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The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  9,047 Ratings  ·  1,216 Reviews
The “brilliantly wry” (Lena Dunham) and “lovably awkward” (Mindy Kaling) New York Times bestseller from the creator of HBO’s Insecure.

In this universally accessible New York Times bestseller named for her wildly popular web series, Issa Rae—“a singular voice with the verve and vivacity of uncorked champagne” (Kirkus Reviews)—waxes humorously on what it’s like to be unabas
Kindle Edition, 225 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by Atria / 37 Ink (first published January 6th 2015)
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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)

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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
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read a lot of memoirs, but the ones that I have either didn't connect with me or just made the person come off as obnoxious or frustrating. So I was nervous about reading Issa Rae's memoir because her webseries connected so much with me and I was afraid that by reading the book it would just make me dislike her. There is a reason they say never meet your heroes. Still, I could not resist as soon as I saw the cover. The Wonder Woman pose gets me every time.

Issa Rae takes us back and f
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Rachel León
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 different, I found myself comparing the two and preferred Robinson's. I also think I was expecting something different based on the title. I assumed the book would be about awkwardness, and I thought I'd be nodding and chuckling at the plight of awkward girls like myself. But Issa Rae isn't really awkward. She did some stupid things when she was yo ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Issa Rae has a superb talent for writing, and not only her voice but also her personality, resonates throughout this entire book. I loved it and I'd definitely recommend it to any reader.
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
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.

David Dacosta

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
Camille Adams
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.
Alaina Meserole
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
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
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Reading in Black & White
"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
Sep 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(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 h
Sep 23, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)
5 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  ·  review of another edition
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
she uses some funny terms like "nap-tural" or "black-cent" to describe her experience, but overall it made me view Issa Rae as a racist young woman posing as post-racial. she could've shortened this a lot and made it really tight, like they say about The White Album. the whole chapter about food was painstakingly irrelevant. she was obsessing over 11 lbs? please. also, Rae was very muddled on co-dependency/feminist ideas she put across. and when she called Filipinos the Blacks of Asian people i ...more
Amanda McGill
Apr 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Marykatherine Woodosn
Wasn't my favorite but definitely some good nuggets.
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very Funny
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
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
!! 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
Latanya (CraftyScribbles)
A quick read about being an awkward black female millennial. While not my demographic (I'm a wee bit awkward, black, female, but I'm a Gen. Xer), I found some items relatable and worth a read. Do you need to be any of those boxes to enjoy the book? No, not at all.

What I do find rather ironic is that in her breakdown of blacks, she discusses "Not-black Blacks". While true, I wonder if she puts herself in that category because, throughout my reading, she gave a hipster air I believe she doesn't s
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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
“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.” 32 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.” 19 likes
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