Cover Image: Olive


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Member Reviews

This was a cute story and I believe a lot of readers will rleate to the main character. I loved the message it sent and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a light, fun read with a positive message. Uplifting. Thank you for my ARC.
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It was truly refreshing to read this book. Sometimes it felt a little heavy handed on the "it's OK to jot want children" agenda, but as the book progressed I realised a lot of that was the behaviour of the protagonist learning to not justify her choices.

I say refreshing because this book demonstrated the weird and wonderful ways old friends can grow apart and have to learn to love each other and respect each others choices. I have old friends, friends I am so, so lucky to have grown into adulthood with and who know me in ways that feel solely reserved for them. And I have talked with them so many times about how it is weirdly hard sometimes to let go of my expectations of what our lives would be now, of the expectations I think they have of me.

We bang on a lot about how important friendships are. They are work though. Seriously, my longest friendship is going on 25 years now. We are not who we were five years ago, let alone the dreams we shared as children. This book details the growing pains that comes with, the work that goes into the friendships you want to maintain.

It also strongly focuses on the choices women have in the UK, in 2021, regarding children. I am lucky. I have more genuine choices than many women across the world now, let alone my ancestors. This array of choices is still, socially speaking, so new. It is hard to not feel defensive, no matter your choice. I didn't love all the ways that played out in this book, but I did love the discussion, the insecurity on show, the point being made that we all need different things to gain fulfillment or deem ourselves successful.
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And here I am again, in the minority. 

I really didn't like this book.  I felt that it was badly written.   Very badly written.  The kind of book that you would expect from a 19 year old who is trying to write as though they are in their late 30's. 
I didn't feel as though any of the characters had anything about them and the way that the title character treated her "friends" was just vile. 

I am amazed that I finished it. 

Zero stars rounded up to one because I have to.
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Olive is one of those brilliantly written books with a character that is so well drawn and complex that you feel they are completely real. A mesmerising read which keeps the reader turning the page long into the night - cannot recommend more highly.
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Olive was a really great read and I was gripped right from the beginning. Being a similar age to Olive and also not wanting kids, I did find her character relatable and found the relationships with her friends so interesting. The writing was great and I was really surprised to find out this was a debut novel. Despite there being a few heavy topics it was a very enjoyable read and found it hard to put down. On reflection I was a little bit disappointed by the ending considering she never wanted kids and then ended up being a maternal figure to her partners child. Also there was a couple of bits when Olive's character was just so rude and nasty and even though I can understand her frustrations I didn't think it was necessary. Those gripes aside, it was good and I look forward to seeing what is next from Emma Gannon.
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An interesting read that I'm glad to have discovered. I'll definitely be seeking out more by this author.
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I really enjoyed this book, I had seen it making the rounds on Twitter and didn’t know too much about it going in but was pleasantly surprised. The writing is well paced and often gave me a laugh, the characters are relatable and likeable. A lovely read.
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Olive by Emma Gannon is a lovely contemporary novel based on the friendships of three women and how their lives diverge as they grow from young adults to women. Central to the storyline is Olive’s lifestyle and choices. She knows that she never wants to have children and this conflicts with her friends’ views and causes tension along the way. Ultimately it’s a story about how strong female friendships can be. It’s a satisfying read.

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the opportunity to read this book.
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It's really exciting to find a book like this. Olive is an easy to read, contemporary and relatable story with a really heart warming message to it. The characters are all so special and unique and the storyline of Olive coming to terms with not wanting children of her own while she is surrounded by friends moving in different directions is so relatable and important for young women. Thank you for writing this book Emma, it was one I needed to read.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was an enjoyable read. I wasn't too sure at first but soon found myself going with the story and really enjoying it. Its not a storyline that I've come across before and found it quite interesting to see a different side of what we could call a big life experience. 

Definitely recommended. 

Thank you Netgalley.
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I really enjoyed this book, especially as someone who is in Olive's position when it comes to children. It was so lovely to see myself in this book - it was very validating. I know other have read this book and didn't enjoy Olive as a character but I did. We're not all perfect, it's okay to be messy and self-centered, you know?
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Going into this, for some reason, had lower expectations the longer I put it off. When I first read the synopsis I was intrigued but then I became less and less interested.

Thankfully my library got the audiobook, otherwise I think it would still be unread.

I did enjoy this. It’s not the best story I’ve ever read but it was a simple quick read while in lockdown on a snowy day. Passed the time kind of book.

