Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Life Will Be the Death of Me: . . . and You Too!

Rate this book
Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Humor (2019)
In a haze of vape smoke on a rare windy night in L.A. in the fall of 2016, Chelsea Handler daydreams about what life will be like with a woman in the White House. And then Donald Trump happens. In a torpor of despair, she decides that she's had enough of the privileged bubble she's lived in--a bubble within a bubble--and that it's time to make some changes, both in her personal life and in the world at large.

At home, she embarks on a year of self-sufficiency--learning how to work the remote, how to pick up dog shit, where to find the toaster. She meets her match in an earnest, brainy psychiatrist and enters into therapy, prepared to do the heavy lifting required to look within and make sense of a childhood marked by love and loss and to figure out why people are afraid of her. She becomes politically active--finding her voice as an advocate for change, having difficult conversations, and energizing her base. In the process, she develops a healthy fixation on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and, through unflinching self-reflection and psychological excavation, unearths some glittering truths that light up the road ahead.

256 pages, Hardcover

First published April 9, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Chelsea Handler

17 books4,306 followers
Chelsea Handler has become one of entertainment’s most sought after and versatile rising stars. In July 2007, Chelsea broke into the world of late-night talk shows with her E! Entertainment series, Chelsea Lately (airing weeknights at 11:00 p.m.). Consistently the network’s highest-rated program, Chelsea Lately offers a tongue-in-cheek look at entertainment news, celebrity truths, and rumors that just won't die, along with other hot topics of the day. Bringing refreshing new energy to and redefining perceptions of the talk show, Chelsea Lately is an authentic and hilarious commentary on the celebrity culture around us. Both Handler and the show have also been recognized as pioneers in late night with the show boasting five female writers to account for half of its writing staff. This is unprecedented in the late night arena that has historically been dominated by male hosts and writers.

In addition to her wildly successful television series, Chelsea is equally well-known as a best-selling author. On March 28, 2010, she achieved a spectacular feat when her three books took the #1, #2, and #3 spots on the New York Times Best Seller list. Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, from Grand Central Publishing, was the #1 nonfiction hardcover; Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea, from Simon Spotlight Entertainment, was the #2 nonfiction paperback; and My Horizontal Life, from Bloomsbury, was the #3 nonfiction paperback. In hardcover, Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelseadebuted at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list when published in April 2008, and My Horizontal Life has been a bestseller for 80 weeks.

As a testament to her versatility and tireless work ethic, Chelsea’s 21-city comedy tour, also entitled “Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang” and sponsored by Belvedere Vodka, kicked off in March 2010. After tickets sold out immediately, Live Nation added 15 more shows. As one of the nation’s most acclaimed and cutting edge-comedians, Handler delivers a sharp combination of fearless honesty, ironic riffs, and self-deprecations with no shortage of material.

With her roots in both stand-up comedy and television, Chelsea was also the star of Oxygen’s Girls Behaving Badly (now syndicated in over 90 markets ) for all of its four seasons. She also starred on E! in The Chelsea Handler Show.> In 2007 – 2008, Chelsea starred with Jenny McCarthy and Leah Remini in the hugely popular MSN online web series In The Motherhood.

In March 2009, Chelsea was honored the prestigious Ally for Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign, recognizing the outstanding efforts of those who dedicate time, energy, spirit and whole-hearted commitment to better the lives of LGBT people. She continues to be an influential and dedicated advocate for the LGBT community.

Handler, who grew up in New Jersey, currently resides in Los Angeles.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
10,100 (35%)
4 stars
11,241 (40%)
3 stars
5,260 (18%)
2 stars
1,071 (3%)
1 star
420 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,363 reviews
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,089 reviews7,946 followers
April 22, 2019
Loved her narration of the audiobook—you could hear the emotion in her voice. And I respect how vulnerable and real she was in this. Definitely not a book for everyone but I appreciated it and it was a good companion during my move and unpacking of many boxes.
Profile Image for Tina.
302 reviews411 followers
March 30, 2019
This was Chelsea's best-and most honest- memoir yet. Its still got that Chelsea brand of humor but she gets deep about privilege, politics, activism, drugs, family, and finding meaning in your life. It's really personal and probably won't appeal to every reader, but I enjoyed it. It made me think and made a great case for therapy being something for everyone. What...a delight.
April 15, 2019
This was a very big departure from the type of books Chelsea normally writes. It still had flashes of her humor (which I love), but it was pretty serious. It was mostly about her dealing with the death of her brother and mom, and then realizing her shortcomings and wanting to be a better person.

