Really Good, Actually
by Monica Heisey
You must sign in to see if this title is available for request. Sign In or Register Now
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add firstname.lastname@example.org as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 17 Jan 2023 | Archive Date Not set
4th Estate, Fourth Estate
'An absolute effing delight. Wildly funny and almost alarmingly relatable’ Marian Keyes, author of Again, Rachel
'Hilarious, heart-warming, wise' Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
‘Monica Heisey’s observations on men, women, friendship, love and sex are equal parts hilarious and profound’ Dolly Alderton, author of Everything I Know About Love
One of the most hotly anticipated, hilarious and addictive debut novels of 2023, from Schitt’s Creek screenwriter and electric new voice in fiction, Monica Heisey.
I feel like when you get a divorce everyone’s wondering how you ruined it all, what made you so unbearable to be with. If your husband dies, at least people feel bad for you.
Maggie’s marriage has ended just 608 days after it started, but she’s fine – she’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s alone for the first time in her life, can’t afford her rent and her obscure PhD is going nowhere . . . but at the age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new status as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée™.
Soon she’s taking up ‘sadness hobbies’ and getting back out there, sex-wise, oversharing in the group chat and drinking with her high-intensity new divorced friend Amy. As Maggie throws herself headlong into the chaos of her first year of divorce, she finds herself questioning everything, including: Why do we still get married? Did I fail before I even got started? How many Night Burgers until I’m happy?
Laugh-out-loud funny, razor sharp and painfully relatable, Really Good, Actually is an irresistible debut novel about the uncertainties of modern love, friendship and happiness from a stunning new voice in fiction, Monica Heisey.
‘A smart, funny and warm debut with such a strong voice’ Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of Everyone Is Still Alive
‘Monica Heisey makes me laugh hard and often’ Rob Delaney
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 170 members
Oh wow! This can be the most impactful debut I've read all year, I literally devoured it in a day. Loved loved loved it. Maggie is a questionable character, but so relatable! And Monica's narration is witty and captures digital and modern love perfectly.
Really enjoyed it, actually! I was excited when I saw this book from one of the Schitt's Creek creators, and I was not disappointed! I have so many highlighted passages where I either chuckled or laughed out loud I wish I could paste them all here. The language and the tone were perfect and hit the spot. I have to admit I have recently read quite of few books in the similar genre and tone to this and It felt like another one of those at the start but it did progress nicely. This reads like a mix of Bridget Jones and Everything I know about Love - perfect combo! Great read to get anyone out of a reading rut.
what a fantastic read, thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book. I could not put it down.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for giving me an ARC to review!
All I have to say with this is I loved it. The way it’s written, personal, blunt but with humor is fantastic. I laughed, I scoffed, I even cried at one point. This was a great read and I’m so happy to discover Monica Heisey and can’t wait to see what’s next.
I felt that the story repeated itself in a way of conversations with her friends and stuff, that felt it happened a bit too often with the same type of conversation, but regardless of this, and that’s just my preference, I loved it!
One of my favourite reads of the year. Heartbreaking, honest and at times, absolutely batshit, Maggie is that friend that you’re rooting for but also kind of want to whack with a rolled up newspaper. Read it in less than 24 hours, I just had to keep coming back to it. It was really good, actually.
Stayed up far too late reading “Really Good, Actually”. It’s very funny and relatable and it just flows. Monica Heisey succeeds in creating a self-destructive, selfish heroine who’s also a likeable human. Maggie’s short lived marriage and impending divorce is absolutely awful for her and completely boring and nightmarish for everyone else. Her many, many unhealthy coping skills and stubborn denial that her marriage is over are both sad and funny. Her eventual climb out of the pit of her misery is well worth waiting for.
I liked this book. The breezy, light-hearted narration is in strong contrast to the serious business of the psychological crisis and depression of Maggie, as she comes to terms with her divorce. She is an unreliable storyteller as what she tells herself (and the reader) is at odds with the reactions of her friends. Despite that, Maggie is still likeable (largely due to her ready wit) and you therefore hope she gets her life back together.
