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The New Me

3.39  ·  Rating details ·  10,149 ratings  ·  1,375 reviews
A biting satire of the false promise of reinvention, by a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree and Granta Best Young American Novelist

I'm still trying to make the dream possible: still might finish my cleaning project, still might sign up for that yoga class, still might, still might. I step into the shower and almost faint, an image of taking the day by the throat
Paperback, 193 pages
Published March 2019 by Penguin
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Dan Leo I agree with Lauren. I hate-read Eileen, but I wound up love-reading The New Me. The biggest difference? The New Me had a sense of humor to it. Coal-b…moreI agree with Lauren. I hate-read Eileen, but I wound up love-reading The New Me. The biggest difference? The New Me had a sense of humor to it. Coal-black humor, but humor nonetheless.(less)
Kathleen I loved that show. I read this question before I started reading and got excited that maybe Millie was going to be hit on the head with a giant toilet…moreI loved that show. I read this question before I started reading and got excited that maybe Millie was going to be hit on the head with a giant toilet seat from space but [spoiler alert] that didn't happen. They should totally bring that show back and start it back up with The New Me formula. I'd watch that(less)

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Average rating 3.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,149 ratings  ·  1,375 reviews

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Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
if u are also kind of a pretentious, bitter person who is unenthusiastic about the mundanity of adulthood u might want to read this. it was strangely cathartic but also very upsetting at the same time. it made me feel like trash and i liked it.
Britta Böhler
Yeah, having to work sucks. Bosses suck. Having to pay the rent sucks. And reading nothing else for 200 pages is just, well, boring.
(4.5) When I first heard about The New Me – the plot (the life and times of a misanthropic young woman who ‘oscillates wildly between self-recrimination and mild delusion’), the blurb from Catherine Lacey proclaiming it ‘a dark comedy of female rage’ – I instantly thought ‘this sounds like an Ottessa Moshfegh novel’. And I wasn’t wrong: after all, the protagonist says things like I get into bed... longing for someone to talk to, or longing for no one to ever look at me or talk to me ever again. ...more
Elyse  Walters
First place ‘prize-of-the-year’, for the most critical- cynical - inner voice - nagging voice - with repetitive destructive thoughts towards herself and others goes to 30-year-old

It’s easy to see Millie as pathetic....a woman with low self esteem- angry at the world - depressed - she’s smarter than most - educated - bitter - teetering between feelings of self hatred without motivation to change - and wishing she wasn’t alone - wanting somebody to notice that she could actually be a gr
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The New Me is a claustrophobic and brilliant novel that takes a good long look at what's on offer to millenials these days and tears open the relentless yammering maw of "if you just try, you can do it/tomorrow is another day/just eat better, exercise more/try meditation/just do one small thing and change your life!" to show that it's just noise and, at the end of it all, past the self-help, self-care, and "adulting" is just you and who you are.

And that is usually, according to the notions of b
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss-arc-s
Misanthropic Millie is the main character in Halle Butlers debut novel, The New Me. If you are a fan of Ottessa Moshfeghs work then you'll likely enjoy this one. I'm sure there will be some readers that wonder what the point of this book is. I, personally, love snarky humor so it was bound to be a win for me.

Mille is 30 years old and lives alone in NYC. She separated with her boyfriend of 4 years over a year ago and has yet to be touched since. She works at a temp job she hates with people she
Sam Quixote
Jul 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Office temping jobs are unfulfilling, beyond boring and deeply depressing – who knew?! Working in a call centre is worse! Whaaa….?! It’s almost like Halle Butler’s stating the bleeding obvious while having an extended moan about her own crappy life and trying to pass it all off as a literary novel! But that would mean she’s a hack and The New Me isn’t worth reading? Now who’s stating the bleeding obvious!