It was good, and I will always be a huge fan of hers, but if you're looking to laugh, this is not the book.
Profile Image for Heather K (dentist in my spare time).
3,830 reviews5,501 followers
June 5, 2019

I didn't properly read reviews before starting the audiobook of Life Will Be the Death of Me: . . . and You Too!, and I expected it to be another outrageous, funny, anecdotal book from Chelsea Handler. That's not at all what I got. This book is a deep, introspective look at Chelsea Handler's life, shortcomings, and personality traits that make up the complex person that she is today. It is a serious story, and it's told very movingly and with much more vulnerability than I would have though Chelsea Handler to be capable of.

If you have the chance to listen to this book in audio format, take it. I couldn't stop listening to Chelsea's voice, which ranges in tone from brazen to outraged to quivering with raw emotion. During the very meaty parts of the story, Chelsea is just opening crying while she reads. It was very enlightening listening experience for me.

The story feels like a train of thought that never ends. It is like one long, gutting therapy session (at times, it is literally that). It humanized Chelsea Handler for me, who previously seemed chiefly just bawdy and tough.

When I described the gist of the book to my husband, his immediate reaction was, Why would anyone listen to that? I'll admit, it's hard to describe the appeal of reading about a woman in her 40s examining her privilege, learning empathy for the first time, and digging deep into the reasons she is the way that she is. However, I found the audiobook to be addictive in a serious, contemplative way, and I had a hard time pressing pause.

Go into this book looking for something different, not something funny or particularly entertaining. I found it to be a very worthwhile listening experience, and I know I'll be thinking about Chelsea Handler in a new light from now on.

Profile Image for Brandice.
798 reviews
May 30, 2020
I have read a couple of Chelsea Handler’s early books, the most entertaining being My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands. None of these offered much beyond surface level material which is not surprising given she is a comedian, but they did, for the most part, provide some amusement.

Here in Life Will Be the Death Of Me: ... and You Too! Handler explores grief from the death of her brother, a painful emotion she buried years ago and has kept held in, for decades. She predominately does this through sessions with Dan, her therapist, who seems to provide a good balance of guidance and challenge. Handler is also very vocally anti-Trump — Something again, not surprising, and something you may already be familiar with if you follow her on Twitter (FTR, not complaining, just noting).

While I did enjoy Handler’s foray into deeper topics — grief, family, and a compelling urge to participate in, and ideally, help create a shift in politics, I felt detached and uninterested in other parts — Her many stories about her dogs, her self-appointed pharmaceutical recommendations, and constant reference to wanting to be a better person — An admirable goal (and one we should all check in on from time to time), however, I felt she did more talking than doing in this regard, at least in this book.

Life Will Be The Death of Me is a short read and I appreciate Handler’s willingness to do something different and show a more personal side.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,297 reviews4,828 followers
November 8, 2021

Chelsea Handler

Chelsea Handler is an American comic, actress, writer, television host, producer, and activist. Chelsea's a funny gal, but she takes a serious look at her life in this book - written as a result of a mid-life crisis triggered by Donald Trump's election. "The news was giving me diarrhea", Chelsea writes. "The whole administration was giving me diarrhea. My outrage was high."

Chelsea had a mid-life crisis after Trump's election

Chelsea excoriates Trump as well as 'vampiric Ivanka and Jared', and 'Sarah Suckabee Sanders.' Chelsea is especially offended by the women in the Trump administration who do a disservice to their own gender.

Chelsea acknowledges that she herself had a favored, successful life. Talented, pretty, Jewish, and driven, young Chelsea went to Hollywood and scored roles in movies and television before getting her own shows on E! and then Netflix.

Teen Chelsea Handler was talented and pretty

Nevertheless, at the age of 42 Chelsea felt that something about her life was off, and - following Trump's ascendancy - decided to get therapy. Thus, Chelsea started seeing 'a real psychiatrist', Dr. Dan Siegel.

