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Obviously: Stories from My Timeline

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  466 ratings  ·  89 reviews
"A refreshingly funny and blisteringly unsentimental coming-of-age memoir." -John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All The Way Down and The Fault in Our Stars

In Akilah Hughes's world, family--and life--are often complicated, but always funny. Through intimate and hilarious essays, Akilah takes readers along on her journey from the small Kentucky town
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Razorbill
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  466 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Steph Sinclair
Probably the only YouTuber Star book I'll ever read.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever read a book that you didn’t realize your soul needed until you finished it? That was this book for me.

Akilah’s story breathes life into the struggles that not only plague the everyday life of teenagers but also the struggles associated with being a woman of color. Each chapter of this book is a different snippet of her life experiences, and we see how each one comes together to tell her life story.

So many of these chapters had me laughing one minute to crying to the next. From the
Lost in Book Land
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hello Again!

Alright, I am going to start out with admitting I have not read a lot of books in this genre however, I was recently approached by Penguin Teen and offered an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Now as many of you know I have had much more time to read lately because of my new job and some other major life changes and I have always wanted to read more books in this genre. In the past, I have checked tons out of the library but never found the time to actually read
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
“I stopped being afraid to try because I had someone in my corner who believed in me even when I couldn’t see that for myself.”

Hughes gives us a collection of essays about different moments in her life from her complicated relationship with her father to how she became a YouTube celebrity. The book isn’t laugh out loud funny but I did chuckle a few times. The essay that was the most impactful to me was “Racism to a fifteen year old girl.” I can also see people relating to the essays on anxiety
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-library, sep19
I laughed a lot and cried a bit, too. This is a wonderful fast-paced read.
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was an absolute joy to read. I loved spending a few hours in Akilah's head, learning more about her life and the things that matter to her. I definitely cried at the chapter about her health, and was enraged at the stories about her fifth-grade teacher, but other than that, I laughed. I laughed so much. I very much enjoyed her stories about arriving in New York, and karaoke, and friendships, and going viral. Akilah's sense of humor is just the best and it really does seem after reading the ...more
Mackenzie Coulson
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Snagged this book at BookCon, and as a bonus I got to meet Akilah Hughes! This was an easy read with a window into the triumph and tribulations faced by Hughes throughout her life. It was a memoir meets a collection of essays. She acknowledges at the onset that the book lacks a common thread, and it’s true. However, the book follows her life as she sees it and shares it, much like any of us when we share a story. Definitely a must read!
Brittany J. (BNJreads)
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to PenguinTeen for sending me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Obviously: Stories from my Timeline by Akilah Hughes , needless to say I really enjoyed. A collection of essays depicting different moments in her life from cringeworthy, to disheartening, to yaassss, to laugh out loud and many more emotions in between. Most importantly, I took away that, through every situation you encounter “your self-worth can never depend on how much someone else believes in you”...


Aug 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a funny and entertaining collection of personal essays by public figure Akilah Hughes. She is a Writer, Comedian and YouTube Star. In this collection of personal essays Hughes shares fragments from throughout her life so far. Drawing from her childhood, elementary school days to college and into adulthood. She touches on big issues like racism, bodyweight, family, illness, friendship, celebrities, the internet and more!
I particularly enjoyed the parts about her childhood and where she
Sep 18, 2019 rated it liked it
I've been following Akilah for many years and I think she is a vital voice in millennial media and culture. I was super excited for this collection, and while I think it will be a great read for any fans of Akilah's, there were so many instances throughout these essays where I felt like her voice had only just begun to peek through... and then the essay would end. I wish she had spent more time diving into some of the heavier hitting topics here (her experiences with racism in her hometown, her ...more
Morgan Thomas
Dec 31, 2019 rated it liked it
I can begin by saying that if I hadn't received a copy of this at a book event I wouldn't have picked it up. The author was unknown to me, so maybe that's why the book didn't seem to land for me. But that can't be the only reason. While the stories may be interesting to fans, I found nothing about this woman's life especially appealing. The book was readable, but I was moved by very little, and the interesting things that could have been expanded in regards to her life were lacking. They were ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun read. I appreciated being able to learn more about Akilah in her own words. I had multiple laugh out loud moments in this book, so if you're looking for a funny memoir this is it. My only negative thought was that I wished the last essay had been.. a little bit stronger? I was surprised that's how they chose to end the book.
Traci at The Stacks
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this audiobook. Hughes narrates it and she is a perfect mix of funny and reflective. Her stories are ranging and you can’t help but fall in love with her. The pacing is great.
Akilah Hughes has given us a collection of stories from her life; growing up in Southern USA, school encounters, friends, nemeses, and family relationships.

