Um. I'm giving this 3 stars because I can't decide how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it kept my interest for a single-day reading. On the oUm. I'm giving this 3 stars because I can't decide how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it kept my interest for a single-day reading. On the other hand, it's not that great. The droning internal monologue is strange. I would occasionally stop reading, unsure how I got this far into a book that seems so shallow. And that's the word I think is key here: shallow. Vance will do a little dance bear topics of depth only to quickly shuffle away onto another hillbilly-ism. Like drawing a comparison between poor southern blacks and poor southern white hillbillies - he mentions they have things in common, but fails to dissect those connections or tease out a larger meaning. So I'm at 3 stars right now - I was considering /, but clearly this book is in my head, and for that, I'm begrudgingly generous. ...more
**spoiler alert** How to tell the story of 21st century bullying in a way that doesn't seem preachy? Weave it with a paralleling story of 20th century**spoiler alert** How to tell the story of 21st century bullying in a way that doesn't seem preachy? Weave it with a paralleling story of 20th century cult life. That's what Roberts does so right here - identifying cultural markers in common in generations that are often painted in opposing colors.
I have a few sort of small things that bugged me, though, especially in light of her work mentioned above: (1) in the afterlife, Molly befriends 2 of the Whitest souls, while telling the reader how diverse it is there. Diversity chatter felt like an afterthought. (2) Tatum? Claudette? Juniper? Graham? These sound like names I gave my Barbies because I had access to a baby name book and thought it was cool. Or maybe this is how it goes in WA? (3) It's sweet that Molly thinks she can just talk Tatum's bullies into sense - I hope this is just her naive flower-child-ness and not some genuine practice for the character who, frankly, should know more than anyone that you can't talk down crazy.
Other than that, Roberts' story and writing are satisfying. I didn't feel the need to correct grammar or language, and the narrative follows a nice path with a decent resolution.
Highlight: I love that's Roberts tackles the afterlife. Her theory of haunting is a fun break from so many paranormal tropes. It gets a little blurry when the main characters become cross-dimensional friends, but it's a creative and thoughtful imagining of a mostly ridiculous science....more
Wow. So this book obliterated me. But in the good way. Dealing with my own grief and real estate issues, this story tapped right into that vein of sadWow. So this book obliterated me. But in the good way. Dealing with my own grief and real estate issues, this story tapped right into that vein of sadness, confusion, pain, and all the other weirdness of grief. Fascinating tie ins. Interesting weaving of past and present stories, I enjoyed this one immensely. ...more
I'm leery of reading bios about people I enjoy - especially autobiographical memoir style books because (1) if they're poorly written, I will be disapI'm leery of reading bios about people I enjoy - especially autobiographical memoir style books because (1) if they're poorly written, I will be disappointed, and (2) if they're co-written I'm going to be disappointed.
Comedians pose even more concerns. Will the jokes work on the page? In some instances, yes - like Tina Fey or, hey, Amy Schumer. Sometimes it doesn't, like Mindy Kaling and Amy Poehler. I love all of these women and their comedy - however, I never enjoyed 30 Rock, but loved Bossy Pants; and I loved Mindy's show, but could not get through her books.
All that lead up for this: what Amy Schumer does right here is well crafted comedy, supported by her performance. Reading TGWTLBT was like watching a Schumer stand up or skit on her show. The build ups and jokes fall into her rhythm - which if you enjoy her comedy, you will enjoy this book. It works.
If you've watched Schumer, you know - we all know - she's mastered the art of awkward cum hilarious. But here, in these pages, she manages to layer a touching sincerity that isn't always needed on stage. And that's when she sings - when she made me simultaneously cry with laughter and cry with sadness - literally. Just bawling with comedy and tragedy.
Where she goes off key are moments where she seems overly defensive. An entire chapter spent explaining how generous and awesome you are with your new money? Pass. And while I'm sure some people would really dig her long chapters on stand up and gun control, I chose to skip them. I wanted to laugh and cry, not feel weighed down by the world I live in every day. But that's the type of reader I am - and I think that based on her first chapter about being an introvert, she'd understand. Reading is my space to recharge - I will deal with better deal with the world after.
Do not skip the journal entries! Priceless moments that make you cringe with embarrassing empathy. ...more