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The Anti-Cool Girl: The award-winning, bestselling brutal and hilarious memoir and the first Jennette McCurdy book club pick for 2023

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Brutal, brave, hilarious -- a full-frontal memoir about surviving the very worst that life can throw at you.
Rosie Waterland has never been cool. Growing up in housing commission, Rosie was cursed with a near perfect, beautiful older sister who dressed like Mariah Carey on a Best & Less budget while Rosie was still struggling with various toilet mishaps. She soon realised that she was the Doug Pitt to her sister's Brad, and that cool was not going to be her currency in this life.  But that was only one of the problems Rosie faced. With two addicts for parents, she grew up amidst rehab stays, AA meetings, overdoses, narrow escapes from drug dealers and a merry-go-round of dodgy boyfriends in her mother's life. Rosie watched as her dad passed out/was arrested/vomited, and had to talk her mum out of killing herself. As an adult, trying to come to grips with her less than conventional childhood, Rosie navigated her way through eating disorders, nude acting roles, mental health issues and awkward Tinder dates. Then she had an to stop pretending to be who she wasn't and embrace her true self  -- a girl who loved drinking wine in her underpants on Sunday nights -- and become an Anti-Cool Girl. An irrepressible, blackly comic memoir, Rosie Waterland's story is a clarion call for Anti-Cool Girls everywhere. 'Individual, wounded, brilliant and hilarious' Sydney Morning Herald  'If Augusten Burroughs and Lena Dunham abandoned their child in an Australian housing estate, she'd write this heartbreaking, hilarious book.  It made me laugh uproariously, then feel terrible for her, then laugh all over again. Sorry, Rosie.'   Dominic Knight, The Chaser 'Hilarious, wise, gutsy, clear-eyed, devastating and uplifting.  It's a marvel.' Richard Glover The Anti Cool Girl was shortlisted for the 2016 Indie Book Awards and for the 2016 ABIA Awards for Biography of the Year, and in addition was the Winner of the 2016 ABIA Awards People's Choice for the Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year

304 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 1, 2015

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Rosie Waterland

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 376 reviews
Profile Image for Rosie.
104 reviews42 followers
August 27, 2015
I can barely find the right words to say just how awesome this memoir is, but I will give it a go.
I had never heard of Rosie Waterland before reading her memoir. I bought the book because: a) it sounded like an interesting read b) I am studying social work and work in mental health so I am attracted to stories that are about overcoming adversity c) we have the same name!

Rosie is such a brave and gutsy woman and I am really grateful for her sharing her story. From a very young age Rosie always felt like she was an outsider and that she had to try and fit in and be "cool". She grew up with parents who both had mental health issues and addictions. She experienced a lot of trauma throughout her childhood and adolescence, and spent her young adult life trying to deal with it in many different ways. Her memoir is brutally honest, and she writes in such an easy to read way. She put a comic spin onto most stories, even when they were incredibly serious, quite traumatic or embarrassing. I just loved reading her story and seeing how she came to a point in her life when she finally accepted herself. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who has felt like an outsider and feels they have to pretend to be something they are not. My favourite quote:

"I finally cracked the code I was meant to crack all along: being cool is all about compromising who you are. Being anti-cool is about accepting it. Accepting it, owning it, laughing at it and loving it. I was never meant to be cool. I was meant to be anti-cool."

I'm really happy to be anti-cool.
Profile Image for RitaSkeeter.
694 reviews
November 26, 2015
*This review contains occasional coarse language and crudity.

100% honesty up front: Rosie Waterland’s humour isn’t really my style. I’ve read bits and pieces of her work on Mamamia, including a few of the Bachelorette recaps (note: this does not mean I admit to ever watching The Bachelorette *shifty eyes*), but it’s just not my cup of tea. I’m not particularly prudish, and I have zero issues with ‘frequent coarse language’, but the crudity wears on me a bit. I like a bit of toilet humour as much as the next bogan, but there comes a point where I think really? . Did things really need to go there?

So anyway. I guess you’re wondering, after spending the first paragraph saying why Rosie Waterland’s writing isn’t a good fit for me, why I decided to pick up the book at all. Good question. Truth is, I’m not really sure. But what I am sure of is that you shouldn’t automatically discount the book just because the author’s humour hasn’t gelled for you.