Chelsea Handler's psychiatrist, Dr. Dan Siegel

Chelsea goes into detail about her therapy with Dan and recreates many of her conversations with the analyst. These sections are interspersed with anecdotes about Chelsea's life, some serious and some funny.

At Dan's suggestion, Chelsea took the Enneagram personality test, which shows you which of nine personality categories you fit into.

Chelsea decided she was a type 8 personality. "Eights are self-confident, strong, assertive, protective, resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but they can also be ego-centric and domineering. Eights typically have problems with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be vulnerable. At their Best: eights use their strength to improve others' lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous, and inspiring." At their worst, eights are sociopaths.

Chelsea observes that her dad and Donald Trump are also type 8 (I guess with Trump being on the sociopathic end of the scale.) Chelsea notes: "The best way to describe my father is that he's a lot like Donald Trump but less successful, thank God, otherwise the damage he could have unleashed on innocent people could have been more widespread.

Small Chelsea Handler and her father Melvin

Chelsea calls her dad a 'shyster' and observes - not quite jokingly - that he sexually harassed all the black and Latina women in his orbit.

During her analysis with Dan, Chelsea's epiphany comes when she realizes she hasn't properly dealt with the two biggest tragedies in her life: the death of her oldest brother Chet from a disastrous fall, and the death of her mother from cancer.

Chelsea writes, "My brother was the first man I ever slept with. The night I came home from the hospital my mom said that Chet, who was 13 at the time, asked if he could sleep with me....to which my mom agreed." Protective Chet had a rough night, though, since he worried about rolling over and crushing a two-day-old baby.

Chelsea asserts, "This gives you some insight into how interested my parents [Melvin and Rita Handler] were in raising children, or for that matter in using protection. They had 6 children and it's a miracle any of us are still breathing." Not to give the wrong impression, the Handlers loved their children, but had a laissez-faire attitude about rearing them. For instance, when pre-teen Chelsea walked into the house with a case of beer 'to try out', Rita just shrugged it off.

Chelsea Handler's parents, Melvin and Rita

Chelsea adored her brother Chet. He would pull her from the covers and swing her in a circle; drive her around and let her listen to music; and take her sailing. On boating jaunts with his siblings, Chet always upset the skiff, dropping everyone in the water and making them laugh hysterically.

Chelsea Handler's brother Chet

When Chelsea was 9 and Chet was 22, the family - who lived in New Jersey - planned a trip to their vacation cottage in Martha's Vineyard. Chet decided to go hiking first, at the Grand Canyon, Zion Canyon, and then the Grand Tetons. Chelsea fussed, but Chet promised he'd come home in a couple of weeks and join the family. He never did.

Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming

Chet fell down a mountain in the Grand Tetons, and was killed. On top of her intense grief and sorrow Chelsea worried about the optics. "Now everyone would know for sure our family was broken because now our family really WAS broken. We were already skating on thin ice because my parents were known to be less than traditional and a little bit too lackadaisical.....and now we had a dead brother because my parents let their son go hiking in the Grand Tetons and he had never hiked a mountain like that before. They were unfit, and now there was proof."

Young Chelsea Handler

Chelsea was bereft, and part of her continued to wait for Chet to return because he had promised he would. Moreover, the members of Chelsea's family withdrew into themselves, and she received no counseling or therapy. Thus, Chelsea's despair was locked up for decades, and deepened by her mother's illness.

Chelsea Handler and her mother Rita

Chelsea's mom Rita had several bouts with cancer. During Rita's final illness, when Chelsea was about 30, her dad Melvin was useless. Melvin just mooned around the hospital and went out to get himself food. Meanwhile, Chelsea raised hell about her mother being in a hospital room with a smoker, and harassed the nurses for more pain meds for her mom. In accordance with her type 8 personality, Chelsea stepped up, as she ALWAYS did as an adult.

Chelsea observes, "There are things you can do for other people that you could never do for yourself. Whenever I have trouble standing up for myself.....and yes it has happened.....I think about whether I would tolerate the situation if it were happening to one of my sisters, mother, daughter, or niece. If it's not acceptable for them, it's not acceptable for me."

Sadly, Chelsea's mother succumbed to the disease, adding to the comic's distress. Chelsea's therapy helped her work through the emotional impasse caused by her brother and mother's deaths.

