Cover Image: One Ordinary Day at a Time

One Ordinary Day at a Time

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Member Reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The way in which the writer creates a narrative that is duel perspective is engaging and keeps the reader intrigued. As the story develops you become invested in each character, the uplifting message that the story purveys is perfect for those wanting that lighter read, whilst not having to compromise on a well written novel.
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This book is really about healing from the traumatic scars that we have been left behind. Don't get me wrong there are times the story was hard to process but it really was lovely at showing the human spirit and what friends can do when you don't feel like you have much hope. 

Even though both these characters grew up in two very different ways, it is nice to see how they overcome obstacles of varying sizes and they learn to accept the character flaws of the other person. This seems to be prominent in the theme as Jodie for example has to accept the mannerisms of Simon and vice versa as they both heal together from their own pasts.

I have to be honest and say it wasn't the best book in the world, but it was nice to see what people do when they truly care about people in the face of adversity. It is heartwarming in this sense, as it is the belief that there is someone out there with similar scars who understand what you are going through and what they would do to help if the situation needs it.

Personally, I have been going through a lot myself at home, so for me, this brought tears to my eyes at what the human race can do when we need someone most. I wish I had a friendship as understanding as Jodie and Simon.

Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
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One Ordinary Day at a Time is an uplifting and equally heart-breaking read that takes you on a journey through Simon's and Jodie's pasts while they work towards securing brighter futures for themselves. 

Simon is a true genius who initially comes off as an annoying know-it-all. I didn't click with his character immediately, but as his tragic and abusive past was uncovered it made sense why he was that way. He had such a traumatic childhood that as he's grown he's not learned the proper methods to protect his mental health. This has led to his current predicament of desperation to solve a seemingly impossible maths theory for a huge sum of money and fame beyond his wildest dreams. I truly felt so heartbroken for him the more about his story that was revealed. His father was a cruel man that only cared about his son being 'top of the class' and nothing else. I really despised his character for how he treated his own son. It felt like a situation where there could be no forgiveness for it. 

Jodie is smart and driven, but she's a single mother struggling to make ends meet. Her dream is to go to Cambridge to study English Literature. I really resonated with her drive and steely determination to make her dreams come true. From a substance-abusing mother to being thrown between care homes and foster homes, and ending up in an abusive relationship herself, Jodie also had a terrible childhood. She was always fearing her ex would get out of prison and return to finish the abuse he started. I rooted for her all the way as she worked so hard and never gave up. She did it all so she and her son, Zak, could have a better future and that's admirable. 

I feel that One Ordinary Day at a Time deserves 4.5/5 stars. The reason I have knocked half a star off is due to the fact I found it really difficult to see past Simon's 'know-it-all' tendencies. I get why he was that way, but it was still annoying. Overall, this is a beautiful and uplifting story that shows you that finding the right person at the right time can change your life forever.
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Simon is a true genius who initially comes off as an annoying know-it-all. I didn’t click with his character immediately, but as his tragic and abusive past was uncovered it made sense why he was that way. He had such a traumatic childhood that as he’s grown he’s not learned the proper methods to protect his mental health. This has led to his current predicament of desperation to solve a seemingly impossible maths theory for a huge sum of money and fame beyond his wildest dreams. I truly felt so heartbroken for him the more about his story that was revealed. His father was a cruel man that only cared about his son being ‘top of the class’ and nothing else. I really despised his character for how he treated his own son. It felt like a situation where there could be no forgiveness for it.

Jodie is smart and driven, but she’s a single mother struggling to make ends meet. Her dream is to go to Cambridge to study English Literature. I really resonated with her drive and steely determination to make her dreams come true. From a substance-abusing mother to being thrown between care homes and foster homes, and ending up in an abusive relationship herself, Jodie also had a terrible childhood. She was always fearing her ex would get out of prison and return to finish the abuse he started. I rooted for her all the way as she worked so hard and never gave up. She did it all so she and her son, Zak, could have a better future and that’s admirable.

It was inspiring to read as Simon and Jodie came together as unlikely friends. I was pleased that the book focused more on this than trying to force them into a relationship. They had so much to do to help themselves first that a relationship would not have worked. I loved how they brought out the best in each other and pushed each other to their limits. By the end, I felt they both deserved the world. Their character development was so entwined with their blossoming friendship that it was heart-warming to read.

