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Really Good, Actually by Monica Heisey
Literary fiction

Really Good, Actually


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Monica Heisey, on your first book!

by Monica Heisey
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Quick take

Sometimes after a breakup, you just need to lie facedown and let the mascara and tears flow freely. This book GETS IT.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LOL


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Snarky


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues


Maggie is fine. She’s doing really good, actually. Sure, she’s broke, her graduate thesis on something obscure is going nowhere, and her marriage only lasted 608 days, but at the ripe old age of twenty-nine, Maggie is determined to embrace her new life as a Surprisingly Young Divorcée™.

Now she has time to take up nine hobbies, eat hamburgers at 4 am, and “get back out there” sex-wise. With the support of her tough-loving academic advisor, Merris; her newly divorced friend, Amy; and her group chat (naturally), Maggie barrels through her first year of single life, intermittently dating, occasionally waking up on the floor and asking herself tough questions along the way.

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Content warning

This book contains mentions of eating disorders.

Why I love it

Have you ever had a book hold a mirror up to you so perfectly that it’s almost uncomfortable? But not quite, because someone finally put these undefinable feelings into words? In Monica Heisey’s spectacular debut novel, Really Good, Actually, I experienced just that.

Really Good, Actually tells the story of Maggie: a young woman who, you could say, is going through it. Fresh off the heels of a divorce in her late twenties, Maggie feels as though she’s prematurely failed at life. She spends a year commiserating with her group chat, ordering mountains of takeout, and often trying—and failing—to date. After bottoming out and receiving some life lessons from friends, Maggie slowly but surely pulls herself together and emerges with a renewed sense of self.

Maggie’s distinctive voice and dark humor perfectly encapsulate the paradoxical headspace we all so often embody during our lowest moments. Her journey teaches us that while there are moments we need to be more gentle with ourselves and moments when we need tough love, we’re going to make it out the other side.

Really Good, Actually strikes a perfect balance between humor and emotion. When a book makes me laugh and cry this much in equal measure, it’s clear I’m holding something special. Whether it finds you in your own downward spiral or you just want a moment to laugh and feel seen, I implore you to pick this book up.

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