The topic of women choosing not be have children is important and I don’t think I’ve read a book about it before. So I do think its an important topic, especially as women still have to deal with people telling them they have to have children or they’ll change their minds instead of just respecting the persons choice to not have kids.

I do think this may be relatable to some women due to the topic.

The characters did annoy me at times. Including Olive. It felt at times they didn’t really listen. In some instances they would jump to being somewhat a victim because their friend didn’t want a child but they did but struggling. While both things need to be discussed, it’s like both sides didn’t think you can support each other and listen while wanting different things.

If only these adults could put aside their feelings and listen to the other side. Instead of taking it as a personal attack.

The writing itself was very casual and easy. I say easy as the audiobook was easy to just sit an listen too. Although at times I was surprised I wasn’t as far in as I assumed.

I’m unsure if I’ll check out more by Gannon. I think it will depend on the topic the next book is about.
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I loved this book, I could relate to so much of it. A book about true friendship with all the ups and downs that come with it. Truly beautiful.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC in return for an honest and unbiased opinion.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were beautifully brought to life, from Olive who buzzed from the page, to her elderly neighbour, a minor figure who still felt full and realised. It was a really interesting take on the topic of motherhood, and choosing not to have children, and loved little details throughout, such as the friends meeting at their favourite restaurant. Really great read.
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Olive and her boyfriend of nine years have recently split up because he wanted children and Olive didn't. Her job as a journalist allows her to meet and interview other women who are child-free by choice, which is a huge help following her separation because speaking to her friends about her decision is proving difficult. 

While they've been friends since their first day at school they are currently at different stages of their lives, which means their friendship is taking more work to maintain than it ever has. Bea had her children at an early age and is dealing with problems in her marriage. Cec is pregnant and preparing for the changes motherhood will bring to her life. Isla wants children and is going through IVF. 

Told across two timelines --- 2008, as Olive and her friends move out of their shared house and 2019 --- Olive is a novel about choosing not to have children, motherhood, fertility/infertility, friendship, building the life you really want instead of blindly following the path everyone expects you take, and not having everything all figured out in your 30s. 

I had high expectations for Olive. If I'm being honest they were too high, but we so rarely see being child-free by choice written about in fiction that I wanted it to include all of the things women who choose not to have children experience. 

Once I realised that it wouldn't --- and couldn't --- be the definitive child-free by choice novel (because there is no such thing as the definitive experience) and that I was trying to insert my own experience into the story, I really enjoyed Olive for the well told story that Emma Gannon has written.
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Gannon's debut explores motherhood with a care and candour rarely present in popular fiction. She depicts adult female friendship honestly, and allows characters to voice their grievances with each other. The narrative primarily follows a year in the life of its protagonist, Olive, who is struggling to piece together what her identity  looks like in light of her decision to be child-free. The book tackles pertinent themes of comparison, community, grief and self-acceptance. Although Gannon's prose felt clumsy at times, I have no doubt that this story will have prompted innumerable, valuable, conversations among 30-something friendship groups just like Olive's.
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This was an easy read and so relatable for so many. Who does not question their life and choices especially when others around them start to follow pre destined paths and you're still figuring things out. So many modern day problems emerge, from fertility to IVF. It was enjoyable, and not too taxing. I give it 3 starts.
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Easy to read book with a striking book jacket. I struggled with the wooden dialogue at times, but overall it was an enjoyable read.
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I had seen this novel talked about on social media for a long time before I requested it, and as someone approaching her thirties and wants the freedom on choice, this seemed like a really refreshing read. 

There were a lot of issues tackled in this book. Issues such as going through IVF, juggling your career and relationships as well as the decision that you don't want children. I felt this was a massive reflection on the expectations of women at the moment and I enjoyed this perceptiveness. 

The book was also really easy to read, and I whipped through it in a couple of days! However I was a bit disappointed by the ending. I won't go in to any spoilers, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting and I was hoping it would go in another direction.
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After hearing glowing reviews, I had very high expectations of this book. Maybe I have outgrown this genre; I found the storyline rather predictable and the characters one-dimensional. I didn’t really warm to Olive as she was very much self-absorbed. The one ‘twist’ I did enjoy was the relationship with Dorothy.

The central theme about choosing to be child-free raised a number of questions that were thought-provoking though the book was ultimately a bit underwhelming. Stylistically an easy read, it was a fair way to spend an afternoon.
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