During her analysis with Dan, Chelsea also learned that - though she was good at sympathy - she lacked empathy. Chelsea couldn't understand the feelings of others, and had to work with Dan to overcome this flaw. In the end, Chelsea made a documentary about white privilege; began to respect other people's feelings; came to comprehend other peoples' limits and boundaries; learned more about the ubiquity of sexual harassment; and so on.

On the lighter side, Chelsea talks about her cherished pets, an assortment of chow mix rescue pooches."Loving a dog makes you a kinder and fuller person" Chelsea says. Her 'first born' was Chunk, a regal hound who accompanied Chelsea to work and on her travels.

Chelsea Handler and Chunk

Then came Tammy, who'd survived more than one street fight and showed it. "Tammy had one dead ear, alopecia on her ass, a very scantily clad tail, and a gait that hinted she had sustained hip replacement surgery." Chelsea remarks, "I knew that with some maternal attention from my cleaning ladies and some serious nutrition I could turn that gait into a swagger."

Chelsea Handler and Tammy

Tammy (reluctantly) endured Chelsea's aggressive love for years until she went to doggie heaven. After Tammy's demise, Chelsea got two more chow mixes, a brother and sister called Bert and Bernice.

Chelsea Handler with Bert and Bernice

Tales about these two, especially Bert, are hilarious. Chelsea observes, "Burt has all the trappings I look for in a pet: long hair, weight management issues and laziness behind the eyes. Bert is slow on the uptake and is constantly confused by the same things he has done moments before. His memory is so short term that if I'm gone for a few hours, I have to re-introduce myself every time I come home. The dirty looks he throws my way when I try to gain re-entry into his world are so full of disdain that sometimes I don't even have the stomach for it."

Though Bert dismisses Chelsea's attempts at affection, he's smitten with Chelsea's Mexican housekeeper Mama and follows her everywhere. If Mama strolls away swinging her behind, Bert is right behind doing the same thing. Chelsea admits that, when Bert hides under the table, she tricks him into coming out by using a Mexican accent. To add insult to injury, Bert's sister Bernice plays dead when Chelsea approaches.

When Bert had to go on veterinarian-ordered diet, Chelsea came home after being away for five days and found Bert and Mama strutting around the house, both wearing ankle weights - two for Mama and four for Bert. Chelsea laments, "Bert and Mama had started their very own weight loss challenge and guess who didn't get the group text."

In another dog story, Chelsea writes about giving Chunk human sedatives during a plane trip, a mistake that resulted in one calamity after another. (It's a wonder the duo were ever allowed on an aircraft again. 😊 )

Chelsea Handler and Chunk on a plane

In other vignettes, Chelsea talks about her technological ignorance; her attraction to hunky Robert Mueller; a journey to Peru to take the hallucinogenic drug ayahuasca; the (inadvertently amusing) problems associated with burying her Mormon mother in a Jewish cemetery; her father's bypass surgery; her father's death; her marijuana expertise; and more.

Chelsea Handler with her father Melvin

Chelsea winds up by detailing 'The year I became me.' In the end, Chelsea put her money where her mouth is, gave up her Netflix show, and went out to get more women elected.

Chelsea Handler announced she was leaving her Netflix show

The book is worth reading, both to learn about Chelsea's healing journey, and to her enjoy her wit and humor.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for britt_brooke.
1,247 reviews93 followers
April 30, 2019
In an effort to burst her privileged bubble, Handler, with the aid of her brilliant, unflagging therapist, unearths who she is and why. After suffering a significant loss as a child, her already awkward family shifted. This memoir is a departure from her humorous essays, and while the wit is certainly still there, this is some heavy shit. I appreciate her openness. The way her pieces came together made sense. It’s never too late to work on yourself; you’re worth it. I should probably be in therapy, tbh.
Profile Image for Rachel Reads Ravenously.
1,788 reviews2,131 followers
March 5, 2020
4 stars

Went into this based on a recommendation from a friend. I went into this book pretty much blind, I’ve never read a Chelsea Handler book before so I didn’t know what to expect. I definitely didn’t expect a very in depth look at herself, how she was raised and the death of her brother. I came out of this book with a new found respect for Handler, she overcame a lot in life. And then when she was at the top, recognized she got to where she was because of her white privilege and is working hard to change that and helps others without the same privileges she had.