She takes us through her life after graduating from college and trying to find her way and what she wanted to do; taking crappy jobs in order to gain experience, moving to New York to start a new chapter in her life, struggling to succeed at doing what you love, failed friendships/relationships. It's all here, and told with humour and
Very relatable and humorous too. I was amazed at all Hughes has accomplished in her 20s, and the chapter worth reading was her Greyhound bus trip to New York City and back. I always wanted to travel across a long distance to a large city by bus or train, and now I'm not so sure!
Nancy Fischer
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Funny, poignant, terrific. Obviously.
Rick Draughon
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
I heard this author on NPR and she was really funny, but the book (even with its humorous moments/anecdotes) fell flat (in my opinion).
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first fell in love with Akilah through Pod Save America. This books is legitimately laugh out loud funny. It’s super fast and the stories she shares are incredibly relatable.
I don't really have a lot to say, but I enjoyed this! It might be the first memoir I've read by someone younger than me, which was also interesting!
DNF @ 40%

Not the right reader for this. Timeline is confusing and there's a lot of side anecdotes that make it difficult to keep up. Might work better as an audiobook.
Chas! Pangburn
Oct 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Waaaay back in 2004, I befriended Akilah at the Hersey’s Ice Cream shop in the Florence Mall. She called me “Milkshake Boy,” gave me free shakes, and we quickly became friends. You know, the natural thing to do. Haha I couldn’t go to the mall without swinging by and saying “Hi” to her and Bree T—it was a highlight of every trip.

Since then, Akilah has hopped through various mediums, made a name for herself, and proven she can be proficient in anything she sets her mind to. This book is no
Aug 14, 2019 rated it liked it
What do you do when there’s a heatwave and you can’t even bat your eyelids without breaking into a sweat? Try and find a cool spot for a long day of reading.

This review is based on an ARC so things may be different from the final publication.

I strongly recommend this for teenage readers. As an adult reader, the essays are short enough for you to enjoy without getting too pulled in. If you need to take a break from studying, something to read between classes, or on your commute this is a good
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Difficult to rate; ultimately, the book is uneven and could have benefited from a stronger edit. The first half in particular was not great; however, both the content and the writing really kick it up in the second half. The essay about chronic health issues in your twenties when you’re “too young” to have them was particularly affecting, given I’ve had a similar experience. Glad to have read it, but not something I’ll ever reread.
It more a collection of funny essays than memoir because their isn't much of a unifying theme. It's about her life including elementary school, Internet usage (Neopets!), college, racism, YouTube, and life in New York. The first half is funny and breezy like listening to a friend retell stories about their life -- some funny and some frustrating. The best part is the chapter on a childhood pet bunny and the raccoons in her house. It drags in the middle when talking about college and Disney, but ...more
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
As someone who doesn’t read memoirs often I really enjoyed this book. From the beginning I found myself relating to Akilah is so many different ways. The lightheartedness of the story and the heavy YouTube feel made this super easy to read. I digested it as if it was a Storytime video which made it such a quick read.

It meant a lot to me to read about a curvy black Youtuber living in New York trying to make her dreams come true. All the obstacles and challenges she faced whether internal or
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
A Review of the Audiobook

Published by Listening Library in September of 2019.
Read by the author, Akilah Hughes.
Duration: 4 hours, 58 minutes.

To be fair to Akilah Hughes, I had never heard of her before I heard her interview on NPR promoting this book. The interview was good enough that I got the book. If you are not familiar with her, she is a comedy writer and YouTuber with a pretty good following.

I really enjoyed the first half of the book - the part that talks about her early
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this book as an ARC at Bookcon. Before going, there was numerous posts about Akilah Hughes and her new book. The cover captured my attention, as well as the publicity so I had to check her out for myself! After checking out YouTube and her social media platform, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy! I waited an hour in line and it truly did not disappoint. I laughed out loud many times and even shed a tear or two. I felt like I was sitting with a friend and discussing life over a ...more
Nov 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: biographies
I adore Akilah Hughes. I find her incredibly interesting and funny. When she is guesting on a podcast I get excited.
This book was fine. I cannot pinpoint exactly what is missing from it, maybe it is the disconnect between chapters and ideas, maybe it is in the abrupt way the book ended, maybe it was just a general ho-hum about the entire work. Or maybe it is that I have read far too many pop culture biographies this year, and this one just pushed it over the uninterested mark.

I am not sure.
Amanda Sanders
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This author's timeline is random and often actually causes confusion. On p 38, she is talking about her father and then randomly throws in a story about high school graduation. There were plenty of examples of this. She talks about running to her mother's office at school, but doesn't mention that her mother worked at the school until much later. When she says she will talk about college, she actually talks about post college. The stories don't connect to a bonding theme. There is nothing that ...more
Sarah Ressler Wright
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I just finished Obviously: Stories from my Timeline by Akilah Hughes. On Volumes App from Listening Library, 4 hours and 59 minutes. Published 9/24/19 and found it a great choice for teens and adults! Nonfiction essays that cover a wide range of topics and are super-relatable for teens. Most of what she discusses is about her adolescent self, with a few college/post-college adulthood. Everything is PG to PG13 and her favorite essay of mine is "Racism to a 15 year old black girl is..."

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Akilah Hughes is a writer, comedian, and YouTuber residing in Brooklyn, NY. She’s been a digital correspondent for MTV, Fusion, Comedy Central, Crooked Media, and more. A Sundance Labs Fellow, Akilah most recently appeared on the HBO series special Pod Save America. Her comedic YouTube channel, “It’s Akilah, Obviously!” has amassed more than 150,000 subscribers.

(source: Penguin Random House)