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BOOK REVIEW: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight

Anastasia Masha

By Lilley Bridges

originally featured on

Browsing through Waterstones, convincing myself I would buy a thought-provoking, evocative and inspiring novel (you know… something along the lines of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility) my eyes quickly landed on arguabley the most captivating title I had ever read: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight. As a person who has an innate and unrelenting need to people please, I instantly was drawn to it… I mean, here stood a literary gateway, promising me entry into the world of ‘non f**k-giving’. Though a wise person once said, ‘you should never judge a book my its cover’, I believed, from the off, this one, by being so unapologetically self-explainatory and unsubtle, would be pretty bloody good and well, life changing! So I bought it. Turns out my intial wish of an inspiring novel was not far off achieved….

In true philisophical fashion, this book offers self-help but with an edge. Instead of debating the existence of life, human conscience, or anything else that makes you have a bloody existential crisis (I blame freud, who, even today, manages to evade every genre of disciplines), I was debating who and what I gave a f**k about. Likewise, such a self-reflexive method did wonders to help me declutter my internal ‘f**k drawer’ by channeling a ‘non-sorry’ method. Basically, do not be sorry for anything you do that enhances your own happniess. In short, Knight offers the reader a logical discourse and method to break down who and what we genuinely care about. For instance, when Knight stopped caring about going to baby showers or unfriended ‘annoying’ people on Facebook, she was faced with more time filled with things that did not annoy her; practically a win win!

By parodying The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, Knight makes the connection between the decluttered home and the decluttered mind. You have to rid your life of the things that cause stress and anxiety in order to replace them with, and focus on, things that ‘sparks joy’. ‘Embrace the power of no!’ is another motto that can’t help but stick. Simplistic terms for a relatively simplistic solution is Knight’s philosophy, but us perfectionists or ‘f**ck givers’, as Knight would say, have not yeat realized that caring too much about things that we don’t have to can be eradicated by simply a change of mind not a change of situtaiton!

On attending  University, my ‘f**k budegt’ has taken its fair share of exhaustion. Deadlines, endless amounts of small talk, that blooming recycling bin, changing bed sheets weekly (incase my flatmates uncover im actually a smell, lazy troll), girls that bitch, girls that whine, LIVING WITH GIRLS, girls that do better than me academically, girls that are prettier than me, more deadlines, weight gain, spots, going to the gym, girls that seem to look amaing in the gym when im a sweaty gross mess in a heap on a mat in the darkest corner of the room…. The list of f**ks go on….

Basically, what I realised is that I am utlimatley a f**k giver. I care… SO MUCH! It has taken a book informing me on how to not care as much to make me realise I care too much…. oh the irony. Ultimately, I am slowly coming to the realisation that I will never be perfect, there will always be someone better then me: better at sports, skinnier than me, prettier, but that’s okay because hey who gives a f**k?! No one likes me any less for it (well not that Im aware…).

Social media has made us all really care and I mean really care… who is wearing what… who is doing what…. Who is going out with who…. And the reality is… nothing really matters unless you focus on yourself first! Someone is taking you for granted? Delete. You don’t want to go out clubbing? Don’t. Fancy another slice of cake? EAT IT FOR GODS SAKE!

You are the most important person in your own life so do what makes you happy no matter how mundane or trivial. For instance, treating myself to a take-out coffee is one of the little perks in my life that I love to do…. Call me a middle aged woman but its true! Not to menton all the chocolate I divulge in….

Ultimately in true Sarah Knight fashion lets just stop giving a f**k…. (or or as many) and lets start focusing on the person that truly matters… OURSELVES!!

Lilley xox

Lilley Bridges

is studying English Literature and History at the University of Edinburgh, consequently sharing her impeccable style and giving it a go at writing.   

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