Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe – Book Review

Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe – Book Review

Reason's to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe

Reasons to be Cheerful
Lizzie Vogel Book Three

Author – Nina Stibbe
Publisher – Viking
Pages – 288
Released – 28th March 2019
ISBN-13 – 978-0241240526
Format – ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio
Review by – Stacey
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.
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Teenager Lizzie Vogel has a new job as a dental assistant. This is not as glamorous as it sounds. At least it means mostly getting away from her alcoholic, nymphomaniacal, novel-writing mother. But, if Lizzie thinks being independent means sex with her boyfriend (he prefers bird-watching), strict boundaries (her boss keeps using her loo) or self-respect (surely only actual athletes get fungal foot infections?) she’s still got a lot more growing up to do.

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1980s Leicester and Eighteen-year-old Lizzie Vogel has been offered a job as a dental nurse. The job comes with her own little flat above the dental practice and she will be working alongside Dentist JP Wintergreen and his now part-time girlfriend and dental nurse Tammy.

Lizzie is anxious but happy to be moving away from her alcoholic, writer mother, though she has taken to using Lizzie’s flat to write. Lizzie also has her first boyfriend who doesn’t seem interested in moving the relationship along and a boss who has to get others to hold his cigarettes for him (so he doesn’t get the smell on his fingers) and he needs to use Lizzie’s toilet as he doesn’t want his patients knowing his business.

Lizzie soon learns that adulting isn’t everything it is crack-up to be!

Reasons to be Cheerful is the third book in the Lizzie Vogel series, though it is the first book in the series I have read. I’m not sure whether this is why I felt a little disconnected from the main character or not. I found it difficult to get any feelings towards her.

The book is mainly set within the dental practice and if you have no interest in anything dental related I’m not sure how you would take this book. For me, when I first left school I did train for a short while to become a dental nurse but decided it wasn’t a life for me. I also spend quite a lot of time in Leicester due to my family live there and I grew up in the 80s so it kind of felt nostalgic.

There are a lot of funny moments and scenes that had me giggling. Lizzie is quite a naive young girl just starting out on her adult life and so she is learning to become an adult. The pace was good throughout and the plot took a few chapters to come into its own, but once it did I read it in just a couple of sittings.

Overall, if you were around in the 80s I think this book is going to give you a trip down memory lane and a good giggle too.

Book Reviewer – Stacey


Purchase online from:

Amazon.co.ukAmazon.comAmazon.inApple BooksBlackwells


About the Author

Nina left Leicestershire for London as a teenager and after two years as a nanny she studied Humanities at Thames Polytechnic.

After graduating in 1987, she worked for a while in a Camden frock shop.

In 1990 she began a career in book publishing, working in various departments before becoming a commissioning editor at Routledge.

In 2002 she moved to Cornwall with her partner and children where she now writes, swims and makes bread.

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What did you think of Reasons to be Cheerful? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!


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4 Responses

  1. Susanne says:

    This sounds like a hit or miss novel, so I am glad you left your review factual and honest. 🙂

  2. This sounds like it definitely would be a laughable read 🙂 Great review!

  3. vidya says:

    loved the title and the cover is so cheerful as well;

  4. I think I would like this book.