Book Review: 'How My Life Became Chaos' by Victoria J. Brown

by - April 10, 2014


Kat is pregnant after only being with Max for 6 months. Running her own beauty salon, dealing with her depressed alcoholic father, fighting battles with Max’s mother and facing ex-girlfriends, Kat isn’t sure if having a baby is the right thing to do. Her life feels like one big mess, whatever decision she makes will change her life for ever.

50% of the profits go to the Hope for Holly Charity.


I was looking forward to reading How My Life Became Chaos as it seemed as though it was going to be a really fun rom-com. I am excited to report that it was so much more!

Victoria J. Brown brings us a beautifully real story that exposes the truth about the way people respond to difficult situations. The characters Victoria creates are incredibly believable, and I found it difficult not to relate to them. I really liked Kat – a strong person who always tries to do the best by those around her, and put others first, and always tries to see the positive in every situation.

It is when Kat’s positive world is jolted that we start to see how circumstances, our attitudes/moods, and the people we are around can affect the way we respond to any given situation. I love the way Victoria portrays the family dynamic – we see how everyone in Kat’s life has their own strong opinion on what is happening to her, and it forces you to open your eyes to how this can affect someone. It is never easy when everyone around has their own opinion about YOUR life, and Kat finds herself in this ever so familiar situation.

How My Life Became Chaos looks at the human need we develop in a difficult situation – the shoulder to cry on, the friend to listen and not to judge. Sometimes all you need at a bad time is to have this person to lean on, you don’t need their opinions, and judgement. And as Victoria demonstrates brilliantly in her novel, like real life, that love and support often comes from an unexpected place. Often those you think you can rely on can let you down, but there is often one who surprises you and steps up.

I absolutely loved Victoria’s debut novel – and as I say that I still cannot quite believe that this is her debut! How My Life Became Chaos really drew me in and gripped me to the pages. This isn’t one of those page-turners because of the endless roller coaster of crazy adventures, but it’s the emotional rollercoaster Victoria takes you on. You become connected to her characters because of how openly and honestly she writes about them. I found that because it wasn’t the cliché happily ever after storyline you really felt the emotion of her characters, because it didn’t seem like a fairy tale.

I would definitely recommend not only this book, but also any future books by Victoria J. Brown. A strong writer with a commanding style of writing that sucks you in and makes you feel part of it. I am so excited that this is the first book in a series as this means one thing… there’ll be more!!

About the Author:

Victoria J.Brown is a chick-lit author. While studying for her MA in Creative Writing she won a short story competition judged by Adele Parks. Although, Victoria holds a MA, she sees herself as a storyteller not a literary writer.

She is passionate about people following their dreams. She has written Annual Inspirational Books which provide daily motivational messages. Also being a qualified wedding planner and Managing Director of Calm Weddings, she has written 3 weddings books.

Author Links:

twitter: @victoriajbrown

While How My Life Became Chaos is touring, if you buy a copy of the book and send proof of purchase to the author, they will be sent an ecopy of Daily Inspirational Messages 2014.

