This post is part of a blog tour organised by Random Things Blog Tours. I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.
‘No Worries If Not is a relatable coming-of-age story that explores Soph Galustian’s experiences of poverty, queerness, mental health, grief and community.
‘She recounts her life from childhood, to teens, into adulthood through a mixture of short stories, spoken word, illustrations, and space for the reader to reflect.
‘This book is for anyone who was raised struggling, anyone who wrestled with coming out, who accidentally killed their childhood pet, who has lost the person closest to them…
‘Filled with flashbacks to the 2000s/2010s, No Worries If Not is equally for the straights and the gays, the rich and disadvantaged. In this book Soph offers up her experiences and a space to reminisce and laugh at life’s misfortunes.’
In No Worries If Not, comedy writer, spoken-word poet and actor Soph Galustian recounts her life so far: growing up in a council house in Cheadle; realising she was gay and having to hide it at school in the ’00s; going to university and cracking the entertainment industry as a working-class woman; and suddenly losing her beloved teenage nephew, Luke.
I found No Worries If Not a lively and humorous read. Through her writing, Soph comes across as bubbly and entertaining to be around, but also warm and kind, warning you when she’s about to tell you something heavy, and (quite literally) holding space for you to process any feelings her stories might have brought up.
It feels like Soph is having an informal conversation with the reader personally, regularly referring to and asking questions of “you”, and confessing some of her most embarrassing moments and behaviour growing up.
It was so refreshing to read such a candid memoir, and Soph skilfully injects humour into almost every situation. Of course, the one event in her life that defies comedy is Luke’s tragic, totally unfair death at the age of 14.
As Soph rightly points out, while I can sympathise, I can’t truly comprehend how she and her and her family feel, as I’ve never personally experienced anything in the same ballpark. I commend her for writing about such a raw, painful thing in the detail that she does.
In fact, No Worries If Not is full of truth-bombs that I whole-heartedly agree with: that council estates aren’t the hellholes they’re made out to be (I’m lower-middle class myself, but I mixed with a lot of kids from the council terraces right next to my primary school); that teaching children that there are options other than (compulsory) heterosexuality can save a great deal of pain and homophobia, both internalised and from other pupils; that attention-seeking should be renamed attention-needing; that first love is both wonderful and terrible; that some therapists/approaches (cough mindfulness cough) can make things worse; and anti-depressants save lives.
Soph is eight years younger than me, virtually my opposite in personality, and has very different tastes and interests to me, so alongside the universal truths above, No Worries If Not was an interesting insight into someone else’s world. I didn’t agree with her on everything but – as the title suggests – that’s totally fine!
No Worries If Not is funny, candid, and devastating.