Glad I listened, definitely a book I can see recommending to other people in the future.
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,228 reviews2,933 followers
August 21, 2019
I wouldn't say I'm a Chelsea Handler fan because I rarely watched her show on E! and have yet to check out anything she has put out on Netflix. I do however, love her books. Her first four books literally had me in tears I was laughing so hard. (Her fifth book, Uganda Be Kidding Me, wasn't quite as good as the others but it still was pretty funny) This book is definitely different than anything she was written before as we get to see a more introspective and serious side of Chelsea.

Chelsea's older brother died when she was nine years old. In this book she explores the impact of his death with her psychiatrist. She also talks about Donald Trump, her attraction to Robert Mueller, and how she is more interested these days to use her voice for something more meaningful. And of course it wouldn't be a Chelsea book if she didn't talk about her dogs.

Even though this wasn't a laugh out loud type of book, I actually respect the fact she went with something different here. I think this book does reflect the changes in how she views herself, her family, and the world in general now that she is in her 40s. You might not be getting Chelsea the Entertainer in this one, but more Chelsea the Human Being. And that's not necessarily a bad thing because she's pretty interesting too!
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,394 reviews7,259 followers
January 2, 2020
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Confession: Chelsea Handler has a voice I want to punch in the face so I’ve never been able to watch her on television. Despite this auditory issue, I have somehow managed to become quite the fan when it comes to her books. (I always tried to hear her doppelgänger, Elizabeth Banks, in my head instead when I read them.) Lord knows why I decided to give this one a listen, but it probably didn't help my rating any *shrug*

I thought this was going to be a hilarious take on a spoiled celebrity reevaluating her life and re-learning how to take care of some of the simple things without paid assistants. What I got instead was a real downer of a story that focused A LOT on death.

This is the second Handler book in a row that has missed the mark for me – maybe she’s out of memoir material?
Profile Image for Calista.
3,792 reviews31.2k followers
June 8, 2020
Chelsea is all grown up and mature now. She spends half of the book talking about her realizations of herself in therapy and it was really good. She did some great work and it was interesting to hear about and she makes it funny.

She also goes into the Enneagram. I love that. I'm a 4, a Romantic. Chelsea, an 8, they don't have much empathy. I love the Enneagram. love to talk about that.

She also goes into her anger and how consuming it was in 2016 when Trump was elected. I am feeling that too. I spoke with a friend who lives in Canada and she is so worried about me. She told me that since he was elected she has seen me lose energy and vitality and I'm such a different person. It has been so tough on me. I have a hard time with the culture of hate. It wears me out.

This is not her funniest book she has written, but I think I enjoyed it more than many of them. I've read all her books and she is funny. I love to hear her talk about her family. I was able to read most of it today and was very entertained.
Profile Image for Meags.
2,066 reviews353 followers
January 23, 2020
5 Stars

I’ve spent the past 3 days oscillating between giving this a four- or five-star rating. I’ve ultimately decided to go with the full five-stars, simply because I was so damn impressed by this whole memoir, not only in terms of content and execution, but also in terms of the extremely honest and raw narration Chelsea Handler delivered on the audio edition.

Now, granted, I’ve never read one of Chelsea’s books before, nor have I watched any of her shows or seen her stand-up performances, so I have nothing to compare this to. Up until now, to me, she was just this opinionated, no-holds-bar, American comedienne – one I was fairly sure I only really knew about because she was friends with Jennifer Aniston and had some strong-ass opinions on Donald Trump’s presidency.

So, how did I get here? I became intrigued by Chelsea’s story after listening to her and her sister (Shoshanna) guest star on Kate and Oliver Hudson’s podcast, Sibling Revelry, where they deep-dived into their childhoods, discussing their relationships with each other and their often-complicated relationships with their parents. I was so fascinated by what they had to say and how insightful and self-aware they seemed to be while saying it, that I couldn’t help but be compelled to read this memoir.

Here, Chelsea shares everything, from accounts of hilarious travel adventures and anecdotes of her rescue dogs getting up to all sorts, through to the personality impacting, decades-old death of a worshipped older brother and her (sometimes messy) relationships with each of her parents. All of this she tells through the lens of her recent sessions with her psychiatrist, Dr. Dan Siegel, which just added to the originality of the memoir.

