Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir
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Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir

3.08 of 5 stars 3.08  ·  rating details  ·  500 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Bitch Is the New Black follows Andrews—sexy, single, and a self-described smart-ass—on her trip from kidnapped daughter of a lesbian to Washington, D.C., political reporter who can't remember a single senator's name. Told in Andrews's singular voice, this addictive memoir explores the roller coaster of being educated and single while trying to become an "actual adult" and...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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Kelly
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...more
Deborah Palmer

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...more
Amy
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
Megan
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...more
Toni
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
Izzy
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
Jen
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
Candice
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
Danita
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
Shanae
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, like...like I'd...more
Ari
"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...more
Kim
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.
Makefetch
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.
Latiffany
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...more
Unwisely
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...more
cheryl
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
Abbe
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
Nakia
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
Ciara
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
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.
Sarah
This is a tough book for me to review. My feelings are completely mixed. When I started reading it, I loved it...even went as far as to tell people they had to get a copy. However, as I continued to read, I found myself bored & caring less for the characters. As a mixed race woman I found the antics in some of the tales to be funny & relatable; yet, the writing & dialogue was immature & not very convincing that an Ivy league graduate wrote it. Seriously, what educated person uses...more
Cynthia
From SNL's skit by Tina Fey comes "Bitch is the New Black..." Helena Andrews spins the tale of her life's journey - the good, the bad and the ugly. Filled with humor, sarcasm, authenticity and honesty BITNB was a great read. It made me laugh out loud in public - waiting for the bus, the train, on line at the bank, etc. Behind all the wisecracks lies some real truths about racism, friendship, sisterhood, family, relationships, etc. Best quote " ...is it because I'm Black....no it's because you're...more
Star
I read several reviews complaining about this book being a collection of short essays of life events rather than a connected story, but I'm sure the book cover says it's a "memoir" somewhere on it so isn't that what it was supposed to be? Kinda? Sorta? Maybe?

The first few chapters in the book kept me glued to each page as I could relate to her life's story in so many ways...I even grew up in the town you caught the boat from to get to Catalina! (I didn't know people actually LIVED there...like...more
Revae
Helena Andrews writes a very witty, clever memoir. Bitch is the New Black is a collection of Helena's opinions about things that have happened in her life. The summary on the book was a tad misleading for me. It was told as a story; each chapter was completely unrelated to the previous one. Helene discusses her friend's suicide, trouble with men, her grandmother kidnapping her, and being the only Black woman at her job. Once I stopped expecting it to be a story, I began to enjoy it. She was very...more
Adrienne
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
Jamie Nesbitt
Upon reading the author's profile in the Washington Post in '09 I was ready to dismiss her as some obnoxious Jack and Jill type I'd probably shove into a pool at a dinner party and thusly swore off reading anything bearing her name. Thankfully curiosity (and my iTouch Kindle app) changed my mind. Andrews has a helluva voice, and you find yourself laughing, crying, and cringing along with her as she chronicles her personal tragicomedy. A must-read for every Black girl who has been "the only" in t...more
Lynette
As many other reviews before me said, it was advertised as a dating memoir and yet there were only a couple of chapters on her dating life. Although funny at first, it really wasn't what I was expecting. Actually...I don't what you should expect reading this book. There were so many different directions. I liked her style of writing where she squeezes several different jokes in one sentence, but even that after a while is a mouthful. This book could have been half as long for it's original inten...more
Dev
I absolutely LOVED this book.

It probably has everything to do with me being a less-than-30-year-old Black woman... or just a young woman in general. I thought this book was hilarious - Andrews speaks my lingo fluently - and I definitely found it heartwarming in certain essays. BITNB is very open and forward... Andrews definitely did not hold back on anything. The flow is not perfect, but given that it's essentially a collection of essays I can forgive that.

I found it charming and very entertaini...more
Tamara Sam
This book was a bit all over the place in my opinion. I was a bit turned off by the urban and informal vernacular. Some of the stories were entertaining, but didn't seem to flow in any particular order. Honestly, I'm not certain why this is being made into a movie. I assume that the focus will be on the failed relationships.. which can draw viewers to any movie really. So I suppose they won't be disappointed. Bottom line, it was just an okay read, and i wouldn't recommend it.
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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
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.” 5 likes
“What does 'wifey material' even mean when someone at the Washington Post thinks the headline 'Marriage Is for White People?' is okay? The article, of course, became another one of Gina's and my obsessions. The Washington fucking Post was against us now.” 2 likes
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