I feel that One Ordinary Day at a Time deserves 4.5/5 stars. The reason I have knocked half a star off is due to the fact I found it really difficult to see past Simon’s ‘know-it-all’ tendencies. I get why he was that way, but it was still annoying. Overall, this is a beautiful and uplifting story that shows you that finding the right person at the right time can change your life forever.
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Gosh, I absolutely LOVED this book. I was enamoured with Harris' previous book, and this one is just as delightful. A really gripping read, thank you!
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Nice little book to read over coffee on a Sunday morning! Really enjoyed it, not my usual bag but I really liked it and would defo read more from the author 😃
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I loved this book from the beginning. The characters were believable,flawed and human. 
Jodie is a single mum with a difficult past in care and hiding from a violent ex, Simon was once a child genius with a horrendous pushy parent.
They both work at a burger joint  and when Jodie finds out that Simon went to Cambridge University she asks him to help her attain her lifelong dream of going there.
There are so many twists and turns to the story but it never descends into the usual boy meets girl trope.
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Such a good book, start of thinking it’s going to be a light story but ends up dealing with some tough subjects, also how looks can deceiving and first impressions can be wrong. Really good read.
Thanks to Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to read it.
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I'm honestly astounded that there's a low number of Amazon and Goodreads review for this book. A story as wholesome and layered as this deserves more attention.

Uber geek Simon meets single mum Jodie who seem to be at odds with each other - seems pretty benign and understated so far. Both of them are dealing with the demons of their past.

Simon, however, seems to be an oddity with almost offensive communication skills. But there is far more lurking beneath the surface. After a false start, it takes the presence and persistence of Jodie to help him face his issue. Jodie, too, has problems with her ex yet she seems to be stronger than Simon who is clearly struggling with deep-seated abuse from his father.

I loved that her son has his own storyline in the background that's directly linked to her dire circumstances. And her circumstances are certainly dire. I felt a certain pain reading about her living situation and the financial difficulties she experiences. Still, she remains determined to improve her life because the strength of her love for her son is what seems to drive through her defence and retaliation to fight against her ex.
Jodie is written as a breath of fresh air filled with ambition that's awe-inspiring.

I loved the detail in the book. Sarah J Harris wrote about Simon's memory palace with an interesting intricacy and reading about how his brain worked added profundity to his lost opportunities. 

Meanwhile, Jodie's exploration of literature especially of the classics is a pleasure to read and inspired me to ensure I read Great Expectations at some point in my reading journey. The story is a celebration of books and I can't say it didn't pain me immensely to read the book burning scene. Thank God this is fiction.

With a twist that would give the Sixth Sense a run for its money, the book also shows how mental health issues can be easily masked. It becomes quite clear that Simon's Victorian upbringing was disturbing and his father was looking to maintain his power through subjugation of his mother. It also has a wonderful balance of plot and character development where one complements the other.

One Ordinary Day At A Time is a wholesome and heartwarming book touching on many dark themes but with a lot of hope for its characters. This is contemporary fiction at its finest that left me in tears at the end.
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Oh my goodness!

I loved The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder and this is equally wonderful.

Jodie and Simon are such brilliant drawn characters that I was fully invested in their story from page one and could not put this book down.

Jodie is so resilient – overcoming the tragedies of childhood and domestic violence, she is determined to do whatever it takes to make life better for her son. She is witty and sarcastic, intelligent and empathetic.

The Jon job at her local burger bar may not be glamorous but it fits in around her college course and her child care. She can also use the free food vouchers when money is tight.

There she meets Simon. He is gifted and mathematical- a tortured genius. Who, despite his education, is also scarred by his childhood and super competitive father who pushed him to be brilliant from a young age.

As the friendship between Jodie and Simon begins to develop they find that each of them is revealing more of their true self to the other with unexpected consequences. Learning to trust people again and make friends does not come naturally to either of them and some of the secrets are still incredibly painful.

I loved this book.

It’s so poignant and heart-warming. And it’s so positive. Harris’s characters, while remaining true to themselves and the integrity of the story, get their second chances. But they work hard for them.

Thank you Netgalley for my gifted copy of this wonderful story.
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I enjoyed Sarah J. Harris’ previous story, The Colour of Bee Larkham’s Murder, but I absolutely LOVED this one!

We follow Simon – socially stunted by his upbringing and unusual thought patterns – and Jodie, who has been fighting against neglect and abuse all her life, as they slowly get to know one another and find that they can affect each other’s lives, both in positive and in negative ways.

