Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” as Want to Read:
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  17,697 ratings  ·  1,933 reviews
In the bestselling tradition of Sloan Crosley’s I Was Told There’d Be Cake and Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, a collection of humorous essays on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits, and black as cool.

My name is “J” and I’m awkward—and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by 37 Ink (first published January 6th 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Tyra I would recommend Young Adult (late teens) or older. There are some adult themes mentioned but nothing is gone over in explicit detail. It's sort of a…moreI would recommend Young Adult (late teens) or older. There are some adult themes mentioned but nothing is gone over in explicit detail. It's sort of a coming-of-age book, so it transitions from Issa Rae's childhood to adulthood.(less)
Sierra Hunter lol I will, I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Maybe we both have it we could read it at the same time.…morelol I will, I can't wait to get my hands on this one. Maybe we both have it we could read it at the same time.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,697 ratings  ·  1,933 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
Issa Rae's Misadventures missed the mark for me. Though I loved her discussions of hair and going natural, the rest of the book fell flat. Maybe I'm not awkward enough?

Rae's web series is brilliant and her voice in both television and film is powerful and necessary. However, the narrative style and tone were flat. I didn't get emotionally invested. I wanted to laugh out loud, and expected to since this memoir is compared to Kaling's memoir.

Are people loving this? Maybe I shouldn't have listened
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
This hilarious, honest, and bold collection of essays introduced me to Issa Rae, and my gratitude is galaxy-sized. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a collection of essays on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits, and black as cool.

Let's jump right into discussing my favorite essay, which was one of the first ones (“A/S/L”) where she talked about her early internet days. I mean, it's been almost weeks since I read it, but I still
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell
Jun 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ by: Deidra (ShadeTreeReads)

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

Issa Rae is many things, but one of those things is Awkward. This book caught my attention when I saw that one of my Goodreads pals had read it, and I found myself wondering just how awkward the author actually could be when she looked so polished on the cover. The answer: very.

Rae takes us through many of her Awkward Greatest Hits: her teenage stint "cybering" in internet chat rooms until she got bored and blocked the creeps; her "she w
Rachel León
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I expected to like this one more than I did. I may have read it too soon after Phoebe Robinson's You Can't Touch My Hair because though the books are very different, I found myself comparing the two (I preferred Robinson's). I also think I was expecting something different based on the title. I assumed the book would be about awkwardness, but Issa Rae isn't really awkward. She did some stupid things when she was younger, but didn't we all? Overall I did enjoy the book, but I'm sure I would've en ...more
Laura Noggle
Love, love, LOVE the HBO show "Insecure."

Love, love, LOVE Issa Rae.

This book ... not so much. It was *alright* but extremely scattered and had a lot of pointless stories, ramblings, anecdotes. After reading Gabrielle Union's We're Going to Need More Wine, and Sally Field's In Pieces — this book isn't really in the same neighborhood.

Reminded me of Abbi Jacobson's I Might Regret This in that I LOVE "Broad City" but the book, not so much.

Mildly entertaining. Can't wait for the next season of "In
Book Riot Community
This had been sitting on my Kindle for way too long. Recently, for reasons I’m sure can go unspoken, I’ve felt mostly interested in the experiences of people outside of my racial and socioeconomic circle. But I also knew Rae could provide that along with the comedic relief we all so desperately need right now. After finishing this book, I’m now annoyed that I don’t have HBO to watch Insecure. Because this woman has that enviable combination of qualities that make for great books and television… ...more
David Dacosta
Apr 01, 2015 rated it liked it

I fluked into the Awkward Black Girl YouTube series about five months after it began. For the most part I found Issa Rae and the cast to be comical and entertaining. It was refreshing to see a black production free of stereotypical themes. Where things took a nose dive for me was in the final webisode. Issa was left with the tricky task of choosing between two potential suitors, a black male and a white male. She eventually settled for the white suitor.

Now, there’s no crime in a black female ch
#mystrangereading The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl ⭐️⭐️ I find Issa Rae so funny and really enjoy her comedic voice, but this book was just so disappointing. I have really enjoyed comedians' memoirs and hoped this one would follow suit, but I feel like it completely lacked direction and she just waffled all over the place. The best story was the first one about her name and the rest of the book just went downhill from there which was a bummer. ...more
Issa Rae knows what it is to be that awkward and black and she's extremely clear on letting people know that's a-okay. This book spoke to me in ways that I haven't felt since reading The Blacker The Berry by Wallace Thurman. Full review to come.