This is exactly my sort of read - and while it's tempting to use the title as my review tag, it deserves a far better response than that. It's an immensely enjoyable and very relatable tale about marriage breakdown and life spiralling out of control - with many a nod to Norah Ephron's novel ‘Heartburn’ and just as funny, There are so many notable highlights and witticisms that it’s hard to choose, but a couple of my favourites are ‘sadness hobbies’ and ‘cyber-stalking via pet account’, I will definitely be looking out for more of this author’s work.
I loved the honesty of the book and the character. The author has done well to write how she has. You hope through it all the main character sorts her stuff and life out.
MONICA HEISEY – REALLY GOOD, ACTUALLY *****
I read this novel in advance of publication through NetGalley in return for an honest review.
This is a contemporary story, one that could not, with its language and viewpoint, have been written in any period of history other than now. The opening sentence, My marriage ended because I was cruel. Or because I ate in bed, (and the list of a hundred other possibilities) introduces the voice, and the perspective of, Maggie and her breakup with Jon.
The story itself is simple; she’s trying, very unsuccessfully, to make sense of what has happened, and to deal with the fall out with the aid of her group of remarkable supportive friends, and new friends she meets along the way.
The tone is self-deprecating and very humorous in an absurdist sort of way (by the author’s clever juxtaposition of images); Maggie is a disaster in just about everything she does and every decision she makes, and the author cleverly reveals this through the reactions and comments of her friends, as Maggie herself can’t see what she is doing to them or herself.
It’s an extraordinarily witty and readable book, my only reservation being that it’s all one volume, as everything is told through one character. There is no light and shade by having another point of view, and this POV is almost overpowering. In a sense it is like splurging six inches of clotted cream onto a normal height scone. After a while I found it too rich and had to stop reading, and then go back to it, otherwise I might have been bilious. But the author is brilliant with her observations of modern city life and Maggie comes full circle by the end. An excellent read.
A book that is sad, emotional, affirming all at once. The rawness of Maggie’s feelings as she goes through her divorce, first dates and first wedding since the separation is beautifully written. We really do cry with Maggie as she gets it right and wrong muddling on one step in front of the other. You know it will be okay but stay with Maggie for the ride.
Really Good, Actually was really good, actually. The story follows Maggie's journey as she comes to terms with the breakdown of her marriage.
I think for me, what I found relatable was the messiness of the fall out from going through a divorce particulary at a young age. Trying to figure out who you are without your significant other can be confronting and confusing and can also make you act out of character which is why I was able to feel for Maggie. She was flawed and selfish at times but there was just something about her that I warmed to and I enjoyed her story.
Really good, actually by Monica Heisey
Thank you Netgallery 4th Estate and William Collins for an arc for an unbiased review.
We open with Maggie listing why she and Jon broke up and the subsequent divorce. Yet, as she said, there was no big blow out moment, just a series of small fires they failed to put out.
I'm struggling on where to rate the book as a whole. When it worked for me, it was fantastic. Yet there are also elements that just dragged it down as I carried on.
So what did I enjoy? The premise as a whole works, and especially at the beginning, drew me in. The humour is often self-deprecating, sharp and contemporary. The friendships you start to see around Maggie are solid and believable.
But where it fell down for me at least was after a while it felt repetitive, and lost its lustre. Not that there was anything wrong per se with Maggie, but at times it felt a bit too one dimensional. While it was obvious going in, this book is about all facets of Maggie, I do wish we had more than Google searches, fantasies or text messages etc breaking the narrative up. A couple of times I felt myself craving just a different perspective.
I eventually plumped for 4/5 stars, although in reality it is more 3.5/5 stars 🌟
I feel it does enough to not warrant the mid range rating. I can see that this book will not be for everyone, and a lot of going to be on whether the humour lands as it is supposed to.
An astounding debut.
Funny and light-hearted whilst also managing to handle some serious subject matter.
