Review: We are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby

We are Never Meeting in Real Life
Author: Samantha Irby
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Vintage Books
Genre: Memoir, Essays, Humor
Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., “bitches gotta eat” blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette–she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”–detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms–hang in there for the Costco loot–she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.


I learned of We are Never Meeting in Real Life on Goodreads. I was sorting through the giveaway section and saw it. The witty title and adorable cover drew my attention immediately. When I read the blurb, I knew I had to enter to win it. And I did, so I’m lucky!

We are Never Meeting in Real Life is a group of essays about blogger/author Samantha Irby’s life. She has a straight forward way of telling things like she sees them and is great at describing the outrageous experiences of her past. Her tone is sometimes upbeat, sometimes not, but it’s always humorous. Irby has a way of saying things that others will either detest (language and issue sensitive) or wish they had thought of (down with the swearing and oversharing).

I fell in the latter category. I truly enjoyed reading We are Never Meeting in Real Life. I wasn’t aware of Samantha Irby prior to reading her essays, but I loved her style. She wasn’t apologetic about her thoughts and experiences, and I liked that. My favorites in this collection were My Bachelorette Application, You Don’t Have to Be Grateful for Sex, Fuck It, Bitch. Stay Fat, and A Christmas Carol.

I probably would have given this set of essays 5 stars if I hadn’t been slightly concerned about the way the author presented some of her stories. She has been dealt with some very crappy situations in life, and while this book seemed upbeat about it all, there was a hint of sadness behind some of it. Like if she made fun of her own life enough, it wouldn’t be so depressing. That made me sad. She seems like a cool, introverted chick. I wanted sunshine and rainbows for her. Hopefully, the rest of her life will be.

Review: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

29868610Scrappy Little Nobody
Author: Anna Kendrick
Publication Date: November 15, 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Genre: Memoir, Humor

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).


A couple of months ago, my best friend and I found out that Anna Kendrick was doing a tour to promote her memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody. Being the huge Pitch Perfect / Anna Kendrick fans that we are, we quickly decided we needed to experience An Evening with Anna Kendrick.

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On Monday, November 28th, we made the forty-five minute jaunt into the U-District of Seattle to the University Temple United Methodist Church to bask in all that was Anna Kendrick. As you can tell by this beautifully out of focus picture, my friend and I got there later than most fans and ended up sitting at the back of the balcony for the hour-long question and answer interview. (Thank you Seattle construction for taking up valuable street parking spots!)

Now what does this have to do with my book review? Well, I hadn’t read the book before attending. One of the pluses of going to the show was a signed copy of the book when you presented your ticket. I kind of wish I had read the book, though; her interview would have added an extra “A-ha!” to some of the stories in the book. It still did, but I imagine it would have been even better with prior knowledge.

Scrappy Little Nobody was a fun-filled romp through Anna Kendrick’s journey to fame. It has so many interesting stories that are told in only the way Anna Kendrick could tell them. Reading her book was just like listening to her talk. You know how endearing Anna Kendrick is in all those interviews you watch or read? Well, she’s just as endearing in Scrappy Little Nobody. You will want her to be your best friend after reading this book — if you didn’t already before. I loved the little insights she gave to her life, acting and the industry she has excelled in. Scrappy Little Nobody was a delight to read.

If you’re a fan of Anna Kendrick, you need to read this book. You will adore it! It’s Anna Kendrick’s life experiences told as only Anna Kendrick could tell them.

Review: I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly

29430846I Hate Everyone, Except You
Author: Clinton Kelly
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Memoir, Humor
Note: I received an ARC from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Synopsis:

Bestselling author and beloved television personality Clinton Kelly pens a hilariously intimate collection of essays about his often-embarrassing journey from awkward kid to slightly less awkward adult.

Clinton Kelly isn’t just an enduring television host. In I Hate Everyone, Except You, Clinton Kelly is a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s most foul-mouthed high-school graduation speaker.

Whether he’s fantasizing about strangers in airports, throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career, or rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with enviable aplomb. He shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, from finding true love in a crowded gay bar to auditioning for sliced turkey commercials. Clinton delves into all these topics—and many more—in this thoroughly hilarious, unabashedly frank collection that will upend expectations and leave you snorting Chardonnay out your nose.


When I saw I Hate Everyone, Except You was available for request on NetGalley, I knew I had to read it. I was/am a huge fan of What Not to Wear. I religiously watched every re-run and new episode when I was on maternity leave. I secretly wanted to be on that show and have Clinton Kelly and Stacy London transform my wardrobe. I was so sad when it ended. So I was excited to read I Hate Everyone, Except You and learn more about its co-host, Clinton Kelly.

From the minute I started reading I Hate Everyone, Except You I was hooked. Clinton Kelly’s narrative is exactly what I expected it to be. He was witty, funny and didn’t hold back. He shared some life experiences I don’t think I would have shared. Mr. Kelly was so candid that I felt like I was right there with him through it all. It was a lovely, if not somewhat embarrassing journey. I especially enjoyed the parts about his family, childhood friends and meeting his husband.

The only thing that I felt I Hate Everyone, Except You was missing was a common thread to unite all of the chapters. It might have been as simple as putting them in chronological order instead of randomly dispersed throughout the book. That would have helped his stories feel a little less disjointed.

Overall, I Hate Everyone, Except You was a really fun read. I got to see a side to Clinton Kelly I had never seen before on T.V. and learn more about his history. I also got to laugh a lot. If you like a funny celebrity memoir, this one is for you.

Why Not Me?

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling

Publication Date: September 15, 2015

Publisher: Crown Archetype

Synopsis:

Welcome to Mindy Kaling’s mind. In this memoir, you will read about her experiences before and after fame. You will learn her thoughts on beauty, weight, dating and friends.


My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Okay, so if I’m being completely honest Why Not Me? should probably be more of a 3 star review. I gave it 4 stars because I love Mindy Kaling. I want her to be my friend (Maybe I should have gone with 5 stars…). She’s super funny and would fit right in with the rest of my friends. We would have so much fun together!

So, while Why Not Me? was not particularly Earth shattering, it did have great entertainment value. Like her first book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), It’s ramblings from Mindy’s mind. It was funny. I can honestly say there were several parts where I laughed out loud. (Criminals, Will, emails–if you’re reading it and want to know.) I liked getting to know more about Mindy and get a glimpse into what life’s been like for her.

If you’re a Mindy Kaling or Mindy Lahiri fan, you will enjoy this book. If you’re not a fan and she annoys the crap out of you, don’t read this book. You’ll just be torturing yourself.