It’s beyond me how books like this get published to begin with. Butler’s first effort is ama
Emily B
Jan 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
The protagonist Millie is strikingly accurate at times in her often bleak observations on modern life while often being somewhat self deluded. Overall I found this book sort of relatable and it made me feel slightly less alone.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Give me a disaffected, apathetic, embittered female protagonist in a dead end job having an existential crisis about the meaning of life and I’m yours. Butler, I salute you. This has a strong My Year of Rest and Relaxation vibe which is a very good thing.
‘I try to assess the things that bring me pleasure, and how those things might bring me a fulfilling career. I think about how I spend my time. Where my interests lie. The questions come naturally, as if supplied by the ether, and the answer sit
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
There’s a lot of grumbling misery going on in this book and I’m here for it. Stuck in a rut job, in a rut life Millie can’t seem to feel any joy at all, life is one mundane chore after another and work being the biggest burden of all. In and out of temp office jobs, her personal life is almost non existent and the one friend she has, she has mostly contempt for. The beauty of this book is how clever the author is at depicting the inner rage and disdain of working meaningless jobs and the soul de ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My review for the Chicago Tribune:

At its worst, the doctrine of self-improvement can be dehumanizing — pressuring individuals to treat themselves like products or apps perpetually in need of touch-ups or updates, the better to accommodate themselves to a fast-paced, mechanized and alienating world. In her short, satirical and cautionary second novel, “The New Me,” Halle Butler explores self-improvement at its absolute, impractical, soul-crushing worst.

A 2
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
There's this whole microgenre now, the "lazy millennial", of millenials (mostly women?) who live in big cities, hate their jobs, and are lonely and unsatisfied. It seems to be like extensions of the TV series Girls, except generally they have actually managed to alienate their friends (which seemed like it should have happened in Girls too, but I digress).

I generally don't enjoy these types of novels, since they don't usually end up in a different place than they started, the protagonists tend t
Claire Reads Books
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book careened between two stars and four stars at various points for me, and I spent the first several chapters thinking it was just a poor man’s My Year of Rest and Relaxation. But in the back half, it becomes a more textured and compassionate portrait of millennial burnout (or maybe just burnout? is it generational? maybe in some ways, but the book also seems to be making the case that deadening malaise is a fairly prevalent condition of the modern age). It might be a bit too nihilistic f ...more
Roman Clodia
Apr 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
She seems to be showing me how to use a paper clip. She holds it in her hands, demonstrating both the right and the wrong way.

With the grubbiness of Eileen and the millennial malaise of My Year of Rest and Relaxation this seems to be channeling Moshfegh in its smart exposé of meaninglessness. The sharp and snappy writing is what I wanted from Sally Rooney but somehow didn't get.

Following Millie's ennui from daily commute to dispiriting low-level corporate jobs to friendless evenings with an
Umm okay, but what was The Point™? To me, this tried to do what Ottessa Moshfegh does really well in her books — throwing you right into the mind of an entirely unlikable, self-loathing person, making you listen to their bleak, repetitive thought spirals and then, surprisingly, remarkably, twisting it into something that completely sucks you in and makes you empathise with the protagonist without you even realising it. I think this is what Halle Butler was aiming at with this, but it didn't work ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Karen, the senior receptionist, and technically my supervisor, smiles at me like I can't tell she's faking, and says 'Hi, Maddie' and I say 'Hi!' but that's not my name. It's Millie, not Maddie. I want to go up to her and prostrate myself on her desk, my ribs activating her ****** gold stapler, the one I know she loves so much, over and over, by thrashing, sending staples all over her desk, while I explain to her the difference between Mildred and Madison . . ." -- Millie (not Maddie!), on page ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever sat and wondered why it is your friends seem to have the impression that you need a lot of help and constructive advice when internally, you really think you're doing fine, this is the book for you. If you've ever had a soul-deadening job that's truly your best prospect right now and your goals have been reduced to a fuzzy concept of maybe being happy at work one day, this book is for you. I live in the suburbs of a big city, not the actual big city, but I love this book because i ...more
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The New Me is a book that has been on my periphery since it first came out. The cover, title, and summary were relatively intriguing as they gave me some very strong Ottessa Moshfegh/The Bell Jar vibes. Still, it wasn't anywhere close the top of my TBR until I saw that Halle Butler is going to introduce a new edition of The Yellow Paper.

