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Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir

3.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  659 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
Strong, sassy, always surprising—and titled after a Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” monologue by Tina Fey—Bitch Is the New Black is a deliciously addictive memoir-in-essays in which Helena Andrews goes from being the daughter of the town lesbian to a hot-shot political reporter… all while trying to answer the question, “can a strong, single, and successful black woman ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 24th 2011 by Harper Perennial (first published June 1st 2010)
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Nikita T. Mitchell
May 01, 2012 Nikita T. Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Women in their 20s and young black women in DC
You had to have been living under a rock over the last several months if you didn't catch the media’s obsession with letting the world know that black women are undesirable. If so, I submit Exhibits A, B, C, D, EZ – and I’ll stop there even though there’s much much more. Well, in the midst of this ridiculous craze, a young woman named Helena Andrews made the spotlight. A single, educated, successful and attractive woman, she was featured in a Washington Post article about her, then, upcoming me ...more
Jun 17, 2011 Kelly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, I'll be honest, there's absolutely no way to review this book without coming off as a racist cracker. Even still, let's give it a go...only with highlights.

1. In case you were wondering what effect, if any, Sex and The City had on women growing up in the 90's...I give you Ms. Andrews. A writer that complains how hard it is out there for a strong, black woman with a college degree who is just looking for love and a secure bank account. You know why she's not having any luck? Jesus himself
Deborah Palmer
Apr 02, 2011 Deborah Palmer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Bitch is the new black by Helena Andrews

Finally ended my suffering at Chapter 13. How appropriate.

First impressions: Ms. Andrews is crazy. Her stream of consciousness writing is akin to reading prose from a demented Valley Girl on a bad LSD trip.

The fact that she writes in some kind of secret code language for Black women in her age group or social strata was off-putting to say the least. I do like the fact that the chapters are presented as vignettes of her life story or rather life problems b
Apr 03, 2015 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, review
I’m a bitch. I’m white. I’m a WASP from Boston. Mostly I’m jealous when I keep reading memoirs such as Bitch is the New Black-- about the challenges of being a single professional [although many would think that’s a stretch for me as I’m not that successful]. Why haven’t I yet written a memoir about all the miserable men in my life? When I read a memoir such as Bitch is the New Black by Helena Andrews it motivates me to get writing. Oh and if you aren’t already jealous of Washington D.C.-based r ...more
Aug 08, 2011 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Frankly, I don't like reading books that I think I could have written. I don't mean that Helena Andrews is a bad writer, but...she's average.

And, look, I don't want to disparage her, because I don't know her, but the stories she tells in this memoir just make her seem...well...kind of bitchy. Which is, you know, part of the title of the book. Some of the stories at the beginning resonated quite strongly with me, but by the end of the book, I got tired of reading about how horrible fat people ar
Jun 21, 2010 Toni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
If you've been paying attention for the past few months, you would have heard about conversations, TV shows, books, and even town hall meetings dealing with the subject of single, successful, Black women and their difficulty in finding suitable partners (and somehow how it is their own fault). I have stayed out of these conversations for the most part because although I am single (waaaay too single) and Black (I actually prefer African-American), what I'm decidedly not is successful. Now as a mo ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Jen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
So stupid I was to read the rave reviews for this book and then impulsively buy it to be greeted with nothing but page after page of dialogue that resembled rambling rants from a drunken night. I admit, there are times where a philosophical ramble can come out of liquor stupor and I've even had my fair share of those moments with friends...but let's just say we don't write all that crap down and shill it as a book. In the words of Ernest Hemingway: "Write drunk...edit sober." And for this book, ...more
Apr 19, 2011 Candice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Laugh out loud funny, and a very enjoyable read. FINALLY somebody is giving voice to single black women in the age of Obama, social networking and study after study dissecting "The Unmarried Black Woman." We find ourselves both "Chasing Michelle" and dodging bad date after bad date hoping that this big eared doofus across the dinner table from us will one day be our Barack. Or not. I love that Andrews manages to portray every woman's innate desire for companionship and love -- but makes it very ...more
Jun 14, 2010 Izzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comsi-comsa
Marketed as a dating memoir, this is more the story of Andrew's precarious upbringing and occasional dating mishaps. She has led a really interesting life and her free spirited lesbian mother Frances (a rockstar in this book) is partly to blame. Andrews is funny and the book is light and entertaining. The chapters read like stand alone pieces which bothered me. Instead of a memoir, I was reading a collection of personal essays. There's a scene where Andrews recalls going out to eat with a barely ...more
Jul 17, 2010 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the life and times of a Black woman who grew up in an unconventional Black setting. Helena's voice sounds a lot like mine - a Black woman who grew up amongst Caucasians...and is no worse off. Sometimes uncomfortable, often hilarious, Andrews shares an honest look into the life of the Black woman less talked about.
A great read.
Jan 06, 2014 Latiffany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Upon completing this book, I sat it down, took a deep breath and applauded. I have to preface this review by stating that the last 2-3 books that I read weren't very good, so I am grateful for Helena (who in my head is my new bff) and this book.