Okay, yes. The book does drop C bombs like they’re going out of fashion. It makes fun of housos. It talks about clits, shits, and everything in between. But it isn’t really what the book is about. The book follows the journey of a child as she struggles with the ‘toxic butterflies’ of living with alcoholic parents; with a mother who was prostituting before having serial monogamous relationships that led to significant numbers of housing and school changes; a mother in and out of rehab; being removed by the state; being abused in care; being returned to her mother; being removed by the state again; being separated from her siblings; living with kin; being rejected by kin. And so on. It’s a horrific tale, but Waterland’s writing engages and draws you in. The crude humour provides some relief from the unspeakable sadness and tragedy of the story; I suspect this was not just for the reader’s sake, but for Waterland’s when she was writing as well.

One of the things I found most impressive about the memoir was the kindness and forgiveness Waterland has for others. She, and her sisters, went through a lot. Waterland is still recovering from the impact her childhood had on her. But there is no tone of bitterness or anger in the memoir, but rather one of forgiveness, of love, and of understanding. You need to read the memoir to understand how remarkable that is; not everyone who lives through an upbringing like Rosie’s would be able to show such compassion and kindness for those whose actions were so hurtful and have had such lasting impact.

The memoir ends on a hopeful note. Waterland is increasingly comfortable in her own skin. She is who she is, and she’s okay with that. And that’s what this memoir is really; it shows us what Rosie’s journey was and how she became who she is today. Crude jokes and all (though I sometimes wondered what the north shore grandparents think of some of the humour…).

This memoir isn’t going to be for everyone. If the c word offends you then this probably isn’t going to be a book that sits comfortably. But if you can look past the language, the crudity, Rosie pooping herself every five minutes, you find a memoir that – better than any other book I’ve read (fiction or non-fiction) – demonstrates the impact a neglectful and disorganised childhood can have on a child both then and into their adult life. It further demonstrates, through the differences between Rosie and her older sister Rhiannon, how children adapt and cope with such situations differently. Not all children cope and respond the same way.

The feeling that stays with me on completing this memoir is admiration for the strength, resilience, and compassion of Rosie Waterland.

An engrossing read.
Profile Image for Angela.
206 reviews24 followers
December 1, 2015
I read in the mornings. At 6.30am I take my naturopath-approved muesli out of the fridge, add yoghurt and half a grapefruit, sit down in front of my book and forget the day’s obligations. The morning I decided to start ‘The Anti-Cool Girl’ was no different. My mouth was full and my brain was ready. My stomach, however, was not.

Rosie Waterland is candid. And by candid I mean fantastically descriptive with a complete no-shame policy. This girl tells you exactly what she did, how she did it, and the consequences that followed. From epic masturbation sessions to shitting the bed, no subject is off limits. Like so many others who watched The Bachelor/ette only to chase it with Rosie’s cutting recap, I chose to read ‘The Anti-Cool Girl��� in the hopes of getting more of the same. And like other fans, I found that Rosie’s memoir did not meet my expectation.

Here is a girl who, through no fault of her own, had a shocker of an upbringing. From an alcoholic mother with a revolving door in her pants, to a long history of mental health issues, abandonment and dodgy neighbours, Waterland tells her story with a rare and graphic honesty. The memoir moves through growing up in unsavoury commission housing, to being the ward of rich relatives and subjected to horrid bullying in a private boarding school.

This girl is blunt but not self-pitying. Although her experiences are tragic she refrains from sympathy-seeking and allows the reader to develop their own sense of empathy. Waterland details her search for belonging and self-acceptance, all the while keeping the reader equally amused and disturbed with her dry wit and frank, R-rated descriptions.

This memoir did not meet my expectation of hilarity however, it delivered an unexpected humility. Rosie is recognisable, her reactions familiar. She’d be the friend to truly empathise with whatever life threw at you, and who’d get you absolutely blind drunk in the process.

Read it to find out who is behind those fabulous Mamamia recaps but take heed to this warning: do not attempt to read this book while consuming food of any kind.

