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Surviving Me

4.59  ·  Rating details ·  174 ratings  ·  158 reviews
Deceit has a certain allure when your life doesn’t match up to the ideal of what it means to be a modern man. Tom’s lost his job and now he’s been labelled useless. It’s surprisingly easy to set up a double life but rather harder to keep the deceit going. As Tom’s identity threatens to unravel, he starts to lose the plot…

All the while, it turns out that one of Tom’s
Published November 14th 2019 by Unbound
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Average rating 4.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  174 ratings  ·  158 reviews

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Jan Owen
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Poignant, powerful and important; I loved this book. I was lucky to be given an advanced copy and could not put it down. I was utterly gripped as, from the outset, I was completely invested in what was happening to Tom, the flawed and errant protagonist.
In fact, all of the characters are so well drawn that I cared about them all and that, coupled with an easily accessible writing style, made this an absorbing read. Although the main theme is one of a man's life unravelling, there is also humour
Nadine Morley
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was a page turner from the very beginning, I could not put it down! I loved how the author built the characters and made me care about each and everyone of them. I felt like I had entered their world and could imagine the places and the people as if they were real. She has also raised the issue of mens mental health giving a platform to discuss this issue that affects so many. I am only sorry that I have now turned the last page and finished, roll on the next book! Thanks to Unbound ...more
Rachel Chambers
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, thanks to Unbound Publishers for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is absolutely my sort of book, funny and poignant with a fabulous ending.

The book begins with Siri learning that her husband Tom has gone missing. It then “rewinds” so that we discover what has led up to his disappearance. As a secondary thread Siri’s brother Adam also appears to be struggling with his own mental health problems.

There are too few fiction books around that deal with mental health issues
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pigeon-books
This is author Jo Johnson’s first book and what an excellent start it is to being a published author. The genius of the story lies in the authenticity of its characters and the old but often forgotten notion that everyone has a story even those who seem so balanced and together, not merely those at the end of their tether.
The story starts off through Tom’s own narrative and by association we learn more about his home life, his best friend Harry, his wife Siri and her family. We are given an in
Lucy Funnell
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a highly original book and I loved it. I managed to wrangle an ARC and did not want to put it down once I had started reading it. The story is mainly told from Toms point of view - and it is fascinating to hear what is going on inside how head, how he deals with the various challenges life throws at him and the (frankly bonkers) choices that he makes. I found myself shouting at him in my head as I read the book: why would you do that, no - don't do that, what would you say that for, just ...more
Hazel Nicholls
Nov 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
My copy arrived yesterday lunchtime and I finished it this evening - after deciding that I really should sleep between reading sessions!! I found it a very easy read, the characters were all very believable and I could relate to many of the things that they were involved in. It was very well written and easy to pick up the different characters, and see how they fitted with each other - or not - as was the case much of the time. Our lives don't always run smoothly, as was obvious here, but Jo ...more
Sophie Wood
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely incredible read with a grippingly important plot - there aren’t enough books like this out there.

Be prepared for lots of tears and smiles - the beautiful way it is written allows you to not only feel part of the story, but also have empathy and understanding for each of the characters and the struggles they are going through.

It’s a truly heartwarming story with an incredibly important reminder that although everything may seem okay on the outside of someone’s world, it may not
Charlotte Dickens
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison Sheridan
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I finished reading 'Surviving Me' in just three sittings since I became so involved in the lives of the protagonist, his wife and her brother that I was avoiding house-work and other more mundane chores. Jo Johnson is a trained psychologist which explains her remarkable insight into the way that a middle-aged man like Tom would react to the difficult life-events he is faced with. I don't want to give too much away about the plot since other potential readers should find out for themselves by ...more
Laura Hammond
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to Unbound Publishers for the advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review.
One the one hand, I completely found myself gripped with the story and wanting to find out what was about to happen. I think it sensitively addresses many topics and themes prevalent to men’s mental health which I truly believe are important messages.
The only bit that I wasn’t overly keen on was that it seemed a bit too coincidental and far-fetched I.e meeting characters that would then be in some way
Alex Merricks
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book as a must read.

I am a reader that can finish a book by the first chapter if it’s not captured my attention. Surviving Me gripped me from start to finish. I laughed, I cried and didn’t want it to end.

Incredibly written to suit every reader as I think we will all be able to relate to this book one way or another.

Hopefully a best seller in the making!

Rebecca Merricks
Emma Hale
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am not usually one for biographical fiction but the characterisation and authenticity of the main character had me drawn in from the first few pages, and as the book unfolds the level of depth embedded in the other characters does not disappoint. Written by a Clinical Psychologist the author is able to draw the reader into the thoughts and mindset of the characters in a refreshingly different way to any other book I have read. Anyone who has experienced emotional distress is likely to find a ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A heartwarming tale that takes you on an emotional roller coaster. Really interesting and enjoyable read, couldn't put it down! (read ARC copy)
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’d like to thank Unbound Publishers for the advance review copy I received in exchange for an honest review, and Jo Johnson for her commitment to writing her first novel!