Step into the world of divorce, dating and all those foot falls of being a 'grown up'.
With brilliantly witty narration, Monica has written something for the modern ages.
If you get a chance to read this, make sure you do.
I really enjoyed this book and read it in practically one sitting. It is humourous and sarcastic with a captivating storyline and perfectly palced language. I loved it
29 year-old Maggie is unexpectedly going through a divorce. She is a mess, lurching from one bad date and decision to another, alienating not just her ex but her friends in the process. Monica Heisey balances Maggie’s laugh-out-loud moments with dark realisations about her new found singledom. I would definitely recommend for fans of Schitt’s Creek, the show Heisey wrote for. There are definite parallels between the show and her book, with a sudden change in circumstances producing comedic situations and eventual realisations of what is truly important. The book is a feel-good, emotional rollercoaster.
This book is actually really good. I loved how the book was narrated. Being able to talk about your marriage and it's transition to divorce in such a way, even going as far as mentioning the struggles she faced while getting over it, it's beautiful and strengthening. It's like a mini session for someone considering divorce.
The only setback, is that it's in PDF which made it a chore to read on the app
This is a good book. Easy and quick read, humorous and sarcastic in places. I enjoyed the story and concept of it although could not warm to the characters. It does however relate to today's society. Will look out for further books from this author.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an ARC in exchange for an honest opinion
I was drawn to this book after seeing that Monica Heisey has written for Schitt's Creek, a wonderful and funny sitcom, and hoped that that humour would translate to the page. Thankfully, Heisey debut novel is really funny, actually!
Really Good, Actually follows Maggie. a twenty-nine-year-old who's marriage collapses. What follows is a desperate search for figuring out who she is and how she can move on with her life. Much of the conflict resolves around this quest which ends up feeling a bit repetitive and one-note. Thankfully, Maggie's constant whinging is balanced in equal parts by humour and wit, otherwise this book would have fallen flat very quickly.
In the past, I have found it notoriously difficult to find books that are genuinely funny, but Heisey had me laughing out loud in public on multiple occasions and, whilst Maggie can be a frustrating protagonist, she is also very relatable, to the point where this almost reads like a memoir. All in all, a funny and authentic exploration of heartbreak, young adulthood, and coming to terms with life not always going your way.
Many thanks to 4th Estate and NetGalley for providing me with a Digital Review Copy.
Quietly amusing and the author managed to make me care about the unlikeable "heroine," Maggie, by the end. I liked the lists and her gradual insight, but did feel it was too long and would maybe have been funnier and held my interest more if the middle in particular had been cut down a bit.
Thank you to netgalley and 4th Estate for an advance copy of this book
When I went into this I half expected a standard rom-com, girl breaks up with boy, self-discovery and meets guy who sweeps her off her feet - instead, I got, what read like, an actual take on modern relationships. I found this was more like a series of vignettes than a cohesive story but I enjoyed it nevertheless. If you’re looking for humour laced with realism in relationships then go for it!
Delightful and funny book following Maggie who at 29 is getting divorced. you feel for Maggie as she starts to date and take up hobbies
This is a modern story of with some funny moments and very witty.
Thanks to NetGalley & 4th Estate for a advanced copy for a honest review.
Wow! What an amazing book!!
Would love to read more from the author.
Thankyou netgalley for the Arc!
I enjoyed this book - an easy read with a good story. It was really humorous and sarcastic in places. The story was good although I didn't really warm to the characters. Recommended.
This is a beauty of a book. Funny, sad, wise, it follows Maggie, young, newly separated from her husband, through the year after they agree to get divorced. The writing is whip-smart and occasionally laugh out loud funny, but it’s the insight into grief, love and friendship that makes this book really special. Loved it.
Maggie’s post-split breakdown is painfully emotional, cringeworthy, hilarious and brilliant. A love letter to friendship, reluctant but essential navel-gazing self analysis and finding joy in the small things, every line dazzles with wit, relatability and uncomfortable truths. I loved it.