It is funny, thought provoking, funny, honest, funny and just wonderful. This book felt like a conversation with your best friend. I saw slices of my own life through Andrews' life. I haven't dated much, so I also felt as if I were living vicariously thr
Aug 21, 2010 Danita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In a world of half-hearted and/or half-assed apologies, Helena Andrews gave me 241+ pages of straight, no chaser, unabashed honesty, and I adored every word of it. She's not every girl and ain't fidna be the every girl speaking for all young, black, single ladies, but she's definitely that girl--the one that all-kinds-of-loud says what you and your finely arched eyebrow have been thinking about career-ishness, pop culture, friendship, menfolk and love (or the lack thereof). If you appreciate hon ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Graili rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, memoir, non-fiction
Helena Andrews writes a truly witty, honest, and impressive account. Her essays insightful and entertaining, though they did come across as a little directionless at times. Still, the piece was entertaining and, I will say it again as it was a great strength of the book, very honest.
I listened to this book via Audible. I think I enjoy memoirs best when read aloud, and Helena Andrews' story was slightly above average for me. In a lot of ways, her experiences spoke to me and were very relateable. I could see many similarities in Helena's life and mine, as we are both upwardly mobile Black women living in DC. However, I found some of the chapters (namely the one where she eviscerates President Obama's former body man Reggie Love for an awkward blind date) a little too mean-spi ...more
I like the material in this book but I do not like the way it is written at all. It's a bit too brash, even for me, and a little all over the place. Not succinct...and it's really bad because I want to read this book badly, but it just isn't working for me. In the Andrews's defense, I don't like books written like conversations at all. Though I'm a fan of memoirs, I like to be told about events that happened in the writer's life, not receive tidbits and scenarios. It reads like, I'd ...more
Jun 19, 2015 Paige rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was adamant about reading this book because I had read some reviews that described it as horrible and poorly written. However, after seeing the proposed subject matter of the book ( the plight of single, and successful black women ) and reading the sample chapter on Amazon, I knew that I was interested in reading more. I just wasn't sure if it was worth 10 dollars more to read, but luckily I ended up being lent the book for free.

I feel this book is best categorized as a collection of short st
Aug 11, 2014 Ari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
"I never actually pulled the race card per se, but I'd never cut it into with a pair of scissors in front of unsuspecting diners either" 84

I don't understand why people disliked this book so much. I thought it was a rip-roaring good time and it was nice to read a book (even if it was non-fiction) about an upper 20-something Black woman. Granted I'm a bit biased since I'd begun reading Reliable Source in WashPo (the author's blog) this past summer while I interned in DC so I was more familiar wi
Chastity Parker
It only started to be mildly entertaining towards the end. The first... 14/15 chapters were rambling. It's a memoir, but soooooo disjointed and actually kind of.... pointless.
Sep 16, 2012 Shakeimab rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Wasn't one of my favorite books. I laughed out loud at some parts but I didn't get the point of this book being written she could have just had this on a blog.
Pete Marchetto
Feb 27, 2015 Pete Marchetto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had you suggested to me two weeks ago, civilised Englishman that I am, that I could possibly read a book littered with the word 'awesome' to describe anything less than a visitation from God and the entire heavenly host on a chariot of fire; or that I could read the word 'dude' without throwing the document containing it at the nearest cat, I would have taken you up to my balcony to admire the view of the hills of Guilin and then pushed you off, taking great delight in the Jackson Pollock effect ...more
This book had its moments but sadly not enough of them. It took me three attempts to finish and the last third was a chore.
Mar 02, 2013 Danielle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was terrible. It did not flow it was just a bunch of rambling. Would not recommend.
Another book off my old "read this" list. It turned out to be another memoir of a professional black woman raised in California as the only black family. But unlike The Black Girl Next Door: A Memoir, this book was somewhat less focused.

