BOOK REVIEW: Not Working by Lisa Owens

Not Working is the much anticipated debut novel from Lisa Owens. This book was on my radar for quite some time - plus, I was in love with its original cover art - so when it appeared on Netgalley I jumped at the chance to read it.

Twenty-something Claire might seem to possess the recipe for a good life; a London flat, a boyfriend who's a trainee brain surgeon, a mother who she spends time with, and a decent day job. However, Claire isn't thoroughly satisfied - she isn't doing a job she loves, and even though she doesn't have to worry too much financially with Luke's salary, she has suspicions that he may be cheating on her.

A bit fed up with a life that now seems to be heading nowhere, Claire decides to quit her tedious job and find one that's more meaningful - to truly find her calling. After all, she has enough savings to keep her going for enough time to find a job - which, sadly, is harder than she expected.

Claire soon realises that perhaps leaving a job before finding another was probably not the best of ideas, and soon her life, which at least used to have some semblance of normality, is taken over by an excessive job hunt. Claire needs to get her life back on track, and quickly.

Not Working seemed as though it would be a promising debut. I had expected it to be quirky, humorous, with the added relatablility of twenty-something life. Most of us have probably taken jobs 'for now' with the intent of landing our dream careers, or have spent considerable time glued to our computers, applying for various roles over and over again. That's part of what interested me about this novel  - we've all been there, that's life, that's reality sometimes. But sadly, it just didn't ring true.

Firstly, Claire is an extremely annoying character; she's self-centered and irresponsible, and if I'm being blunt, acts like a whiny, entitled, immature and shallow millennial waiting for everything to be automatically handed to her. (I am only a couple of years older than Claire, and yet with her actions, it seems as though she's a lot younger). I couldn't sympathise with her at all and she annoyed me so much that I really didn't want to finish the novel.

Secondly, the format of this book is quite annoying; it's not written in novel form, more like a diary, with every page or so having a different title, with a glimpse into Claire's relatively normal, day to day life. This became very tedious, VERY quickly, as the chapters didn't fully flow for me and it was hard to get into the story.

I'm disappointed, mainly because I had such high hopes for this book. That said, if Lisa Owens releases another novel I would certainly give it a go, but as for Not Working, I'm sad to say it wasn't for me.

Rating: 2/5

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