4/5 Stars

Follow my blog! ---> https://ponderdeeper.wordpress.com/
Profile Image for Meredith Walker.
484 reviews2 followers
January 22, 2016
I really can’t understand all the crazy praise for this book. What is fine in small Mama Mia doses, does not necessarily work in extended form. It is said that when writing autobiographically an author will either do so with egotistical bravado or to position as a victim. The anti-cool girl seems like a mix of the two… not in a good way but in a confused identity type of way. Yes it witty in places but its crudity seems so strategically placed for shock value. And while we all have events of our past we would rather forget, the fact that, even upon retrospective, she wears things like peeing in the supermarket almost as a badge of honour without any regret, hardly makes for an endearing authorial voice.
Profile Image for Vanessa.
462 reviews290 followers
June 22, 2016
Brutally honest almost painfully so, so many cringe worthy moments a few too many I could relate to. An easily digestible read that kept me turning the pages almost anticipating the next disaster but also rooting for Rosie as the underdog, with a great moral to adhere to, this made me feel freeer to just be me. Warts and all. A memoir that lives up to its name. A great shameless read
Profile Image for Margaret.
340 reviews49 followers
July 24, 2017
Far out. This is such a ballsy book. There are few people in the world who would dare to lay it all out there like Rosie has in this novel. It feels like nothing is left out (except bits to protect others privacy) - it's all there, without shame, for the world to see. Poo, vomit, blood, other bodily fluids and all.

Those expecting this book to be packed full of bachie-esque snark and peen NISSAN peen references have another think coming... but (hopefully) not in a bad way.

Likewise those who may be quietly pooh-poohing this book, wondering how a woman who hasn't even reached her 30s could possibly have enough life experience to fill a book. The author will leave you in no doubt that she's already done enough living (or at least living through the rubbish stuff life has to offer) to last several lifetimes.

In fact, one of the things that make this book so compelling is the way Rosie writes about a litany of traumatic events - with a voice that is both unsentimental yet warm/human/honest [sadly I'm not the writer Rosie is so words are failing a bit]. And because of this lens - this apolitical, non poor-meish, yet nothing left on the sidelines lens - it makes you reflect on what you did... what you are doing, or not doing to perpetuate these experiences on other people. Other Rosie's still living through experiences she has survived but shouldn't have had to.

Oh. I give up trying to convey my feelings about this book. It's all too hard. Suffice to say; it will make you think, it will make you feel, it will make you shake your head in horror, it will probably make you feel a bit guilty, it will definitely make you laugh...

Just buy it. Even if you wouldn't read Bachie recaps if you were paid to. Just buy it. It'd be unAustralian not to.
23 reviews
September 29, 2015
I enjoyed reading this book, but I have to say that it despite the heart felt subject matter it didn't touch many deep chords in me. Waterland is a great blogger and humourous writer for Mamamia, but I don't think the heights of her writing were reached in this book either in terms of humour or emotion, despite the autobiographical nature of her material and her honesty. It is almost like she has been rushed into writing her autobiography way too early in life, before she has any real chance of integrating her experience fully into who she is, and showing depth in her understanding of how her experience has shaped her and given her strengths and weaknesses. I felt this was reflected in the book's emotional punch petering out in the later chapters. While her reflections of her mother and sister in the first half of the book are poignant, the discussion about her relationship with her uncle and aunt,which sounded chilling and disturbing, were almost breezed over. It's almost like the last bit of the book was rushed through the meet the publishers deadline and perhaps capitilise on Waterland's elevated Bachelor recaps profile.
There is a lot of humour about her being drunk and shitting herself, which to be honest, I found tiresome and only mildly interesting/ amusing. I could have done with less of it, and more depth in her description of her early 20s. I do feel it is a shame this book was written at this time in the author's life, a few more years and it may have had a lot more to say and give the reader about surviving a terrible childhood.
2 reviews
March 2, 2016
Let me preface this review by stating I am 52 year old man and The Anti Cool Girl is not a book I would normally read.I am sure the book is aimed at a different demographic than middle aged men.
Sometimes you pick up a book,read the blurb on the back cover,go out of your reading comfort zone and try something different
I found Rosie's upbringing both fascinating and tragic,something that I couldn't relate to in anyway.Her relationship with her mother and father was dysfunctional at best and to achieve what she has is a testament to her determination and obvious intelligence.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book as Rosie dealt with her personal demons and her dysfunctional upbringing.
The last part of the book,in my opinion degenerated into a memoir of her sexual experiences which I wasn't the slightest bit interested in.Her other two sisters disappeared from the story and fleeting mention was made of Rhiannon.
I would have been much more interested in learning of her relationship with her siblings and whether they had suffered mental health issues as well,not her opinions on oral sex and sordid dalliances with men
I admire Rosie's courage,honesty and resilience in what she has achieved in her life and what she wrote in her book and I hope her(for want of a better word) happiness and success continues as she certainly deserves it.I just found the last 80 pages of the book disappointing.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rosemary Atwell.
363 reviews20 followers
September 6, 2020
Feeling bad? It's possibly unlikely that your existence has been as relentless as Rosie's, but she's still here and living. An intriguing and brave book about a train wreck of a life that not only has a survivor, but one with many lessons to teach - among them, to have compassion, a sense of humour and an undying belief that things can only improve.
Profile Image for Chris Comerford.
Author 1 book20 followers
August 26, 2015
A great man once said, 'Life is pain. Anyone who says differently is selling something.'

