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The New Me

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3.50  ·  Rating details ·  3,775 ratings  ·  570 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 and/>I'm
...more
208 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Penguin
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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)
lauren Absolutely not. The self-loathing is palpable but not to the extremes that are reached in Eileen.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,775 ratings  ·  570 reviews


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Elyse Walters
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
*Millie*.

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
...more
Blair
(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. Ei ...more
Michelle
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
...more
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.
1.5*
Elizabeth
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
...more
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 e
...more
Jaclyn Crupi
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 answ
...more
Vanessa
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
Kathleen
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My review for the Chicago Tribune: https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifest...

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 2008 graduate of the
...more
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
Dan
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
...more
Jac
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could read a new Halle Butler book every day.
rachel
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
Drew
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
...more
Sarah
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was........vicious
Theresa
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 likes Millie, even though she's a whiny, insecure, and neurotic mess. What makes Millie so appealing (despite her many flaws) is 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 t ...more
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.
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
...more
Miina Saarna
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.
Samantha
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 be requ ...more
Erin Glover
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you take this for what it is--satire--you'll enjoy it a lot more than if you look for deep themes. Full review to follow.
Matthew
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’d like to think I have my shit together. And I do, for the most part. But that wasn’t always the case; far from it, in fact. I know I’m not alone here, that my story isn’t special or unique. I am not some delicate snowflake begging for sympathy. Truth be told the majority of us had to go from, well, not having their shit together, to having their shit together (provided said shit has been, for lack of a better term, composed).

You’re probably thinking: where is this buffoon going with this? I
...more
Paris (parisperusing)
I once confided in a friend about this fear of mine: that someday loneliness and the state of being alone would somehow switch places overnight — the former smothering the latter in my safe sleep — interrupting the tranquil music of my own solitude.

Such seems the case of Millie, the blithe protagonist of Halle Butler’s novel The New Me, who tries her very best to endure the monotonous life of a thirtysomething; her accidental disappointments as a temp worker; her one-sided friendship with a selfis
...more
Alison Hardtmann
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library
Millie is working as a temp in the office of a design company. She answers phones and collates papers and dislikes her co-workers, who return the favor. Despite the mind-numbing boredom, she hopes to be made permanent and the signs are looking good. She thinks about how much her life will be improved by the modest bump in pay and begins her program to become a new person, better than the old one, a person who doesn't spend all her time watching TV on her laptop and drinking, but who does things ...more
Ann-Marie
Mar 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lindsay Hunter
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I inhaled this book. So good.
Sarah
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I think it's time to accept that these "biting millennial satire" novels are never much more than relatively enjoyable, fast paced reads for me. Is it that the satire is lost on me because I'm one of them and it all his a little too close to home? Quite possibly. I'm glad I read this but it wasn't as mind-blowing as I expected from all the rave reviews on here. But if you loved My Year of Rest and Relaxation then I'm pretty sure you'll love this too.
Nikki
Dark and funny and relatable as hell. Then just dark and relatable. Then just dark and scary. An elegantly written little horror show.
Anna
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, american-lit
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 with/>
You
...more
Karen (idleutopia_reads)
Apr 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have read a couple of novels recently that have terrified me to my core. The words on the printed page have seemed to have been transcribed from emotions, feelings, and fears that I’ve had in the background of my mind and that I try hard to obfuscate through whatever medium I can find. Seeing and reading them in front of me forces me to confront these emotions and realize that I am not alone in feeling this. I’m not sure if that is a comfort or not. The story of Millie could be said to be a mo ...more
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Mt. Lebanon Publi...: The New Me by Halle Butler 1 7 Jun 11, 2019 03:36PM  

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here you can find a pretty lazy selection of a few books i've read. still haven't gotten around to the pillowman.
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“You can’t ask someone to help you without letting them know you’re different than advertised, that you’ve been thinking and feeling strange things this whole time. That you’re uglier, weaker, more annoying, more basic, less interesting than promised. Without letting on that your feelings are easily hurt, and that you are boring, just like everyone else.” 6 likes
“I laughed when she said “utilize” and she said “what?” and I said “just utilize, it’s a meaningless word” and then she tried to tell me that it “communicated” something different from the word “use” and the way she looked at me, chuckling, glancing over at James like “oh, how sweet, it tried to talk,” made me so mad that I might have said, maybe, something along the lines of “yeah, it communicates something, it’s a real first-gen-college-grad kind of word, like your parents are small-town conservative Christians who didn’t have any books in the house, and you’re self-conscious about your upbringing so you want to stand out by using elitist intellectual language, but you don’t actually know any long words, so you just truss up the word ‘use’ for no fucking reason other than to try to make people feel like you’re the one with the big mental dick, even though ‘utilize’ is basically just administrative jargon and completely déclassé to them that knows.” 4 likes
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