As I mentioned, this was an extremely honest and raw narration, with Chelsea even breaking down and crying through several points of this emotional and astute self-reflection. Yet, through all the emotional stuff, Chelsea still delivered her trademark sardonic sense of humour and provided an amusing, authentic glimpse into her complex psyche.

Needless to say, Chelsea Handler is on my radar now, in a whole new way, and I look forward to exploring more of her work going forward.
Profile Image for Malia.
Author 6 books542 followers
May 6, 2019
This was quite a bit more serious than I expected, but definitely Handler's best book so far. If you're looking for fluff, this isn't it, but Handler does, of course, pack in her signature acerbic humor, even when she talks about far more serious stories of her life than in previous books. Entertaining and surprisingly moving at times!

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com
Profile Image for Antigone.
489 reviews723 followers
May 16, 2019
Plunged into a full-bodied Blue State despair by the election of Donald Trump, comedienne and talk show host Chelsea Handler takes her privileged self off to therapy to discuss, among other things, privilege, gender and, eventually, the deep-seated rage and fear that informs most of her choice-making. In a candid (if scattershot) examination of her childhood, she unearths the long-reaching effect of the death of her brother on her intimate relationships, her professional goals, and the framework of her value system.

Handler is an extraordinarily frank woman; she's made quite the fortune on this trait. It would be a mistake, however, to imagine that makes her self-reflective. This is probably her first experience with introspection and the insights she comes away with are start-of-the-journey affairs. Coupled, of course, with the requisite dose of wacky asides and outrageous behavior.

At a tidy two-hundred thirty-nine pages, it will fill an afternoon with chat and the occasional therapeutic chit. Above all else, an entertaining read.
Profile Image for Lisa.
360 reviews
April 16, 2019
I just can't read another book about a celebrity being depressed after the 2016 election - I'm not saying I didn't feel the same.. it's just too much at this point IMO.
Profile Image for Lisa Leone-campbell.
413 reviews41 followers
July 19, 2019
I must confess a few things…
I have always liked Chelsea Handler. I have enjoyed both her television shows and her books. I have seen her stand-up comedy show live and I have even met her.

She has always had a dark edge to her and the ability to say what is on her mind, something which I have always envied just a little bit. She has always appeared to me as sarcastically scary, if that is a real thing.

But in this new book, Life Will Be the Death of Me, a new woman has emerged. One which I must say sounds (at the age of 42ish) all grown up!

After the 2016 election of Donald Trump, Handler basically fell apart. But she had no idea why. During her recent Netflix series, Chelsea, she interviewed a psychiatrist, Dan Siegel and decided to make him her therapist. Thus began her year long self-analysis journey into why she is the Chelsea Handler she has been.

Although the book covers serious subject matter, Handler does add her flair for the one liners, sarcasm and hysterical observations.

One such story is how she became to have a crush on Robert Mueller! She knows he’s married!
Through her analysis she primarily learns that she has never really gotten over her brother Chet’s sudden death when she was very young and because she never fully accepted the death, she has had many unattainable relationship goals as well as significant issues when dealing with death. Chet’s death impacted her whole immediate family and each sibling and parent dealt with it very differently, something a young girl at the time was hardly able to understand.

Life Will Be the Death of Me is a quick read filled with humor, sadness, love and a message to everyone who has had to go through what she has had to. I have to say after reading this memoir it only makes me admire her more, and she doesn’t seem quite as scary.
Profile Image for BWT.
2,144 reviews216 followers
June 11, 2019
4.5 stars

Heartfelt and heartwarming are two words I would not normally associate with Chelsea Handler, but as she takes the audience through some of her most painful past moments, thankfully using plenty of humor along the way, I found myself absolutely enraptured. This was really vulnerable of Handler to put herself on display in this particular way and it resonated and turned on a light to some of my own behaviors. Overall very well done and absolutely worth a listen.
Profile Image for Yoda.
569 reviews110 followers
October 22, 2019
This is my first Chelsea Handler book and I´m so pleased I picked this one. I laughed, I cried and I laughed some more. I had no real expectations for this one and I think that´s what made it even better.
Profile Image for Donna.
359 reviews39 followers
April 15, 2019
I stopped reading at paragraph 2 when she makes reference to her 2 assistants.
Profile Image for Laura • lauralovestoread.
1,107 reviews228 followers
October 30, 2019
Chelsea Handler has always been my go-to when I’m looking for a laugh. I’ve never read any books by her though, and I was looking for a genre mix up from the spooky reads this season. Life Will Be the Death of Me was such a delight!

