Review: How To Be A Grown-Up – Daisy Buchanan

When my copy of Daisy Buchanan’s How To Be A Grown-Up arrived, I greeted the courier with an earnest thank you and excited smile. I devoured the book in a few days, marking pages as I nodded in agreement.

I have appreciated Daisy’s writing for a long time and I regularly revisit her honest, thoughtful pieces for The Pool. HTBAGU builds on Daisy’s work as a journalist, covering topics such as career decisions, anxiety, body image, sex, financial management and relationships with friends, partners and parents.

Although Daisy recently discussed the challenges of creating a book on Emma Gannon’s podcast, her message and writing successfully transfer into a longer form. Daisy’s insightful approach is paired with a friendly, guiding tone, whilst chapters are peppered with personal stories from other contributors. These perspectives add to the narrative, often demonstrating how terrible moments or periods (of time, although the book mentions menstruation too) can prove to be ‘useful and life affirming’.

Daisy’s skill and openness extend to her treatment of difficult issues. These include eating difficulties and anxiety. In the chapter about loving your body, I particularly liked Daisy’s emphasis on being ‘confident and powerful without weight-loss tea and face freezing’. This feminist stance is evident throughout the book, reminding me of texts by writers such as Naomi Wolf, Caitlin Moran, Rupi Kaur and Laura Bates.

Another of my favourite passages relates to wellness and self-care, which I have written about here and here. Daisy says: ‘we’ve started to believe that we can make everything better by knocking back a shot of pomegranate extract when really we just need to have a nap, make a cup of tea and call our mums’. It’s important to highlight that sometimes the simplest, most beneficial choices are low on our lists, below ‘Run five times a week’, ‘Buy more kale’ and ‘Send ALL OF THE EMAILS’. HTBAGU provides a positive reminder that we can cultivate self-awareness and work towards our own versions of mental and physical wellbeing.

As a 23 year old, I feel as though HTBAGU reflects on aspects of my current life and upcoming milestones. Daisy’s warmth and encouragement for young women are clear. The hours I spent reading felt like time shared with a funny, well-meaning friend or sister. If you are excited and daunted by adulthood, I recommend having HTBAGU by your side.

How To Be A Grown-Up is available now.

I raided my Mum’s craft drawer for these stars and I don’t regret it.

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