Rosie Waterland could probably vouch for the accuracy in that statement.

If there's one dominant thread consistently running through Rosie's first - and highly excellent - book, it's that pain, hardship and adversity create growth. The better life is not one filled with perfection, money and success, but one in which a hell of a lot of hard work, and the ability to survive a plethora of ridiculously adverse situations, ultimately leads to a more realistic person. Nothing worth having ever came through ease.

That's not to say all of Rosie's experiences are entirely hellish, or sound like they were extracted wholesale from an overly bleak Australian drama. There are golden points of happiness, rays of hope and moments of triumph, all equally interspersed with the darker days, the rock bottoms and the no-hope-in-sights. Hers is a story that shows the positive and the negative with equally unvarnished verve, utilising an engaging tone and dry, sardonic wit. It's a narrative that manages a subtle balancing act between the hilarious sarcasm that has become her hallmark in her recaps of The Bachelor, alongside the more subdued and blunt prose used in the lower points of her life (and even some of those points have a bleak humour all of their own).

That said, this book does go to some very troubled places. It resonated with me on a number of levels - the familial difficulty, the struggle for self-acceptance and, most pointedly, the difficulties with spiteful kids in school whose senseless bullying has repercussions later in life. As someone who shared similar experiences to Rosie's at those ages, I read those bits alongside memories of my own difficulties; I don't know if I've ever gotten so angry reading an autobiographical book as I did reading about Keith and Wayne and the snooty College kids. That one hit close to home.

On the flip-side, I laughed my head off in regards to the poo-towel (the first in what would be many fecal-related stories). I got teary about the yellow chair. I giggled uncontrollably, probably to the chagrin of my nearby co-workers, during the 'Tinder date/Penis jenga tower' chapter. I internally fist-pumped when Jacob, Rosie's aggressive gay best friend, told off the Eastern European pornstached doctor when he tried to dismiss her from getting mental help. (My favourite quote from that last bit: 'When up against Australia’s shitty public mental-health system, never underestimate the power of having a very sassy gay man on your side.')

These and other stories in the book - the pre-birth drug dealer bikies, abusive parents, dismissive foster home and personal struggles with weight gain and being comfortable in her own skin - paint a portrait of a remarkable woman who has, in the words of the book's front matter, '[survived] the very worst life can throw at [her]'. She's come out the other side as someone who owns who they are, who has no aspirations about conforming to anyone else's idea of an adult or a woman, and who is entirely her own person. So much adversity has ultimately shaped Rosie's outlook on life, and it's one reliant on simplicity itself: Be yourself, do what you want to do, and accept who you are for yourself. 'It doesn't mean life will always be perfect,' Rosie writes, 'but it does mean it will always be real.'

