Being An Adult by Lucy Tobin and Kat Poole | Review [Stylist Magazine]

Lucy Tobin and Kat Poole know a thing or two about work, life, money and everything that comes in between. Lucy is an award-winning journalist, specialising in business and personal finance, and Kat is the Editor of Emerald Street, email champion of women’s lifestyle, culture and entertainment. Between them, they’ve combined everything there is to know about being an actual grown up into this book of revelations.

I’m mad at this book because it didn’t exist when I first crashed cluelessly into my early 20s. It gives you the life skills that you should’ve been taught in school instead of trigonometry, like how much to spend on a wedding present, what to wear to work and conversation starters and enders. It also gives you more serious ones like translating rental contracts, going self-employed and how to mental health support if you need it.

Through all of these essential topics, you’ll feel like you’ve just been made a cup of tea by your old friends who are gently, firmly and funnily giving you all the advice, life lessons and stories you could possible need to get your adult act together. Their words are entertaining, informative and genuinely helpful, insightful and written concisely.

I so desperately wish I’d had this book laid out in front of me to read from when I sat crying in my first ever (unsuccessful) salary negotiation, telling my boss through sobs and splutters that I couldn’t afford to live in London on my terrible startup salary. It didn’t work, but she did tell me I could live in her loft if I needed to.

Like Money, Being An Adult offers some strong financial advice too, which is full of incredibly useful and easily digestible information that I yearn to have had back in the day, to have hopefully avoided some stupid decisions and mistakes.

This book should be thrust into the hands of every graduating student as they walk across the stage. It would be an excellent replacement to the handshake from the elusive and unknown-until-this-precise-moment university Dean.

This piece was originally published in the Book Wars feature in Stylist Magazine on Wednesday 24th October, 2018.


Money: A User’s Guide by Laura Whateley | Review [Stylist Magazine]

In the opening chapter of her first book, Laura Whateley stresses heavily that she is not a financial advisor. She is, however, an award-winning journalist for The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Observer and more. After just one chapter, I reckon this is some of the best financial advice I’ve ever had.

It’s possible that I’ve already had much of this advice given to me. But what Laura does, that others before her have been unable to do, is clearly explain important money matters, and combine it with actionable advice. I swapped feeling confused and bemused for informed and empowered to take control of my finances – perhaps once and for all.

The book covers practical money matters like credit cards, overdrafts, student loans, housing (renting or buying), car finance, stocks and shares, paying off debt, and pensions. You’ll learn how to do daunting things like improve your credit score, get a mortgage and – wait for it – budget.

And as for trickier, more emotional money matters that really matter, like ethical investments, money and mental health and even money and love, Laura delves right into those too, with great understanding and empathy-led advice.

The book is dissected into clear chapters and helpful headers. This means you can dip in and out of the book as you please – moving backwards or forwards to and from what’s relevant to you and your financial woes, with little pointers to pages that might be what you need instead.

During one of my dips in, I dipped out of the book and onto my phone to cancel an unnecessary £6.99-a-month coffee subscription. Instead, I set up a standing order to invest that same amount in my Moneybox stocks and shares account. Boom.

So if you’re a 20-something (and beyond) user of money, buy this book, read this book and keep this book in a place where you can always refer back to it. It should be stuck in the drawer of every bedside table in every hotel across the land – as the new, modern day millennial bible. And guess what, the cover even looks like a Monzo card, and you can’t get more millennial than that, can you?

You can buy this brilliant book for the ludicrously good value of £5.75 here. Cheaper than a G&T in London and definitely a better investment.

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing | Review [Stylist Magazine]


This piece was originally published in Stylist Magazine on Wednesday 26th September, 2018.

Full text below:

Review: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

When 23-year-old art student April May stumbles across a strange metal object in Manhattan, she makes a quick video of it with her friend, Andy. She names what she thinks is a sculpture ‘Carl’, posts the video online and thinks nothing of it. The next morning, she wakes to find that it’s gone viral and that New York Carl isn’t a one-off – multiple Carls have appeared in cities all over the world.

Overnight, April’s life is changed forever. Suddenly, she’s one of the most important, high-profile people in the world, having broken an international story (and possibly the world’s biggest news ever). But fame, April soon finds out, isn’t just about being internationally adored. She must now battle scrutiny, online abuse, changed relationships and even radicalism, all while she and other key global figures, including the US president, try to uncover what these sculptures are, where they’ve come from and, ultimately, what they want.

The book’s author has – with the help of his New York Times best-selling author brother John Green – already racked up 8 million subscribers to their YouTube shows, CrashCourse and VlogBrothers. Hank’s solo show, SciShow, led The Washington Post to describe him as “one of America’s most popular science teachers”.

This online success means that Green is expertly equipped to capture April’s overnight fame and how it can take you from being a ‘somebody’ to a ‘someone who “happened” once’

His writing is light-hearted, clever, resonating and funny, tackling socially relevant themes, including the darker side of social media, sexuality, the naivety of youth and media representation. And just as Christelle Dabos does in A Winter’s Promise, he’ll have you caring deeply about his strong-willed female protagonist, while shining a clear, self-aware light on her flaws, too.

Fans of mystery, tension and pop culture references (specifically, the lyrics of Queen), step this way. Get ready to be absorbed in the story, glued to the book and a little more afraid of Twitter.

You can buy the book here, if you so wish.