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The laughter was the strongest memory of that afternoon. We giggled as we ran through the perfectly trimmed hedges of the maze while Mum and Dad followed our screams of excitement. This type of frolicking would usually have had me, a twelve-year-old, sitting on a bench, far too cool to join in such childishness. There was something about knowing I wouldnt bump into my school friends, and my parents enjoyment, that made the whole day different. I was relishing the fact that I was still a child. Libby was only six years old at the time, and pleasurably held my hand as we meandered round the densely grown hedges.
Mum had packed a bundle of sandwiches. We devoured our way through the mixture of ham, cheese and jam, picking at the plain-flavoured crisps, the pink, decorated cakes and the chocolate biscuits. The large red blanket allowed space for us all as we soaked up the glorious weather, appreciating the small breeze that cooled our clammy bodies.
Lampford Hall stood proudly at the top of the park but the Hall itself was not open to visitors. Lord and Lady Lampford had opened their delightful grounds to the public but wanted to keep their home private. A dwarf stone wall with wrought-iron railings separated the Hall from the gardens and three members of staff circled the magnificent place. The sandstone building gleamed elegantly in the sun as people stood outside the guarded area, taking photos which would allow them to savour the moment for ever.
We had listened to Mum tell a story about the fairies who lived in the magical Hall (for Libbys benefit, not mine, although I loved listening to her tales). Libby had been mesmerised as Mum told her they all have their own responsibilities. Libby, whod lost her first tooth the month before, concluded that the tooth fairy must have the most important job. Mum explained we couldnt go inside the magical Hall because if we saw the fairies the magic would disappear; just like we couldnt see Santa. I remember thinking that when I had children Id want Mum to tell these amazing stories. Shed had them stored, adapting them for different scenarios. When I listened that day I wished I was younger, still believing in the magical spirit of childhood. It was a deep-rooted feeling. One that had nested with me since my discovery that Santa didnt exist (all because of Hannah Johnson, who hit me and told me I was stupid for believing such a ridiculous story). When Mum explained the truth, it wasnt only Santa that disappeared; the enchantment of childhood and that special ability to believe in anything also vanished.
Choosing to immerse myself in the childhood atmosphere of Lampford Park, I joined Libby on the swings, slides and roundabout. We fed bread to the ducks, carrots to the deer and lettuce to the rabbits. We devoured soft chocolate ice-cream which trickled with
chocolate sauce, chocolate sprinkles and a chocolate flake - absolute luxury. We ran through the water fountains, tasting the splashes that bounced against our skin. Our clothes were soaked right through. Mum and Dad watched us from the edge, their arms linked together, enjoying our squeals of exhilaration. Over-excitement unleashed our deviant side as we dragged Dad by the arms, pulling him into the water jets. Libby and I laughed hysterically as he chased us through the shower of cold, refreshing water.
On the journey home we all (except Mum) had to take off our clothes. Libby and I were down to our pants. Poor Dad had to strip off too: his shirt and trousers were soaking wet. Mum wrapped me and Libby tightly in blankets as fatigue engulfed us. I remember closing my eyes as they joked about hoping they didnt have an accident or get pulled by the police.
What would they think? Mum laughed.
It was decided that fish and chips would end the day nicely. Mum dropped us off at home with strict instructions to get our pyjamas on, ready for a cosy and warm night. It was mine and Libbys job to rummage through our collection of videos and pick a suitable film for us all. It was always one of the Disney collection which Libby decided upon.
Usually Dad would have done the fish-and-chip run, but because wed well and truly drenched him, Mum insisted she go. I still wonder to this day: if we hadnt soaked him, would she still be here?
I wanted to ask the policeman that, as he sat with Dad in the lounge, relaying the news that Mum had been involved in a car accident.
She didnt make the fish and chip shop.
She died.
Instantly, they said.
I think Im pregnant.
I know.
You think? Suzy smiled. So you might not be.
Youre right, I might not be, but Im four days late.
Thats nothing. Sometimes Im a week late. Optimism shone from her eyes, her gentleness always present as she relaxed back in her chair.
Im never late and I feel so ill.
You wouldnt be ill after four days, would you?
Some of my customers say they knew as soon as it happened.
I nodded, raising my eyes at the absurdity that a woman would know when one of her eggs had been impregnated. With flashes of how and when it could have happened piercing through my mind, I asked, Can you remember that ball I went to with Max?
God, how could I forget? Suzy groaned and we both laughed at the memory of me dragging her around Newcastle, York and Leeds, looking for the perfect dress. I was so nervous about meeting Maxs work colleagues for the first time. I wanted them to be impressed, or I didnt want Max to be embarrassed; I wasnt sure which was the more important. I knew I had to look my best: a scruffy beauty therapist is never a good advert. Wed shopped for weeks on end, but it was worth it: Max commented, as did most of his colleagues, about how stunning I looked. It didnt stop the nerves, though.
Well, remember I told you I was that nervous, I drank too much and threw up in the toilets before the meal was served?
I still cant believe Max doesnt know about that. Suzy laughed. Then suddenly, her smile vanished. But that was, what? Seven, eight weeks ago? Did you miss last months
You remember a few weekends back we went to the Lakes?
Of course. Its when I met Michael, she giggled, like a teenager.
Anyway, I took two packs of pills back to back so I wouldnt have my period whilst we were away.
Good thinking.
Well, now Im due on and four days later its still not happening.
But, if youve taken two packs together this can delay it, cant it?
I think so, but I dont think Id be this late. I ran my hand through my dark mane, the shine and texture inherited from Mum, the colour from Dad. Plus, I feel so sick, my boobs hurt, and theyre bigger. I thought it was because Id taken two packs of pills, but I know its not.
You dont know for sure.
Im sure enough - and I dont know what the hell to do about it. Tears formed and I swallowed the lump in my throat.
Have you talked to Max?
Not yet. Theres no point saying anything if Im not. I sipped my coffee, trying to calm my nerves.
Right, come on. Lets go.
Where to?

To buy a test. Suzy was already out of her seat as I sat stubbornly in mine. Not only was my sofa the most comfortable place to be, Id had the day from hell.

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  1. Jess, you really understood the message behind Victoria's novel! I know she will be dancing around with joy :)

    Awesome review. Thank you for taking part in the tour.


  2. I am Shaz, absolutely buzzing :-) Can't thank you enough Jess, so pleased you totally got the message. So happy :-)))) Thank you sooooo much xx


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