Title: Is This OK? One woman’s search for connection online
Author: Harriet Gibsone
Music journalist, self-professed creep and former winner of the coveted ‘Fittest Girl in Year 11’ award, Harriet Gibsone lives in fear of her internet searches being leaked.
Until a diagnosis of early menopause in her late twenties, Harriet spent much of her young life feeding neuroses and insecurities with obsessive internet searching (including compulsive googling of exes, prospective partners, and their exes), and indulging in whirlwind ‘parasocial relationships’ (translation: one-sided affairs with celebrities she has never met).
Suddenly staring down years of IVF, HRT and other invasive medical treatments, her relationship with the internet takes a darker turn, as her online addictions are thrown into sharp relief by the corporeal realities of illness and motherhood.
Is This OK? is an honest but very funny memoir by music journalist Harriet Gibson, about growing up as the internet becomes a bigger part of people’s lives. This is on top of the usual teenage anxieties and some very unexpected, devastating health issues which completely blindsided her.
I loved this book because it is SO relatable. Harriet is only a few years older than me, so I felt like I had a very similar experience of the world and pop culture growing up – the nostalgia really hit me reading this! But what really captivated me was Harriet’s unfiltered honesty and authenticity, as she fearlessly shared the highs and lows that many women can relate to.
It also addresses some important and widespread issues – mental health, toxic relationships, fertility problems, post-natal struggles and so much more. For this reason, I don’t know if I could say I completely ‘enjoyed’ every page of this book, because there were some parts that were really difficult to read, but I did find myself completely absorbed in it. Harriet’s writing is incredibly engaging and fresh, and I am already really excited for whatever she brings out in the future!
My rating: 4.5/5
Many thanks to the publisher, Picador, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.