It meandered from some late 20-something dating crises back to the part of her childhood where her family thought her mother was selling her to dating again. While her life had parts that certainly made my upbringing look stable and normal, she likes a restauran
Marie Hinds
May 13, 2015 Marie Hinds rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a struggle this book has been. Since starting this book I read and finished another book picking this up in the hopes that I would be wowed again. The concept is extremely relatable, 20-something black woman working to build her career while trying to find love.

The execution however is poor, to put it nicely. The non-liner storytelling in which she adds in references to her childhood or even college life doesn't add clarity, it is just haphazardly thrown in there. "By the way my mom is a l
Jun 07, 2010 cheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read memoirs and I tend to prefer a full-length narrative to essays, but I decided to try something out-of-character for me in Bitch is the New Black ("BNB" b/c I'm lazy). BNB consists of a number of essay-style memoirs from Helena Andrews. Since they are autobiographical, there is obviously overlap between the pieces (especially in the players) but they can stand fraily independently. Many of the chapters are focused on relationships including the author's relationship with her ...more
EDITORIAL REVIEW: Meet Helena Andrews, sassy, single, smart, and, yes, a bitch—but Tina Fey said it best, bitch is the new black! When Helena Andrews heard this declaration on *Saturday Night Live*, her first reaction was How daaare you? But after a commercial break and some thought, she decided to poke at the stereotype that says "successful" and "bitch" are synonyms. Unafraid and frank, she comes to realize that being a bitch is sometimes the best way to be—except, of course, when it's not. *B ...more
I loved the first two chapters. Helena is hilarious and her adventures in dating are very relateable. She lost me when she delved into her family life though. It was very interesting, but not as entertaining as her shenanigans with men. During her chapters on family, friends, work, and college, I had to force myself to push through. I still hadn't finished it two weeks after my bookclub met to discuss...thats the first time that's happened in Booktini history lol. The bookclub was torn during th ...more
i have no idea what to think of this book. it's a "memoir," but really more a series of unconnected personal essays about dating troubles, family history, race, & general hijinks. parts of it were really amusing, parts of it were really sad, there were a few really clever turns of phrase (ie, "the answering machine was hidden away like boo radley"), but ultimately, i was very turned off by the constant use of the word "retard" as an insult, page after page dedicated to cataloguing stereotypi ...more
Carla wynn
Let me start by saying that this was a book club selection. When it was released a few year ago, it was not put on my TBR list. I will give Miss Andrews credit, she is a talented writer. I felt that she had issues that are unresolved and her circle was not helpful in their resolution. I personally could not relate, I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and shake her, while saying "Get over it, move on.".
Jalisa Jones
Not my favorite book but not the worst either. She seemed quite desperate and pathetic and just kind of annoying. Towards the ending of the book, it isn't thattttt bad but throughout the book, she was just all over the place and not in a good way. She also says the word dude so many times which made me become sick of the word after just a few pages into the book. It just wasn't exactly my cup of tea.
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On June 1st, 2010 HarperCollins will publish Helena Andrews hotly anticipated collection of essays, BITCH IS THE NEW BLACK.

Told in her singular voice, BITCH IS THE NEW BLACK follows Helenasexy, single, and a self-described smart-asson her trip from kidnapped daughter of the town lesbian to hotshot political reporter who cant remember a single senators name.

Helena now writes a weekly column called

More about Helena Andrews...

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“I don't think Michelle [Obama:] minds bein our new muse. I think she gets it. We little brown girls - drunk off The Cosby Show, sobered up by life, and a little suicidal - we need her.” 6 likes
“Two thousand and seven was the year we officially entered our late twenties - the starting line of the death march to menopause.” 2 likes
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