The Anti-Cool Girl is an excellent book in its own right, and a fantastic debut effort from Rosie Waterland. There is more to this tough-ass lady than just her spot-on Bachelor snark, and her story so far is one worth seeing through to the end.

Also, I did a little happy Bachelor dance every time I saw the word 'peen'. Go ahead, call me immature, or anti-cool. I'll own it.
Profile Image for Jessica.
85 reviews5 followers
September 24, 2015
I know everyone has gone ga-ga over this book... and I made a very premature, sweeping statement after reading the first chapter that this was worth the hype.

So; let me start with the good stuff.

She's quite witty, she has a great sense of humour and is very brave for putting a lot of the things that she did on paper.

The not so great stuff:

The chapter about her learning to masturbate and being obsessed with it, seemed (and possibly coincidentally) like a direct rip off of a chapter from the amazing Chelsea Handler's autobiog; "Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang" ...

I hated the chapter titles. I hated the good and upbeat humour spun on such awful situations (but maybe thats my issue). I feel like she tried very hard to put a happy face on such traumatic experiences. It all got a little same-same to me after awhile.

Mamamia readers will love this book if they love following Rosie with her Bachie recaps....
Profile Image for Kate.
43 reviews2 followers
August 31, 2015
Rosie Waterland, I'm so glad you wrote this book. I know you are the Anti Cool Girl, but another alternative would be to redefine the word cool, and place it back where it belongs, with the awesome people, who know how to be themselves, like you.
Thanks for being so brutally honest about your life - it is good for all our souls. And I'm trying to think about The College and how we can make your book a compulsory handbook for all staff. They'd love it, and they need it.
I think my most favourite part of your book, are the three very last sentences (if you include acknowledgements as a part of the story). That bit made me the most teary and joyful x
Profile Image for Hayley.
51 reviews10 followers
September 4, 2015
The most hilarious book I've ever read! But it also made me cry at times. So... you can't really argue with that. Perfect, Rosie. Thanks for this awesome book. I'm so happy to know there's someone else out there who likes wearing their flannelette pyjama pants up really high.
Profile Image for Naomi Louise.
19 reviews
September 14, 2015
"There is nothing more liberating than accepting who you are"
A very honest, real & gutsy memoir
Profile Image for Meghan Alessi.
19 reviews
May 12, 2023
Rosie somehow sprinkled the telling of her tragic early life in humor, but not in a way that completely sugar-coated the shit cake (if you read the book, you’ll understand the appropriateness of a shit cake analogy).

She bore her soul into this book; you could feel it. The way she was able to take a step back and reflect on her experience in parallel to her mother’s and deeply appreciate the love and comfort her mum was able to share with her when she needed it, despite not being there for her at many other times in her life, took a grave deal of composure and self-reflection.

I’m inspired by women like Rosie, who have overcome when the odds were never in their favor. That come out on the other side because they tackled it head-on, even if it took a long while, even if it was the hardest thing they’ve ever done, whether the pain inflicted was from others or themselves, or most likely, a combination of both. That didn’t let the world break them and still choose to put light back into the world.
October 12, 2019
I haven’t had time to purchase a new book so in the meantime I decided to reread one of my absolute favourites. Rosie is SO funny. I legit laugh out loud on the train while reading her book. I have so much admiration for her. She has been through so much in her life. I think I should read her second book now again. I just love her and how she retells all the fucked things she’s been through.
November 2, 2021
Me and my family life related to this hard. I appreciate such serious moments of Rosie’s life were told with a sense of humour. My bad for reading it 6 years after everyone else.
6 reviews1 follower
April 4, 2020
Loved this memoir and 10/10 recommend to all my #fans. Absolutely hilarious and light for such a harrowing story.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
238 reviews19 followers
July 8, 2016
I honestly had not heard of Rosie Waterland until she was on Richard Glover's ABC Radio program. I was driving home from work and she was making jokes about the television show 'The Bachelor'.

Having no interest in the show, I tuned out.

On Goodreads I saw friends read her book and rated it. The connection wasn't made.

Richard Glover had Rosie Waterland back on his radio program again, joking that her memoir grossly out sold his. Still I didn't make the connection. But, this time I did note her name as she discussed her family background.

