Jaclyn's Reviews > I Was Told There'd Be Cake

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
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's review
Sep 08, 2008

really liked it
Read in September, 2008

It's true that to enjoy "I Was Told There'd Be Cake," you have to be in Sloane Crosley's target audience, and it's true that her target audience is a fairly small group. Sloane writes for people just like herself... young professionals with a suburbanite upbringing, trying to make it in [insert industry here] in [insert big city here].

Sloane is a young publishing professional trying to make it in New York City.

Replace "publishing professional" with "lawyer" and replace "New York City" with "Washington, DC" and you've got me. I know Sloane Crosley's experiences because I basically lived them. The freakishly compelling summer camp with platform tents, decorated dining halls and promise-to-be-friends-forever-then-forget-about-you-on-September-1st camp friends? Check. Suburban middle school dances in clashing patterns? Check. A My Little Pony collection? Sadly, check, although fortunately I didn't move mine with me to DC and they don't all represent failed relationships. Oh, and Oregon Trail? Check. Oh, my goodness, check. So, yes, I found Sloane to be absolutely hysterical. Mainly because I basically AM Sloane.

"You On A Stick," her diatribe about being maid of honor in the wedding of her best friend from seventh grade, who she'd barely spoken to in a decade... well, I haven't directly had that experience, but I know others who have, so that one rang very true, and it was hi-larious. "Please. Le chapeau you have to make me, please."

"Christmas in July," her story about her bizarre summer camp... I loved it because I went to a camp just like it. Mine was even steeped in Native American lore, too. Unique? Nope, it was the nineties.

"The Ursula Cookie" was sidesplitting in its march toward office humiliation and doom. "The Pony Problem" made me laugh so hard that I had to interrupt my husband's football watching to read him the end.

And my absolute favorite of Sloane's witty creations - "Bring-Your-Machete-To-Work-Day," about the wonderful, brilliant Oregon Trail game. If you haven't played Oregon Trail, you won't get it. If you have, you'll read this story as I did: with tears streaming down your face. I tried to force my poor hubby to listen to me read this one on an Amtrak train. Unfortunately, I couldn't choke out the words to the story because I was laughing too hard. And then my glasses fogged up from laughing until I cried, and I had to put the book away. My hubs laughed, but more from seeing me so tickled than from the actual story.

And that's the real point of this review. If you're Sloane, or me, or one of the countless other young twentysomething women who were raised in the suburbs and now live, work, and try to find the humor in a major urban center, you'll get the ultimate kick out of these essays. If you're not a member of that fairly large but admittedly narrow demographic... stick to Sedaris.
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Shea I think this nails it head on. I just finished the book, and liked it well enough. I think I fit her target audience halfway...I'm a young professional living in Manhattan, but I didn't grow up in suburbia (I grew up in the inner city environment). That probably explains why I thought the suburbia parts were kinda rambling while I thoroughly enjoyed the city stories.

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