Book review : Factor 25

Factor 25
written by Eva Daeleman, published by Manteau
genre autobiography, 239 pages

I picked this book up because…
My friend Katrien, with whom I travelled through Australia after meeting her in New Zealand, told me: “I’ve read an amazing book and you just have to read it!” And so I did.
I read this Dutch – Flemish actually – book and have to admit; after reading Eva’s travel stories, I can’t wait to book my next journey. Adventure is calling, again!

The story in short
Eva Daeleman, a 24 year old Belgian radio and tv presenter, decides she needs a break from the rat race her ‘perfect life’ has become. She wants to travel, alone. And so her adventure takes-off. An adventure that will last 7 weeks in Vietnam and Thailand and many, many more weeks back at home.

Only minutes after arriving in Vietnam, Eva finds out that traveling alone is something completely different to being on a holiday. Quickly Eva ends up in her own personal roller coaster, consisting of a spinning head, a bleeding heart and a country that’s so different from home. During her journey, many tears will be shed and courage and insights will be gained.
At the same time Eva discovers that traveling alone brings many joys and pleasures. Next to getting to know herself better than ever, she meets interesting people and makes new friends for life.

A journey that starts chaotically; with Eva’s thoughts and feelings almost exploding within her. A journey that ends peacefully; as the weeks pass by, Eva starts to finally find confidence, peace and pleasure with who she really is.

I finished this book because…
When I started reading this book, it was a bit hard for me to get used to the short sentences and ever changing subjects that fill the pages. But after getting used to her writing, reading her story gave me the feeling that I was there, in Eva’s head, during her journey through Asia.

What I loved about the book is Eva’s openness and honesty. Especially considering the fact that she is a famous person and has to deal with people’s opinions and criticism every single day. I think the fact that a celebrity who’s life seems to be perfect, is willing to open up and show the world her deepest insecurities, is probably the most valuable aspect of this book.

What I did miss was a deeper layer to the story. To me it maybe was a bit too personal, like reading someone’s diary instead of a well thought out story. Nevertheless did I have a good time reading this book, especially because her struggling while traveling alone was very recognizable to me and I’m sure to everybody who’s ever traveled on his/her own.

“Ik heb het gevoel dat de grond onder mijn voeten is verdwenen. Dat ik als een vis op het droge lig te spartelen en snak naar water. Al is het maar een druppel. Eén druppel herkenbaarheid. Alles is hier anders, zelfs ik.” – Eva Daeleman

“I feel like the earth is disappearing from under my feet. Like a fish on the land, longing for water. Just one drop. One drop of recognition. Everything is different here, including me.” – Eva Daeleman

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