I had so many laugh-out-loud moments, and my favorite chapters were Chunk, Ayahuasca, and Marijuana Keeps Families Together. Told from her life with honesty and hilarity, Chelsea Handler serves up political views on Trump, race, antics from her dysfunctional family, and her affinity for drugs, alcohol, and chow-chows.

*As a bonus I also listened on audio, and it was fabulous, and I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Suzzie.
906 reviews164 followers
May 24, 2019
This Chelsea Handler book is different from her others but I loved it even more for that reason. She tackles so many serious matters and expresses her concerns and thoughts extremely well. She showed a much deeper and more intelligent side to herself in this one. I have read her other books and knew she was kinder than people would assume but this is really shown even more so in this book. I really incredible read.
Profile Image for Andrea.
174 reviews1 follower
September 17, 2019
This book was included with admission to Chelsea Handler’s most recent live show; the show was not good (there was actual booing!) and neither is this book. Both the book and the show are premised around Ms. Handler going to therapy for the first time, but there is an overwhelming lack of self-awareness that made both utterly cringe-worthy. She references her wealth a lot; she seems to think calling attention to her privilege makes her enlightened or introspective, but instead it comes off as off-putting and braggadocious. She makes nasty comments about her parents and her upbringing, without a hint of empathy (which turns out to be one of the issues she needs to work through in therapy; go figure), but includes several photographs of them seemingly present for many of life’s events (including, at their second family home in Martha’s Vineyard); it certainly felt like punching down. Several chapters are dedicated to her love of Chow (mix) dogs, but doesn’t do any of the day-to-day caring of them, including participating in the interview that ultimately brought her most recent pair home from the rescue facility; she delegated that task to one of her assistants. She includes a photograph of one of her dogs on an airplane (in first class), wearing a service vest, which it most certainly was not “official”. I’m not sure of the aim of either the book or the show. Is it comedy? Self-help? She acts as though she is the first person to have ever gone to therapy and while much of this book is a recounting of her sessions, she doesn’t seem to have internalized anything. There are no lessons to be learned, by either or her or the reader. And at the same time she’s advocating for therapy, she also boasts of haphazardly imbibing and recommending prescription medications (not her own) to others; given the current climate, this is incredibly tone deaf.

The end of the book makes mention that Ms. Handler is working on a Netflix documentary about white privilege (which I see has since been released; I won’t be watching). She’s either the best or worst person to cover such a subject.
Profile Image for Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover.
865 reviews550 followers
August 5, 2019
3.5 Stars

I love Chelsea’s books. Are you there Vodka? It’s me, Chelsea is one of my fave nonfiction reads. But this one was so different! It had so much depth. She talked about politics, her “white privilege”, racism and just how she needed to do more self reflecting and try harder to become a better person. Oh and it also had the Chelsea humor. I’m glad I got a chance to read it.

“There was a time when being famous and having this kind of success and money and having a tv show was what drove me to want more and more and more, and now I found myself exhausted and ashamed by the meaninglessness of it all.”

This quote pretty much sums up this book.
Profile Image for BAM the enigma.
1,766 reviews353 followers
November 12, 2022
I rated this a four because I am currently able to relate to many of the feelings she expressed in this book. I am in no way stating that everyone should pick up,this book, read it, and come away with the same impressions. This book in Chelsea speak is about grieving and I’m almost certain she had a difficult time talking about her brother in the first few chapters. Her voice is just too expressive not to be noticed when it cracks.
Profile Image for Kelsey (Kelseylovesbooks).
311 reviews65 followers
April 15, 2019
I've read all of Chelsea Handler's books, and this one was by far the poignant but also the most real. The humor I've come to know and love from her books is present, but she also tackles much more serious topics as the death of her brother when she was nine and her lifelong struggles with trusting those around her not to abandon her.