This is a story all about finding a balance in life, the give and take of friendship, and the dangers of repressing feelings and not communicating and/or keeping secrets. The plot does go to some very dark places, but the final impression is one of light, warmth and hope, and Sarah J. Harris avoids the obvious, romantic finale by keeping the focus firmly on friendship and family.

I was completely hooked and totally immersed!

I lived and breathed this book. I cried; I smiled; I gasped and, more than once, I hissed audibly with rage.

If you enjoy incredibly emotional and uplifting stories about accepting each other’s differences, overcoming our inner and outer struggles in life, and the creating of a family from love and understanding instead of blood, then you will adore Simon, Jodie, Zak, and the Prince Burger crew!

Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
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Jodie and Simon are twenty-something people who meet at a fast-food restaurant in London as they take on minimum wage soul-destroying jobs.  Jodie is a single mother, devoted to her son but trying to escape the vicious circle of poverty that has dogged her through a childhood in care and an abusive relationship, she has ambitions to study at Cambridge.  Simon is a mathematical genius whose life work is to solve complex hypotheses, a former child prodigy he has spiralled into obsessive behaviour following a difficult upbringing.  These two unlikely characters form a strange friendship which helps both of them confront their demons.
I absolutely loved this book which surprised me as it is a genre that I find to glib in most cases.  In common with Harris' first novel, society and mental illness are to the fore and handled extremely well.  The descriptions of the life led by the two main characters is realistic - mouldy bedsits, payday loans, minimum wage jobs - and the supporting cast are well-rounded.  The 'twists' at the end for both characters were totally expected but that didn't stop this being a really good read which hit home emotionally.
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Excellent read. 

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me read an advance copy of this book in exchange for my feedback.
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One Ordinary Day is a heartwarming read, very well written that brings you the kind of characters you will fall in love with. 
Simon and Jodie, our two main characters, are living with heartbreak, they are a bit cautious around each other and both feel vulnerable because of their pasts. 
I enjoyed how a friendship soon develops between them, I felt the more I read the more I understood them. I was rooting for both of them, I’d taken them to heart and wanted a happy ending of course. 
You will be swept away by this book from the start, I didn’t want to put it down. There are ups and downs, nothing does ever go smoothly does it?! You aren’t given the predictable and that’s something I enjoyed. A lovely ending and a wonderful story. Thank you.
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One Ordinary Day At A Time is the beautiful and memorable new novel by Sarah J. Harris. I really enjoyed it and I read it in two days. At times, it is fun, at times emotional and heart-breaking, and there is also a bit of suspense that kept me on edge. What I loved most about this incredible story is the two – and a half – protagonists: Simon, Jodie, and her seven-year-old son Zak.

I loved the friendship between Simon and Jodie. They couldn’t be more different and yet, very similar. Simon is genius. At work, his colleagues call him “Prof”, his IQ is higher than Einstein and Stephen Hawkins, he went to Cambridge when he was 15 years old, his social skills often offend people, and he loves math, pub quizzes, and his goal in life is to solve the Riemann Hypothesis, but his day-job it to make fries at Prince Burger. Here he meets Jodie. A single young mother with a seven-year-old son, Jodie needs the job at Prince Burger to support her and her son Zak, but she dreams to get into Cambridge to study English Literature and assure her son a better life. Jodie asks Simon to tutor her for the entrance exam at Cambridge, while she will help him with his social skill and slowly but steady they form a beautiful friendship, but they keep from each other secrets and a troubled and difficult childhood. Simon’s childhood was spent with his nose into a book under the close and hard scrutiny of his father and the only person who showed him love was his mother. Jodie was raised in the foster system, going from home to home, neglected by everyone except Lizzie, the librarian who introduced her to literature and Charles Dickens.

One Ordinary Day At A Time is an incredible story and I am still thinking about it days later after finishing reading it. The characters are authentic and relatable. I felt for them, for their dreams, their hopes, their regrets, their guilt, and I rooted for them to have their happy ending. The story is brilliantly-written and it captured me from the very beginning. I couldn’t recommend it more!
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I loved this book which brings together two people who form a very unlikely friendship. Simon is a former twin child genius who has ended up working in  the local burger joint where he struggles to find his way among normal social cues and interaction. Jodie is a single mum  of Zak. She was brought up in the care system, trusts no one and is focused on gaining a place at Cambridge to read English Literature. Both Simon and Jodie have secrets in their past that are re-emerging for them to deal with. Jodiie is being helped to apply for uni by Simon in exchange for her trying to teach him to be more sociable and empathetic. This book deftly explores this unlikely friendship, it is humorous, amusing but also heart wrenching. It is a lovely book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you to the publishers and Netgalley for the chance to read and review an advance copy.
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One Ordinary Day At A Time’ is the latest book by Sarah J. Harris.

