Not My Problem Review

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth.

Rating: ✯✯✯✯

Not My Problem follows the protagonist, Aideen, and her journey with fixing other people’s problems. It all starts when she ends up pushing overachiever Maebh down the stairs in a bid to save her from her hectic schedule – and it completely explodes from there. Aideen soon discovers that she has a knack for solving other students’ problems – the only problem is, she can’t seem to solve any of her own.

I think it’s safe to say that Not My Problem was very different from other contemporaries I’ve read this year. There was just something about it which made it stand out from other books in the genre, and I really enjoyed reading it – I could barely put it down once I started! It’s definitely one of my favourite reads of the year so far.

I think if I had to pinpoint the one thing which made this book stand out so much it would have to be the narrative voice. Aideen had such a distinctive voice, and reading her story was very entertaining and humorous! I loved the way Smyth wrote the chapters as often in books the chapters can be quite generic, but Smyth smashed Aideen’s voice perfectly – it was one of the strongest voices I’ve read to date!

Aideen’s whole character was perfectly planned, to be completely honest with you. Sure, she could be defensive and rude, but she had a really good heart and truly cared about the ones she loved. Watching her solve everyone else’s problems was so interesting to read as it really highlighted her kindness and willingness to help others. As a reader it was also quite sad to see her help everyone else as she struggled to ask for help herself.

I think this was definitely one of the things which made her character so relatable, too. Nowadays a lot of people seem to struggle with opening up to others – myself included – and I think it’s really wonderful to see that reflected back in a character. Relatable characters are definitely a must for me in any book, and it can really help you connect and emphasise with the story more.

Of course, all of the characters in this book were brilliant. Smyth included such an excellent cast of characters who were all so diverse and different from each other, which I really appreciated. It was lovely to read all of their different personalities and dilemmas, and I think it’s safe to say that every reader will find part of themselves in at least one of the characters!

Obviously all of these different characters led to a lot of different friendships being established. I think my favourite was definitely Aideen, Maebh and Kavi’s – they were such an unlikely group but somehow they all fit together so perfectly. Reading their interactions and adventures was such an enjoyable experience and I loved how close they all were by the end of the book!

Of course, friendship wasn’t the only major theme in Not My Problem – there was also the relationship between Aideen and Maebh. I really enjoyed reading their banter and the back and forth between the two, and it was definitely a very good tension builder! Their relationship was honestly so adorable and I was more than a little invested in their relationship. In all fairness it was hard not to, what with all the moments the two shared and Smyth’s excellent writing!

I think the humour throughout this book also really demonstrated her excellent writing. I found myself laughing at so many different points throughout the book – Aideen’s character was just so funny – and all of the different adventures the friends would go on. Of course, Aideen’s excuses for PE also never failed to make me grin like an idiot – and I was reading this in public, so people really must’ve thought I was an idiot!

Despite that, Smyth included a lot of different difficult topics – alcoholism, messy families, homophobia and friendship difficulties were all included in Aideen’s story. I really admired Smyth’s ability to write with such wit and humour whilst also sensitively covering a lot of very real issues, and it definitely further demonstrated how talented she is.

I think the one issue I had with this book was the ending. Sure, we got to see Aideen’s development, but it still left me with a lot of questions over what her actions would’ve let to – I think an epilogue a couple of months later would’ve wrapped things up that much better. Of course, this is definitely personal preference, and I know some people prefer books to be left more open, so I wouldn’t let this put you off from the book!

Overall, I would recommend Not My Problem for anyone looking for a well rounded book which has a very strong focus on friendship. I would also recommend it for any general contemporary fan, as this perfectly exemplified everything I love about the genre. It was such a lovely read that I would highly recommend to anyone!

I hope you enjoyed this review!

Ceri

58 thoughts on “Not My Problem Review

  1. I really enjoyed reading this review! This is my first time hearing about this book but it sounds like something I would enjoy. I’m glad you loved it. I’ll add it to my to-be-read list. Thank you for sharing. x

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  2. Great review Ceri!!! This book looks quite different from other contemporaries around and sounds to be interesting! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. This sounds really good! I love books about friendships and there’s nothing quite like finding a book that you just can’t put down.