Heather K (dentist in my spare time)

*bangs head on desk*

I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. Note to self: stop expecting people who are funny on TV and other mediums to have funny books. Just stop. The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl was supposed to be entertaining, but it fell completely flat.

I keep saying this over and over, but you can be a talented, interesting person, but that doesn't translate to a good writer or a good book. It just doesn't. And this book is another example of that fact.

Issa Rae was just n
Zsa Zsa
Sep 17, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
disappointment. unfortunately, this book made me like her a lot less. it's not that i *dislike* her now, but this book was pretty boring/flat, sometimes annoying, and only occasionally/slightly funny. there just wasn't much of anything interesting in the story, and some of it screamed spoiled millenial hipster-but-i'm-not-really-hipster. i feel like she has better people than ones who would let this go to publish w/o saying, "no...this is not good enough." meh. i'm returning it to the bookstore. ...more
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was just OK. Like I do with everything Issa Rae produces, I came away feeling like she is either not very good or she is phoning it in because people are letting her. I am on the fence as to whether she is truly talented or if she is just reliable and easy to work with. That said, it is surely at the same level of writing as that Mindy Kaling book and the Tina Fey book. So if you like them, you may like this. I did not like them.
Amanda McGill
Apr 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2016
I'll keep this short and sweet. If you don't know who Issa Rae is (and don't know what she is famous for) then you probably shouldn't read this novel. ...more
Tiffany Tyler
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"Being an introvert in a world that glorifies cool isn't easy."

I remember sitting in an airport a few months ago while waiting to board a flight to Houston and I decided to start this book and I am so happy that I did. In the past I watched a few episodes of Issa's show on YouTube so I was quite interested in learning more about her as a woman. I will say without a doubt that she is one of the few humans living on this planet that is completely honest with her self-esteem issues and it is all do
Feb 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, memoir
This was good. Different from what I initially expected but good. There were some particularly insightful parts and humorous as well. I'm glad I listened to this.

To anyone intending to read this: don't go in expecting the same funniness fron the Internet episodes. This is a glimpse into the woman behind the web series.
To be honest I have never heard of Issa Rae and I mostly wanted to read this book because of the title and the cover.
Judge me, I know I deserve it.

HOWEVER, I'm freaking in love with her and now that I know she has a webseries I NEED to start watching it.

Yes, I do live under a rock apparently. I'm looking into moving out.

Now this is like my 6th or 7th memoir book and so far I've loved every one of them. I really liked how The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl took me throughout her life. This p
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it
(I received this as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair, post-reading review.)

"Call it maturation or denial or self-hatred— I give no f%^&s. And it feels great. I’ve decided to focus only on the positivity of being black, and especially of being a black woman. Am I supposed to feel oppressed? Because I don’t. Is racism supposed to hurt me? That’s so 1950s."

This passage comes up about 80% through Issa Rae's debut memoir and it sums up her approach to race analysis and race-related humo
Jessica Jeffers
Somewhere between a three and a four. It's okay, well-written and very smart, but I feel like I've read this same collection of essays fifty times already. Maybe this would have stood out more if I hadn't just read Phoebe Robinson's phenomenal You Can't Touch My Hair? Or maybe it was because as someone who regularly refers to herself as an awkward turtle, Issa Rae's awkwardness didn't feel particularly awkward to me? I recommend it for any Issa Rae fans, anyone who wants to learn a little bit mo ...more
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
!! Book blog review:

I love Jo-Issa even more after reading this book! I wouldn't call this a memoir... its more of a collection of essays where Issa Rae talks about her life happenings. My favorite chapter is 'Halfrican' where Issa Rae talks about her (half) Senegalese culture and upbringing (in the US and frequently in Senegal). If you aren't familiar with Issa Rae, please google her and watch her YouTube series - 'Awkward Black Girl'! She's an amazing i
Sep 23, 2014 rated it liked it
I'd probably give this 3 1/2 stars. I was excited to check out this book, as I've become increasingly aware of Issa Rae's online star power and have enjoyed a few comedic memoirs by awesome women in the past (Bossypants and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me being two obvious ones.) And while this collection was okay, there was some of the fire and the relatability missing from this one for me.