Simon Sparks is the man you know from behind the counter at the local Prince Burger (‘hold the gherkin!’), fry shovelling, shelf stacking, hiding away from the world. And Jodie Brook is the single mum you see crossing the street with her son Zak – always chasing a dream she can’t reach. What if life could be so much more? When Simon and Jodie’s worlds collide, it upends everything they know. But in chaos comes opportunity. And for every person who’s ever doubted them, they find someone who’ll finally believe…

If you want a story that will warm your heart and lift your spirits, then pick up a copy of the this uplifting book.

The story is seen through alternating chapters between Simon and Jodie who are both at crossroads in the world but find an unlikely connection with each other when they begin working with each other at Prince Burger. Simon was a child prodigy but ended up working in a fast food outlet whilst his twin brother is a top surgeon in New York. Jodie is a struggling single mother who aspires to become a teacher and be able to provide a better quality life for herself and her adorable little boy called Zak.

From the beginning, this story was easy to get absorbed in. It’s beautifully written with relatable characters that not only connect with each other but also with the reader. Simon is a fascinating character, although extremely intelligent, he lacks proper social skills and makes people feel awkward and uncomfortable around him, which in turn has the same effect on him. Jodie was a teenage mum, who’s trying to move on from her past but regularly finds it reappearing in her life and fearing for the safety of herself and her sweet little boy.

I loved the interactions between Simon and Jodie, initially it’s awkward but it’s lovely to see it progress towards friendship and develop confidence and support to each other.

This story is a warm one, but also has some tender and witty moments that add to the charm of the story.

A gorgeous and inspirational story about unlikely friendships and following your dreams, ‘One Ordinary Day at a Time’ is a heartwarming story that will bring a smile to your day.

You can buy ‘One Ordinary Day At A Time’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.
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There's so much to love in this life-affirming, heartwarming and well written story.
You cannot help loving Jodie and Simon, their friendship and their struggles. They are underdogs and Jodie fight for something better.
Great characters and I couldn't help rooting for them.
There are dark issues but there's also love, humour and hope.
It's an excellent read that I strongly recommend.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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This is a beautifully written and truly original novel.

One Ordinary Day at a Time is a lovely heartstring-tugging tale. Jodie Brook is a struggling single mum who has a son, seven-year-old Zak. Jodie, brought up in a dysfunctional family, is always chasing dreams and applies to study English Literature at Cambridge University. Former child maths genius Simon Sparks also went to Cambridge at 15 but now spends his days working in a fast-food restaurant, "Prince Burger". He spends his spare time fine-tuning his quizzing skills among other things. One Ordinary Day at a Time is all about what happens when their worlds collide.

The story was characterised by a cast of terrific people. The book cleverly weaves together the present-day tale of Jodie and Simon with a gradual introduction to the backstories of them both, and the reader learns more about them as the tale progresses. Intriguingly and delightfully told by the author, Sarah J Harris, it was a remarkable book on many levels. Her incredible writing totally brought this amusing and emotional tale of friendship to life and the ending was fitting and satisfying. This is a brilliant novel not to be missed.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request, from HarperCollins UK/ HarperFiction via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
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A story of two unusual disparate characters who meet while they are both working in a hamburger joint. One is a young autistic young man lost in a world of mathematics that helps him escape the realities of life. The other after being abandoned as a child by a drug addict mother.is the product of care homes and foster parents. Who is now a single parent, having escaped from a physically abusive husband. When she discovers that the young man has a maths degree from Cambridge, she as an English student aspiring to get into Cambridge, tries to befriend him to gain his help to prepare her for her entrance interview. After various events and with persistent they agree on a deal, she to help him in human engagement and he to coach her for Cambridge entrance. As they get to know each other they find that they each need to help each other to admit to their dark secrets and to overcome their individual nemesis and how with love and support from colleagues and friends after some dramatic events they manage to repair their lives with hope for the future.
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