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    1. It definitely is, I’d really recommend it! Friendships are so important in books (particularly contemporaries) so I was so glad there was such a strong focus on that. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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    1. It definitely is, I’d really recommend it! I’m so glad to hear that haha, she’s a really unique character – and her friends are too, for that matter! Thank you so much for reading and commenting, I really hope you enjoy x

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  4. I loved reading your review, this sounds like a great book! I love books that feature friendships and it sound like Aideen is a really interesting character. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much, I’m so glad you liked it! Books with great friendships are definitely some of the best out there, and Aideen is certainly different from other characters I’ve read! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment!

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  5. I love books about friendship that include a bit of humour. Sounds like Smyth did a wonderful job creating Aideen. She seems like a character that is likeable and real, which makes it easy for the reader to invest in her story. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. So do I, I don’t actually read many books with so much humour but now I’m thinking I should start! She definitely did, Aideen was extremely relatable and real and I think that might be why the ending slightly annoyed me – I just really wanted to know what happened to her! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

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  6. It made me laugh how you said you were grinning while reading the book and people were looking at you lol! I’ve burst out laughing on a train before, and embarrassingly enough I was reading a particular book, and one of the main characters dies and so tears started rolling down my face! I stepped off the train and everyone was looking at me! It was so embarrassing. Cringe! Sounds like a great book though.

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    1. It was definitely embarrassing, haha! I definitely hate when that happens in public (I’ve also cried at the death of a character, but it was in my school library) but I think it just shows how talented the authors are as they can evoke reactions like that, lol! It’s definitely a great book, thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your own experiences (now I feel less alone haha)!

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  7. A great review. From your Description of this book the characters sounds very relatable. I think it’s more common than not that people would prefer to help others with their problems rather than handle their own. The character sounds amazing thank you for such a brilliant well written review.

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    1. Thank you so much! The characters were definitely some of the most relatable I’ve read in a while. That is honestly spot on, so many people do that! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment your thoughts!

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    1. It definitely is, it’s a really fun and mostly light hearted story! I would definitely recommend it if you like that, Aideen’s voice is honestly so strong. Thanks so much for reading and commenting 🙂

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  8. I am not a huge fan of this gentre, I might read like once a year, but I loved the emphasis you gave on the different and well built characters. When I am in the mood for such a book I will definitely look it up. Thank you for sharing 😊

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    1. The characters were definitely something that made this book stand out! I really hope you enjoy if you do end up reading it, although I understand contemporaries aren’t for everyone. Thank you for reading and commenting 😊

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  9. What a great review! I must confess that I find myself in this character’s shoes haha. It souds like an entertaining read yet with a meaningful underlayer. I will be getting this tonight actually and start reading it, I really need a good laugh! Thank you for the review!

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    1. The names were definitely very unique – I think most of them are Irish (the book is set in Ireland) although Kavi’s is Indian. It definitely is, I’d highly recommend it! Thank you so much for reading and commenting ❤️

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  10. This sounds like such a lovely read, and the author’s flair shows immediately in the title! Friendship-oriented contemporaries always read beautifully for me, and this one sounds like it even imparts a little realism through the words.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It definitely is – I love the title, I think that’s what made me pick the book up! I really agree, friendship books are honestly so great to read, and there were definitely some realism aspects! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

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  11. This isn’t a book I’m likely to read but I do like that you mentioned the characters are really good. This is what often draws me in and keeps me reading. If I can relate or have empathy for them it makes a huge difference with reading engagement overall. Thanks for this review — it does sound like a good story!

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    1. Thank you – I think good characters can really make a world of difference when reading a book, particularly when they’re relatable and likeable! Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment.

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    1. Thank you! I’m so glad to hear that, I would really recommend it if you like relatable characters as the ones in here were fab! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, hope you enjoy.

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