Finally, a day of talks at The Sydney Opera House titled All about Women had her as a speaker.

Buying my tickets late I ended up not sitting with friends, but making my own choices and had a session where I didn't really know what to choose. So, remembering that Richard Glover interview, bought myself a ticket to Rosie Waterland's talk.

Turns out that I am seated right behind her sibblings at the talk. And, as she mentions each of them and a close friend - POW! I see them flush, bob their head or smile. Incredible, voyeuristic and left me feeling I'd intruded.

I attended the talk with virtually no prior knowledge (I'm really not capable of doing two things at once - driving and listening carefully), or expectations. She was nervous, and spoke about a social media faux pas she'd recently made firstly. She giggled, fluffed up her ballerina skirt and hugged the folder she'd brought on stage with her. This was personal, and I felt for her.

Perhaps I was missing something, because I hadn't read the book? Not long after, I saw a second hand copy and read it, and it left me wondering: what is the purpose of this memoir?

A great article from The New York Times in 2011 from Neil Genzlinger described memoir as 'this absurdly bloated genre' and finishes with: 'That’s what makes a good memoir — it’s not a regurgitation of ordinariness or ordeal, not a dart thrown desperately at a trendy topic, but a shared discovery'.

Rosie Waterland's story is far from ordinary, but after hearing her speak and reading her book, I wondered about the audience and purpose? The title suggested hind-sight, reflection, conclusion. The title of her talk was 'How to be yourself'.

Was this a memoir about acceptance? Reaching out to similar people in the community and identifying? Advice?

Candida Baker, writing for The SMH wrote 'Waterland's writing is poignant, hilarious and rude. She reveals not only her family's foibles but her own'.

Was it to take her own personal life and make it into art then? I got this idea from a 2007 article in The Guardian by Tim Lott.

On memoir Lott wrote:
'The fact is, at the deepest level, if you want to write a confessional piece, whether you're Dave Pelzer or JR Ackerley, you want to do it because you want your confession to be heard. It is the motivation for sorting it out in your head and on paper in the first place. And you invariably will choose to pay the price, whatever it is, rather than face the alternatives - the alternatives of invisibility and irrelevance, of inconsequentiality.'

This, in my opinion fits with Rosie Waterland's book. Part of me wanted to take her hand and say "No, don't overshare such things - you'll later regret it". And the audience? We've all seen the Dave Pelzer books. Surely she didn't intend to appeal to the same market?

My fear for the writer after reading this was she'd be judged and labeled for a past 'me', rather than her achievements, current self and future goals/ambitions.

As a reader, I was horrified, saddened and at times annoyed. Genzlinger's 'shared discovery' wasn't clear to me (it's okay to build blanket forts, avoid work deadlines and over eat/drink?), and while I did finish the book, and found the writing to be of a high standard, as Candida Baker expressed, I don't think I would be queuing up to buy her next book.

Good luck to her and her family.

Profile Image for Kerenza.
121 reviews8 followers
September 8, 2015
4.5 stars

I was first introduced to Rosie Waterland through her "Rosie Recaps" of the Australian version of the Bachelor. I wasn't even watching the bachelor at this stage however couldn't turn away from her hilarious satirical recaps of the show. I've also read a number of her articles on the Mamamia website http://www.mamamia.com.au/, the articles were always funny and a bit of fluff to read on my train trip's home. When I first heard that Rosie was releasing a book I was curious and wanted to read it as she always brought on a laugh, however I was in for a shock when I realised just what Rosie's life up until this point had been.

The book is a memoir of Rosie's life growing up in a broken family, living with substance affected parents, growing up in housing commission houses and just trying to find a way to survive.

The book was brutal in its honesty, Rosie is no holds bar. And despite everything she has endured she still manages to find the humour in every situation. The book has been described as a dark comedy, yet it is so much more.

Rosie you should be so proud of the things you have achieved and the steps you have taken to turn your life around. I hope you and your sisters continue to strive and live the lives you deserve. The empathy you have shown towards your parents is testament to the person you have become, and its a lot more than would have been expected of you.

