Thirty Days to Thirty is a fun and emotionally-charged novel about a woman who’s just approaching thirty who loses everything: In the space of a few hours she gets fired from her job and then finds her boyfriend of six years has been cheating on her. Just when she thought her whole life was coming together and she was on the right track, everything falls apart, and instead finds herself living again with her parents. And so she gets innovative: she finds an old list of things she hoped to accomplish before she turned thirty, and with a few friends she sets out to scratch them off the list one by one.
Jill Stevens is an endearing character, even among all the turmoil. She never gets overly maudlin or morose, and takes her circumstances with good humor. Most of all, she’s never weak, and you’ll be cheering for her to rebound. There are a few elements that are left unexplored. For example, she expects to make partner at her firm and finds out instead that she’s getting fired. This is a pretty big disconnect and says a lot about how she views herself. But overall, she’s an immensely likable narrator and it’s great fun reading all the ways she ticks items off the list.
Readers will find this to be a fun fantasy: what if you could start your life over with a blank slate? Everyone has an old conception of what they’d like to be “when they grow up,” and Jill Stevens gets the chance at a true reset. Woven into the novel are positive messages about self-improvement that most anyone can take to heart.