flow of life lead her to a dead end. I’m in my twenties, my days look the same, I’m wondering about the dreams I had not so long ago and asking myself if I can also turn into a depressed and empty shell of myself before I get my first wrinkle.

Anger-management class. That is a dirty word! You would totally send me there if you caught me in one of my yelling-at-the-top-of-my-lungs sessions in the middle of the parking lot when someone has stolen my place or a car is obstructing the way out of our private parking lot. Or when I scream at bikers riding onto the sidewalk and expecting me to get out of the way so that their path is cleared… when SIDEWALKS ARE FOR PEDESTRIANS. Hm, all of this to say I could totally see myself in that little room with two policemen asking me why I lost it over something silly. Because you can take so much c**** (for lack of better word) before snapping. From there, everything goes downhill for that poor young woman and the picture of the good life she was living was shattered when the remote control hit its target. I felt so connected to her I was mad at the cop for not understanding, mad at her boyfriend for turning into a couch potato and taking her for granted, mad at her for letting it all happen. Yep, you understand the need for anger-management classes better now, right?

‘The bigger the expectation, and the greater the discrepancy between it and reality, the more anger you’re likely to feel.’

But the story never gets heavy. It’s life turned upside down to the sound of a The Proclaimers’ song. 

From the first page, you’re smashed with humor, a character made for a sitcom and a wall of scary decisions to make. Now that the action is on, Kathy must find out if she has the guts to create the life she wanted for herself. Thankfully, she has a best friend, an old friend, voluntary work and a sexy anger-management supervisor to rely on.

How to Throw Your Life Away is the perfect example of how things can go so wrong before getting right. When I was younger, I thought life was a straight path, that the right decisions would keep me out of the woods where the wolfs were and that happiness lay in that neat graveled way. But the path is full of bumps, trash, turns, shrubs that need to be trim. This story reminds us it is okay to stand up for what you want, it is okay to not settle for less, it’s okay to struggle, it is okay to be lost and let others find you before you can find yourself. Filled with tears and laughs, layers of life and bits of luck, I loved every minute of this feel-good story. Thanks to the easy and flowing writing, I grew attached to Kathy and by the end of the book she was an old friend. Her best friend Claire is the neighbor you always need, and love is in the air in more ways than once. Because yes, there is love in this story, despite the remote-control issue! I am not big on hearts and kisses but the love story happened naturally, giving the story an even nicer flow, gently rubbing the characters the right way to help them find happiness.

If you’re looking for a book to take to the bathtub with a glass of wine and a Norah Jones playlist, grab How to Throw Your Life Away, enjoy it, and ask yourself if you’re not just about to snap too!

You can get How to Throw Your Life Away on Amazon

41 thoughts on “Can Life Get a Reset Button? A non-angry review of a book by @LaurieEllingham”

  1. Love how that remote control was comes flying at us and snapping us back to reality! Great review. It does have a good number of lessons to learn and a nice set of characters to love as well. Couldn’t ask for anything better from a book! 😀

    – Lashaan


    1. Haha, I was so in the moment with that remote control because I almost did the same thing once.. or twice :p It’s a feel-good story about how it’s okay if life gets messy, which is a nice reminder!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your review! That sounds like a book I’d really enjoy, and it’s always good to hear about how life isn’t a straight line and there are so many struggles, and moments where we just, well, lose it haha. I think I’ll add this one to my TBR, thank you! 🙂


    1. Yeah, we are so pressured to have this straight line fixed and arranged and ready to be walked on that we forget it’s okay when things get messy or different or if everything explodes! It was a refreshing read 🙂 Thanks my Sweechie ❤ So happy you enjoyed the review!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like a perfect between crime reads novel for me! Kathy sounds like a great character to follow and root for and best of all….I love a bath and wine so now I’m heading to Amazon to see about getting this for my Kindle! Fantastic review as always:)


  4. This is a great review Donna, and it this sounds like an interesting book as well. I think I can relate to Katy’s character and the fact that her life seems to have gone towards a dead end. I think there are a lot of people who experience that at one point or another. This sounds like a great story full of great characters! 🙂


    1. Thank you so much Beth 🙂 I could totally relate to Kate and her character is so lovely you can’t help but warm to her and root for her. You’re right, her experience (minus the remote control throwing, I hope xD) can resonate with many people. It was a nice fun read with hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Gah!! This review was so much fun ❤ And maybe this book was exactly what the doctor ordered? I think a few years ago I was Kathy (maybe I still am?)! There is definitely something in this I feel we can all appreciate. But it definitely can and does get better after the hard stuff 😉



    1. This was so fun and sweet, and right when I needed a light read to take my mind off things. I wasn’t expecting to like it so much, I’ll admit!! It’s totally to be Kathy 🙂 I know right now, I’m in the middle of it!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have been there. For me, I think it was right at 30, but good things certain lied ahead. I just did not know it 😉 Soon, you will find yourself exactly where you are meant to be my dear ❤ You are strong and beautiful!


  6. Awesome review, Donna! I’ve been looking for some books to pair with my wine 😉 This one sounds like it might work!


  7. “if you’re looking for a book to take to the bathtub with a glass of wine” I don’t have a bathtub and I don’t drink wine but I get what you mean 😛

    Great review Donna! I haven’t seen this around :O


    1. Hahaha, I don’t have neither bathtub or any love for wine but I had fun so you should too :p I know! I’d never read any review of this book, I found it thanks to an Amazon deal and it’s a shame it hasn’t had more attention!


  8. I certainly think that I could relate to Kathy. I’m drawn to books lately about people turning 30 and examining their life, about happiness and how to achieve it.. I think this novel would fit right in. I’d probably feel a little jealous too in the end :-). Sounds perfect bathtime (or on the beach) reading! Lovely review!


    1. It definitely does fit into this category. I like the idea of letting go of what you think you need and just look around and see what’s there and what’s possible. I think we all get to that point at some point in our lives, and it’s nice to read a light story about it. It doesn’t always have to be scary, or you can be scared with a character 🙂 Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Enjoyed this review with the personal touch. Yeah, I always wonder whether I am slowly simmering underneath my calm fascade as well and am intrigued if one day I;m just going to have this mega breakdown 😀 hahaha… Kind of interesting and scary.. at the same time, with all the hardships and anger outbursts I think I may turn myself into a man, because every situation I find kyself in I keep telling myself to grow a set of balls and just get it done with..maybe one day, magically, my wish will be granted 😀

    Sounds like a book many could relate to and I’m glad to see this is a feelgood book that offers a lighter POV at the end of it and a little romance can go a long way sometimes 😉


    1. Haha, I think we all go through this phase and lots of us come close to snapping too! xD We can’t grow balls because we women already have them, but sometimes we … put them away and can’t find them after!! 😀 You just have to remember where they are!
      This book was a real surprise, I often get bored with the genre but the characters were too lovely for that!


  10. ooh err can’t think of anything worse than being left in the queue while everyone else is getting cake! And yes I can totally relate to the character- even if I’m not really in the habit of yelling at strangers 😉 (I’m much too British to do more than tut for something like that 😉 ) Okay “life turned upside down by sound of a Proclaimers song” has me sold!! This sounds awesome!


    1. Haha, yes, well try to see everyone flee the queue when you’re waiting as if you had chicken pox!! Ah, the famous British side, I can’t say I don’t admire it, but gosh I love yelling at people xD The Proclaimers can sell anything 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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