How To Be Second Best By Jessica Dettman Giveaway: Review and Summary

New Release Book Review: How to Be Second Best by Jessica Dettman

How to Be Second Best by Jessica Dettman: A Candid Look at Imperfect Parenting

How to Be Second Best, the latest book by Australian author Jessica Dettman, is a witty and hilarious novel that takes a candid look at the world of parenting. This page-turning novel follows the story of a single mother, Katherine, who is trying her best to parent her two children in the aftermath of her divorce. Katherine is a relatable character who is struggling to come to terms with her new life and the expectations and judgments of others.

Dettman is an Australian novelist who is known for her humorous take on contemporary issues. She first gained recognition for her debut novel, The Banksia Bay Beach Shack, which was published in 2018. How to Be Second Best is her second novel and it has garnered positive reviews from readers and critics alike.

Main Themes and Ideas

The novel explores several themes related to parenting, self-discovery, relationships, and family. One of the primary themes in the book is the idea of being a “perfect” parent and the pressure that parents feel to conform to societal standards of what a “good” parent should be. This theme is highlighted through the struggles that Katherine faces as she tries to balance her own desires with the needs of her children.

Another key theme that runs throughout the book is the idea of second chances. Katherine is constantly second-guessing herself and worrying about her choices, but she eventually learns to embrace her imperfections and appreciate the opportunities that come with being a flawed human being.

Critical Evaluation of Writing Style

Dettman’s writing style is engaging and humorous, with a unique voice that draws the reader in from the very first page. The book is told from Katherine’s perspective, and Dettman does an excellent job of capturing her inner thoughts and feelings as she navigates the challenges of single parenthood.

The book is also filled with witty one-liners and clever observations that will likely resonate with many readers. Dettman has a knack for taking serious issues and presenting them in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Strengths and Weaknesses

One of the major strengths of How to Be Second Best is the relatability of the characters. Katherine and her children are flawed, but they are also likable and endearing, making it easy for readers to root for their success.

Another strength of the book is the way in which it tackles important issues related to parenting and relationships in a way that is both entertaining and insightful.

However, one weakness of the book is that it occasionally lacks a clear plotline. While the novel is entertaining to read, some readers may find themselves searching for a more cohesive plot that ties the various storylines together.

Comparison to Other Works in its Genre

How to Be Second Best compares favorably to other works in its genre. It shares many of the same themes and issues as other contemporary novels that explore the complexities of modern parenthood, but Dettman’s unique voice and sense of humor set it apart from the pack.

Readers who enjoyed novels such as Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty or Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple are likely to enjoy How to Be Second Best as well.

Overall Impression and Recommendation

Overall, I highly recommend How to Be Second Best to anyone who is looking for a fun and insightful read that explores the joys and challenges of parenting. Dettman’s writing is witty and engaging, and her characters are relatable and likable. While the plot may be somewhat disjointed at times, the book is still an enjoyable and worthwhile read.


What is the target audience for How to Be Second Best?

How to Be Second Best is aimed at readers who enjoy contemporary fiction, especially those interested in exploring the complexities of parenting and relationships. However, anyone who appreciates a good dose of humor and wit is likely to enjoy this novel as well.

Is How to Be Second Best a suitable book for a book club?

Yes, How to Be Second Best is an excellent choice for a book club. The novel raises a number of thought-provoking questions related to parenting, relationships, and self-discovery, making it an excellent choice for group discussion.

Does How to Be Second Best have a sequel?

At this time, there are no plans for a sequel to How to Be Second Best. However, Jessica Dettman has stated that she is currently working on her next novel, which is likely to be just as entertaining and insightful as her previous works.

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