As co-director of a company that focuses on the psychological wellbeing of men and boys I was very interested in the premise of the novel and how it would be executed. The first half of the story is written from Tom’s (the main protagonist) perspective and documents his experiences as his life deteriorates around him. Jo
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you Peigeonhole and Jo Johnson for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really wasn't sure if this one was going to be a book that I would enjoy, but I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed it. the book deals with such sensitive issues, motherhood, depression, unemployment, illness, suicide, death and lies. the central premise in this book for me was the ability of individuals to go through periods of time in their own bubble whether they outright lie about
Fay Flude
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful, heart wrenching but incredibly insightful book, looking at really tough real-life issues of emotional trauma in childhood, unemployment, infertility, male mental health and genetically inherited medical conditions.
Tom is mostly the narrator and has such a quirky, funny and sad way of looking at life. He is likeable, endearing and it breaks the reader's heart to 'watch' him break down and decide to end his life. Siri, his wife, a radio presenter, is less likeable but as the
Miss A.K.Edeleanu
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was fortunate to be given an advance copy in return for an honest review. I am also a clinical psychologist with some experience of working with men with mental and physical health issues.

This book appealed to me because of its subject matter: men’s relationship with their own mental and physical health. Huntingdon’s is a little talked about disease for which there is so far no cure and which brings with it massive impact on the wider family both through the direct way it affects the family
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a very pertinent and frank discussion of the difficult, tabooed and often confronting subjects of male suicides, teenage pregnancies, pro-life and pro-choice opposing stances, inherited degenerative disease and its impact on those who share the genetic makeup whether as carriers or as the person presenting the symptoms and along with it, the decisions on how to manage as the illness progresses. Suicide is more common than one realises and it is often the people left behind that feel ...more
Boo Newns
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it

This book is highly readable. It took me a little while to get into it (which in hindsight I attribute to the change in pace/style from whatever I read previously, so that reflects on my reading rather than the book itself). As the story unfolded I truly cared about the characters and their difficulties, I really felt their frustrations, fear and confusion. From about 1/4 of the way through it was evident that this was a real page-turner, with some interesting twists.

It is pretty clear that the
Cortina Ballerina
Oct 16, 2019 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book overall, I liked the main characters, felt invested in what happened to them and interested to see the way the story progressed. However, I felt one of the secondary stories running alongside (the main characters brother in law) wasn’t given enough attention until too late in the book and for me this made it feel somewhat disjointed or inconsequential at times.

I was glad that the men’s mental health focus didn’t turn into too heavy a read despite some significant
Karen Oliver
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’m normally into fast paced psychological thrillers so this book is different to what I normally like to read. Saying that, I thoroughly enjoyed it. If I hadn’t already known, I wouldn’t have guessed this was the author’s first book.
The author is a clinical psychologist and her knowledge translates brilliantly into the story bringing her clinical knowledge and insight into the narrative.
I loved reading the story from Tom, the main character’s perspective. I have to admit, I found myself
Nov 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Parsons
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What Amazing book, I read it in 3 sittings. I was absorbed right from the start, I often find getting into a book difficult. The characters are so colourful and you are immediately transported into their worlds. It taps into the readers imagination but also has a huge amount of powerful learning and lessons wrapped up in a fictional story. It goes into the depths of ordinary lives and how things can change in an instant from trauma to joy and vice versa in a light hearted way. Looking at how the ...more
Loz Densham
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a really interesting book. I started out reading this unsure how I would get on as it is quite a different genre from the type of book I would normally choose to read. However, very quickly, I was hooked. Not only is it well written and an easy read , but it has many deeper themes interwoven throughout including male suicide, hereditary disease, infertility, and the ups and downs of a very average but loveable character called Tom. I love the way the author brings in all the other ...more
Lakshman Ganatra
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the publisher for an ARC in return for an honest review.

Jo has shown she is not only a fantastic psychologist, but a skilled author. This book is a nice bridge between fiction and reality. Jo was able to make the characters come to life and drew me into the book from page 1. The characters were built so cleverly to make you feel like they could be anyone in your own life and made you care about them. Tom, the main character, was the errant protaganist who's journey of mental health
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great read, and one that I felt constantly unfolding and engaging. I am a slow reader, but I couldn’t put this one down.
The way Jo constructs each character gives a real sense of the varying and evolving situations people find themselves in, and their differing worlds and perceptions. Each character has a relatable reality for many.
The way Tom, the central character, expresses his compounding struggles and tries to make sense of these and his actions, is both sensitive and challenging. The
Mrs Lorna
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
As a fellow psychologist I was offered an opportunity to read an advance copy of this book and whilst My mind initially told me that a first-time author could not possibly write a good book, I was able to defuse from these thoughts and accept a copy. I am so glad that I did.

From the moment I started reading I found it difficult to stop, staying up late into the night as the unfolding story about self-criticism, self-destruction, love and friendship opened up. The author deals with some painfully
cailzie dunn
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a warm, insightful book full of rounded, believable, complex characters. Through the narrator telling his own story, we also find out more about what some of the other people in his life are living through and the stories they carry with them. What marks this story out as unusual is the degree of insight into the main character's thought processes - we follow him step by step and understand how he comes to make what looks from the outside like an irrational and impulsive decision. The ...more
Lisa Shepherd
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well, what a book!

I’m not sure what I expected when I put my name forward to pre-read this book, due out in November, but it really went way beyond what I thought it was going to. Initially I thought it was slow to start but then the ‘scene’ set in the early chapters began to fit in. Tom is a great character and easy to see how he falls into the web of lies he spins for himself. Siri, it seems wears the trousers but again as the book progresses you see more of her vulnerabilities. Some people
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I’m very excited to announce my debut novel, Surviving Me is being published on November 14, 2019.

I’m told it’s a timely page turner, it’s a novel novel and I have a unique voice (my kids say a scratchy and irritating one but hey!)

I have no idea why I started writing fiction, it started as therapy, to clear my thoughts between patients. It was meant to be a private thing but a friend found out
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