Much of the book is told through her interactions with her therapist as she makes discoveries about herself and who she is. Life Will be the Death of Me felt much more like a memoir and a turning of chapter's in Chelsea's life. I enjoyed it in a different way from her other books- I wasn't hysterically laughing quite as often, but I felt more connections to her story.
Profile Image for Kristie.
818 reviews354 followers
February 19, 2020
This was ok. I felt like there were good parts and not so good parts. The book was pretty disjointed with really sad bits mixed in with funny bits. Plus, there were parts that were supposed to be funny, but were trying too hard and missed the mark. At times it was a little repetitive. Mostly, it felt like sitting in therapy with her. Therapeutically, it was interesting. I'm not sure she knew where she was going with this book and it ended up being part memoir and part humor which never really meshed. Still, it turned out to be a decent read.
Profile Image for Amy Imogene Reads.
881 reviews759 followers
June 28, 2020
2.5 stars

Just finished listening to this. Chelsea Handler narrates this book herself, which I did enjoy, but I struggled with this book more than her previous ones. I’m not proud to admit this, but it was definitely due to to the significantly more serious subject matter and how it was unpacked.

Chelsea Handler is a brash, balls-to-the-wall, often offensive to all parties involved, singular type of female comedic personality. I have an odd fascination with her because as someone who has literally nothing in common with her except race and gender, she’s an anomaly that I appreciate just purely because she keeps me guessing and, somewhere deep down, I really admire her complete lack of cares to give.

But in this, I struggled to enjoy the ride. I think it was partly due to the fact that I just wanted to reach in and hug her—which she would NOT have appreciated—and partly to strangle her at the same time because as she exorcised her past and made reflections on her present, I just got frustrated. Frustrated that she reacted that way, frustrated that she doesn’t accept help, frustrated at her extremely odd relationship with her family (even after the reflections of this book). I’m aware that my response isn’t helpful and would be even less helpful in real situations, but that was my response here.

Obviously, this is a work of nonfiction and I don’t mean to imply that I wanted the book, or Chelsea, to be more than it/she was. I also don’t want to imply that I wanted her to change, as each person governs their own life and this is clearly a step she is making toward progress in her personal life. (Cheers to that!) It was just a very hard reading experience. I think it was also made worse for me, personally, because she was narrating it and making it feel like it was happening now, in my car, and I could talk back to her and join the conversation and potentially influence the results. Maybe don’t listen to this as an audiobook? Lol.

I think I would have felt the same way about anyone doing a painful retrospective of their past trauma. (If you take a peek at my Goodreads, you’ll notice a profound lack of those types of books...) I just want to help, to make it better, to support the author in real time. Agh. Either way, I’m still a Chelsea Handler reader, but this won’t be a reread.
Profile Image for Shannon .
1,846 reviews131 followers
July 16, 2019
Life Will be the Death of Me...and You Too!

I Picked Up This Book Because: I love Chelsea.

I’ve always thought Chelsea was an open book when it came to her writing but this book take open, honest and vulnerable to new levels for her. This book follows a year of therapy and explores her losses in life. Her personality, the shortcomings that come with that and her need and ability to overcome these challenges.

This book was deeply personal on another level for Chelsea. I admire her for putting it all out there. It’s not always pretty but I���m glad to see how open and honest she is about this journey. It has inspired me.

The Random Thoughts:

The Score Card:


5 Stars
Profile Image for Jennifer.
178 reviews118 followers
April 7, 2019
Read this in one evening. It’s so Chelsea- which I love- brutally honest, charming and snarky- but she also opens up about some really tough topics, like the death of her brother and the loss of her parents, which is a side you rarely see from her.

She brings up a lot of good points about the culture of endulgence and why we think bigger is always better. She catalogs many sessions with her therapist who asks her deep questions that had me feeling like I wanted go open up to someone too.

Thank you randomhouse #partner for my free copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for fatherofdragons113.
168 reviews45 followers
January 17, 2020
This is my favorite Chelsea Handler book. She gets real about her own life and it actually makes you think about your own choices and trauma. It's not very comedic which is strange from Chelsea, but it's okay because this book really makes you self reflect.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,363 reviews

Join the discussion

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.