Pack the tissues, be prepared to laugh at the worst of circumstances, be shocked by what people are capable of and be grateful that stories like Rosie's can be heard, and can hopefully bring about change.

Now back to her lighthearted Bachelor recaps. This girl knows a thing or two about dirty street pie
Profile Image for Chantelle Branley.
10 reviews1 follower
August 3, 2016
When I started this book I thought it was an hilarious work of fiction. About half way through, I realised it was an autobiography and I was mortified. With a few chapters to go, I was thinking 'this is a solid 3, maybe 4 star book'. And then the last chapter nailed it. Every point I read in the last chapter just made sense, with a few leaving me to think, 'wow, this girl gets me'. Overall, such a fantastic read, with a heartfelt, very meaningful ending!
Profile Image for Helen.
438 reviews9 followers
February 4, 2016
Wow. What a legend. I haven't read any of Waterland's columns before but can see how her writing style has such mass appeal. She's blunt but funny, clever but always self-deprecating.

Her tumultuous childhood is hard to fathom. Her ability to look back on it all with a wry sense of humour is stupefyingly impressive.

And I love that she trumpets being anti-cool. I think most of us are right there with her, happily sitting in the gutter eating a food truck taco.
Profile Image for Katrina.
122 reviews4 followers
January 6, 2016
I loved reading this, not in the least because Rosie uses the word "fanny" with gusto. it's honest, open, shocking, funny and real; and reads like a slightly inebriated but hilarious friend laying it all on the table. Reading her famous Bachelor reviews did not prepare me for the gritty story of her childhood, nor the raw account of her battle with her mental health. She tells it like it is and you want to hug her, slap her, help her and befriend her. Bravo, Rosie, please just keep being Rosie.
Profile Image for Renae Nae.
71 reviews4 followers
December 6, 2015
Oh wow this is just as good as everyone has said! I have such respect for Rosie and am in awe of how brave and honest she is about LITERALLY every part of her life. I laughed till I cried and learnt so much about how to get through to the other side of the crap life throws at you and be ok. Now I just want to give her a huge hug and thank her for writing this gem of a memoir!
Profile Image for Ella.
568 reviews108 followers
September 6, 2015
Profile Image for Shona.
16 reviews1 follower
February 5, 2020
It's a solid 3.5 for me for this memoir.

The book is split unofficially into 2 parts. The first half deals with her horrific childhood including siblings. The second is a solo affair (sisters and parents barely mentioned again) centred around boarding school, sexual "adventures", and early adult life. The first half was a lot more compelling for me but had secondary issues like me questioning why I enjoyed reading about the truly harrowing childhood. I mean, it's a year inducing shit-show which had me bawling like a baby but I couldn't wait to read the next chapter. The second half lost me a bit. There were basically no relationships any more. The sisters disappeared from the book. Her mum disappeared, although it was mentioned that she'd had occassionall contact. I wanted to know more about that. More about how her sister managed to make a go of it having been theou the same shit as Rosie. I wanted to know how/why she maintained a relationship with her mum after the cruel lesbian/DOCS evening. I wanted to know more about the uncle and Aunty situation.

I'm glad she has come out of it all with a great sense of humour and an ability to feel empathy and a forgiveness. Far less could have been expected of someone who has gone through so much. I hope her sisters have found support and flourished in a similar way.
Profile Image for Reannon Bowen.
331 reviews
September 10, 2017
3.5 stars ( can we get a half star rating please!) What I liked most about this book was Rosie's writing style. She is funny & self depreciating & doesn't hold back at all. I love woman who write openly & honestly about themselves, their lives & their lessons, even when it doesn't cast them in the best light. Rosie's story is full of things that should make you feel sad & angry but really I was just rooting for her to survive & thrive. And it seems like she does & is doing just that.
Profile Image for Monique .
264 reviews24 followers
January 4, 2018
Australian writer, good read. If you are interested in social work or mental health this will be an interesting read. Rosie's childhood was full of traumatic experiences and her journey to the present takes many twists and turns. She is best known probably for her Bachelor write ups on Mamamia. Really funny girl, heartfelt piece of writing.
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