DiscoverChick Lit

Unexpectedly Stellar


Loved it! 😍

Immensely funny, heartwarming story of love, loss, friendship and finding oneself

I think the synopsis gives away far too much of this immensely funny book, so I'll begin by saying - don't read it! You'll enjoy Unexpectedly Stellar so much more if you go in blind. I'd forgotten the synopsis by the time I read the book, so I didn't have a clue what I was in for.

Unexpectedly Stellar is told from the point of view of Stella Halfpenny, a 34-year-old who works as a PA to an unreasonable, sadistic boss. Her controlling, manipulating, and gaslighting boyfriend of five years, Jackson, breaks her heart and leaves her bereft. In the process, Stella also becomes estranged from one of the few people she is truly close with.

What follows is a heartwarming saga of how she tries to pick up the pieces, fails, and tries again. On a chance visit to her childhood town, she discovers a different facet to her alcoholic mother and learns something about her absent father. This gives her a wakeup call about the current state of her life and she is boosted into action.

Stella is helped along her journey of self-discovery by a whole lot of wine drinking and self-deprecating humor. I don't know anything about wines so this was an education.

The puns and the sarcasm made the book great fun to read. Sample this: "Nina told me to aim for the stars and look where it got me. Much safer to aim for Streatham."

Stella never views herself as anything other than average, even though she sounds like a friendly, happy, fun person. Consider how she describes herself in the beginning: "I was ashamed at my pathetic life, thirty-four years old, a rejected failure with a few bin liners of cheap clothes and a heap of charity shop books."

But I could relate to her the most when she said this, somewhere towards the end of the book: "Wearing black is like eating comfort food or lying on the sofa in pyjamas, drinking tea. It is easy, undemanding, manageable." You've got to love a girl with no artifice whatsoever, completely natural.

Watch out for Olive and Iris, who are so wholesome that it made me want to hug them. I liked Miles, too, and I wished there was more lovey-dovey stuff with him.

There are plenty of characters in this book and some sort of action on nearly every page, but you never get lost or bored. I think this is a great holiday read which carries you on its highs and lows, laughing and shedding a tear or two. It all comes together in a satisfying and uplifting end, and I felt sorry to leave the story.

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Chapter 1

About the author

Emma Henry is a first time published author who lives in Switzerland, where she is often seen hiking the hills, while trying to work out the latest knot in the plot.... view profile

Published on October 23, 2020

120000 words

Genre: Chick Lit

Reviewed by