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The New Me

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3.45  ·  Rating details ·  5,967 ratings  ·  839 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
...more
Paperback, 191 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by Penguin Books
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lauren Absolutely not. The self-loathing is palpable but not to the extremes that are reached in Eileen.
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 3.45  · 
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 ·  5,967 ratings  ·  839 reviews


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Kat
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 wasnt 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. Either ...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*
Elyse  Walters
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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*.

Its easy to see Millie as pathetic....a woman with low self esteem- angry at the world - depressed - shes smarter than most - educated - bitter - teetering between feelings of self hatred without motivation to change - and wishing she wasnt alone - wanting somebody to notice that she could actually be a great
...more
Michelle
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Elizabeth
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Sam Quixote
Jul 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Office temping jobs are unfulfilling, beyond boring and deeply depressing who knew?! Working in a call centre is worse! Whaaa.?! Its almost like Halle Butlers 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 shes a hack and The New Me isnt worth reading? Now whos stating the bleeding obvious!

Its beyond me how books like this get published to begin with. Butlers first effort is amateurish,
...more
Vanessa
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Theres a lot of grumbling misery going on in this book and Im here for it. Stuck in a rut job, in a rut life Millie cant 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 ...more
Jaclyn Crupi
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Give me a disaffected, apathetic, embittered female protagonist in a dead end job having an existential crisis about the meaning of life and Im 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 sits
...more
Kathleen
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Dan
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Scott
Nov 21, 2019 rated it liked it
"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
Claire Reads Books
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 mans 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 ...more
Jac
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could read a new Halle Butler book every day.
rachel
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Drew
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Rebecca McNutt
I wouldn't exactly call The New Me shocking or even particularly unique. Maybe it's just where I'm from. I live in a gig economy where people change their jobs more often than they change their table cloths, and moving aimlessly from one temp job to the next in trippy, mindless repetition is just part of being Nova Scotian (unless you're a student like me, in which case you go to the same classes over and over again, travelling through the woods on a bus and hoping you'll one day get a ...more
Robin Bonne
Apr 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
DNF. Too much privilege. Its like an angsty story the rich white kids in your college creative writing class wrote. ...more
Skyler Autumn
Feb 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: surprise
4.5 Stars
Theresa
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
Sarah
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was........vicious
Lotte
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
Anna
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 youve sliced your hand open. I had that sensation when reading this part:

You cant ask someone to help you without letting
...more
Jessica Sullivan
I get socked in the chest, thinking about how things never change. How theyre on a slow-rolling slope downward, and you can think up a long list of things youd 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 loved
...more
Miina Saarna
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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 Butlers 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
...more
Erin Glover
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Id like to think I have my shit together. And I do, for the most part. But that wasnt always the case; far from it, in fact. I know Im not alone here, that my story isnt 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).

Youre probably thinking: where is this buffoon going with this? I
...more
Alison Hardtmann
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Mt. Lebanon Publi...: The New Me by Halle Butler 1 8 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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