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you already know at least one thing about Issa Rae—she’s the inte
Mar 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I went in thinking this book would be drop dead funny. It wasn't. However, I found that wasn't a bad thing. It's still quite humorous in spots, but there is so much that rings true in this book, even if you aren't an awkward black girl of Senegalese heritage. I understood the struggle, even those that I had never named or realized. Very poignant, and I look for great things in the future from Issa Rae. ...more
This was a fun book. There were so many experiences and thoughts that she had that I could totally relate to. It always feel great when you can empathize with the narrator and wish you could say to them, "Me too, girl!" I'm glad I decided to listen to this rather than read it. I find I always appreciate comedic memoirs such as this one much better when narrated by the author. ...more
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Issa Rae writes about her life in an upwardly mobile immigrant family & her painful attempts to be cool. While I didn't identify with any of her experiences. I found them hilarious never the less. You don't have to be awkward or black to enjoy this book. ...more
Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)
4 stars. So basically this book is my life story right down to the title. Awesome. But seriously this was the perfect way to start off the new year. I read this while doing my fourth (fifth? I've lost count honestly) rewatch of Issa's youtube mini series Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and the whole experience was just fantastic. I don't think I've ever laughed so hard while reading a book.

Issa is such a hilarious person, I love that she embraces who she is and the fact that she's just an aw
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I discovered Issa Ray late, most people were familiar with her work ethic and dry humor. However, it is better than late than never, she is so authentic and funny. Regarding this memoir, it was enlightening to find out about her childhood and how she overcame so many obstacles being awkward. I related to her introversion, curiosity about the world and her desire to be heard. I love the short and concise chapters.

I would not say that this book was hilarious, but it had a lot of funny moments. It
Marykatherine Woodson
Sep 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Wasn't my favorite but definitely some good nuggets. ...more
I liked but didn't love. I don't know much about Issa Rae and I'll definitely be checking out ABG. The audiobook was well done by the author.

I read a lot of celebrity and/or powerful women memoirs. You know what 90% of them always have a chapter on? Weight. And frankly, I'm a little tired of it. I don't necessarily blame the writers. I just wish that they could focus their entire book on their thoughts and their life instead of having to let everyone know about their weight struggles. Do I iden
Wiebke (1book1review)
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Being unfamiliar with Issa Rae and her work I didn't really know what to expect, and you that is how I like to read books. And I was not disappointed. This was a very interesting book about her life and experiences, private and work/career related. Interspersed with some helpful and funny tips to deal with certain situations/people.

I receommend the audiobook as she does a wonderful job of telling her story.
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a fan of the Awkward Black Girl web series, I already love Issa Rae. After reading more about her childhood and early forays into writing, I love her even more. Here's to hoping it inspires the awkward of all colors to create.

OH, and, she quotes one of my favorite Junot Diaz passages. 1MM+ bonus points.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
UCAS English 11 R...: January Book Review 1 3 Jan 31, 2019 05:39PM  
Book Girl Magic: November Book of the Month 2 36 Nov 19, 2017 06:30PM  
2017 Reading Chal...: 29 years 11 months 25 days 1 28 May 24, 2015 09:13AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • We're Going to Need More Wine
  • You Can't Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain
  • Around the Way Girl
  • The Last Black Unicorn
  • The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir
  • I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot
  • Survival of the Thickest
  • Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life
  • Wow, No Thank You.: Essays
  • Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It
  • Shit, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema
  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies
  • Everything's Trash, But It's Okay
  • We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.
  • You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism
  • A Very Punchable Face
  • More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are (No Matter What They Say)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
With her own unique flare and infectious sense of humor, Issa Rae’s content has garnered over 20 million views and close to 160,000 subscribers on YouTube. In addition to making the Forbes 30 Under 30 list twice and winning the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show for her hit series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” Issa Rae has worked on web content for Pharrell Williams, Tracey Edmonds a ...more

Articles featuring this book

The writer, actress, and YouTube sensation tells cringe-worthy, poignant, and always hilarious stories in her memoir, The Misadventures of Awkward...
29 likes · 5 comments
“Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t want to die alone, but spending quality time with myself 60 to 70 percent of the day is my idea of mecca.” 39 likes
“You guys know about vampires? . . . You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, “Yo is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist?” And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.” 27 likes
More quotes…