The New Me shares much in common with My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Pizza Girl, Luster, Severance (and many others): we a rathe
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This one is a tough one to rate. On the one hand, it's a blisteringly fast read, the kind that gives you paper cuts (metaphorically). Millie is all of us who entered the workforce during the recession or just after, all of us millennial who are so often mocked for all of our 'problems'. I don't want to associate with her, but I do. I don't want to think she's a bad person, because I also see myself in her -- and yet, it's like "get your shit together!"
So the book is a good book, told interestin
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could read a new Halle Butler book every day.
Robin Bonne
Apr 25, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF. Too much privilege. It’s like an angsty story the rich white kids in your college creative writing class wrote.
Miina Lindberg
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reading2019
This was bleak and boring! Nothing noteworthy happened in this book. Another novel about a millennial who doesn't know what to do with her life, can't keep a job and spends her time drinking or/ and letting other people walk over her.

Compared to "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine", "My Year of Rest and Relaxation", and "Convenience Store Woman", this book was just meh.
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is not a book where you are going to wish the protagonist existed in real life, so you could have a really nice chat and become friends with her. I am not sure she has the capability of liking anybody...she doesn't like herself to begin with. I ordered this book because I read a review of it in the New Yorker by Jia Tolentino. I was not disappointed - it was excellent. ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it liked it
If you like character-driven novels then "The New Me" by Halle Butler is the perfect read for you. I have a love/hate relationship with these types of books. But this time around, I felt kind of indifferent and torn. Part of me liked Millie, even though she's a whiny, insecure, and neurotic mess. What makes Millie so appealing (despite her many flaws) was her relatability. I think most modern women have a negative inner-monologue that never stops throughout the course of a day. I know I've felt ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The New Me had me laughing out loud as I sampled the first chapter and a half in a bookstore. Obviously I bought it and I'm glad I did because it's my favorite release of 2019 so far. I love novels about disaffected young women with a scathing POV on contemporary life. If you feel strange and out of place in the modern world, it's nice to have something you can identify with and go, Oh, that's so me. For me, The New Me was such a book. Halle Butler's novel is painful, funny, and true. It should ...more
Jessica Sullivan
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
“I get socked in the chest, thinking about how things never change. How they’re on a slow-rolling slope downward, and you can think up a long list of things you’d rather do, but because of some kind of inertia, or hard facts about who you are and what life is, you always end up back where you started, sitting drunk on a hard, sticky chair with someone you hate.”

I could read endless books about disaffected young women navigating the absurdities of modern life, so maybe a little biased, but I love
Skyler Autumn
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: surprise
4.5 Stars
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was........vicious
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-lit, fiction
A quote on the back cover of ‘The New Me’ states that ‘Certain sentences are liable to give the reader a paper cut’. I think this underplays the effect of the writing. For me, reading it was more like the feeling of doing the washing up after midnight, just before bed, in a soft sleepy state, rinsing an empty can, forgetting the sharp edges, and looking down to suddenly realise you’ve sliced your hand open. I had that sensation when reading this part:

You can’t ask someone to help you without let
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
idk man this book felt a little off to me... it was really bleak which i usually like but maybe had i read it when i was in the right headspace i’d have appreciated it more (or at all) but the whole book was just meh. i liked the main character’s inner monologues and even liked the pretentiousness of it all but overall, i didn’t love it or hate it. reading the synopsis i thought it’s going to be something like my year of rest and relaxation which, even though i didn’t love, i thoroughly enjoyed, ...more
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Mt. Lebanon Publi...: The New Me by Halle Butler 1 12 Jun 11, 2019 03:36PM  

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