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Average is the New Awesome: A Manifesto for the Rest of Us

3.30  ·  Rating details ·  205 ratings  ·  36 reviews
A celebration of ordinary awesomeness, for all of us who were told "You can do anything!" and then found out we actually can't

Crappy homes, lame love lives, getting passed over for a great job (again)--not what we expected for our adulthoods. Americans tell their children you can become anything! But let's face it--most of us can't.

Sure, some of our peers go on to bec
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Seal Press
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Average rating 3.30  · 
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 ·  205 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
I picked this up for the title. I read it because I saw so much of myself in the author's struggles with being average. I don't know if others see me that way, but I certainly see myself as average. When I was young, I thought I wanted to have an "exciting" life. I didn't know what I would do for a living, but I didn't want to be bored - or boring. Fast forward 30+ years and I have what feels like a stable, and yes, somewhat dull, life. And I wonder often if I should do something else, live some ...more
Nopadol Rompho
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You don't have to be the best, you just need to be good enough. I love it. ...more
Panda Incognito
This book is honest and occasionally funny, and since most people avoid writing about their subpar accomplishments, disappointments, and experiences with unemployment, I appreciated this author's candid portrayal of her very average life and various failures. However, even though I found aspects of this book refreshing, it also seemed somewhat self-indulgent at times, and it was terribly vulgar. I sped through some of the author's long stories about fairly boring events from her life, and skimme ...more
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
It's okay...much of the book was a series of lists separated by personal stories. To some extent the book covers sentiments I and many of my social circle feel, however it comes nowhere near being "a manifesto" for a generation known for participation trophies.

Matt is able to capitalize on questions many of us have about our jobs, body image, friendships, and our "meh" lives, so kudos to her. At the same time, I frequently found myself yelling at the book that there are more pressing issues to d
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Calling all woman ages 25-35... this is a must read. Sam is witty and real about all the things we’re often insecure about. A great message about appreciating yourself for who you are and realizing that good enough is often good enough.
Danielle Doolen
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I DEVOURED this book in a weekend! It’s the pep-talk from your best friend that you didn’t know you needed.
3.5 ⭐️

This served as the pep talk I needed right now.
Edward Taylor
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
No, it's not... ...more
Tiffany Fillion
This book was average- I'm not really sure what I was expecting, but this book wasn't really it. The first page was intriguing, and I thought it was going to be a book about society's deterementially high expectations and the effect on society, and it obviously wasn't. The advice felt somewhat conflicting at times- don't be afraid to cancel on friends but also your friends aren't good friends if they cancel on you? The format (I listened, so I'm filling in some gaps) seemed like several inspirat ...more
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
I really enjoyed her authorial voice and how conversational it was (a trend I'm seeing among my fellow Millennial authors and one I'm HERE for). She sticks heavily to the concept, and my favorite sections were the ones where she talks most about stories from her own life (her eating disorder and break with Dan stand out the strongest) - I'll keep a lookout for her future books, especially hoping for more in this personal essay vein. I really felt like I was her target audience for this book, and ...more
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Honestly, I didn’t want to like this book. I wondered what this writer (not so different from myself) could have to say. I was skeptical. Is she just making excuses for not being successful? What gives her expertise in this? What about finding my damn passion?? But the premise of this book is the answer - most people are average and that’s ok. Honestly, it can be a relief to hear this. Reading this book was like meeting a like-minded friend whose in a good enough place to give good advice and wh ...more
Ariel Neumann
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is really what it claims to be. It definitely isn’t a literary masterpiece but that isn’t what Samantha Matt is going for. I’m in the process of accepting exactly how average I am and this was the perfect read at the moment. It’s funny and ridiculous but really honest. If you choose to you can take away a great message about being easier on yourself and setting yourself up for success which can be just being average.
Courtney Campbell
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so hilarious and relatable for those of us who feel average—a.k.a all of us. Matt perfectly portrays how we all feel about not being good enough in our careers, social lives, relationships, bodies, and life, but reminds us that there's nothing wrong with being average. I found myself relating to all of her stories in one way or another, and would highly recommend this book to anyone feeling a little lost in life—especially college students!! ...more
Elana Lyn  Gross
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book is like getting together with an honest and funny friend who has the exact pep talk you need.
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Funny, down to eqrth, real pep talk...just when you think you are above average and all the work stress you are having is worth it, this is tgere to remind you it is not!
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
I liked a few aspects of this book - embracing being average and how to live your life without caring about what others think. However, the author’s audiobook voiceover was truly difficult to listen to. That on top of the face that this book is overly profane with flying the f and s words around nonsensically. I got the feeling she did this to try and seem more relatable and funny, but it came off as crass and unnecessary. The swearing and writing style led to me choosing to put this book dow
Nov 09, 2020 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, humor
Average book on how to enjoy being run of the mill nobody.. Expectations were quite low for this book, so it is no surprise that this is completely blah kind of writing which dorns’t even try to be smth more. Feel free to skip. On the other hand, feels good to read smth on how ok it is to be mediocre. Everything my parents ever expected of me finally came true! Gave up the fight completely.
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2020
Mostly entertaining and makes some good points, though I must wonder: Who are all these sad people without confidence and self-esteem who actually need to be told these things? For me, most of the oh-so-sage advice about how good enough is good enough and nobody's perfect and whatnot is just "Well... Duh.". ...more
Christine Herman
I am not in the intended audience demographic for this book, but unfortunately that wasn't clear to me when I picked it up to read. I imagine 25-35 year olds would get more out of this. There's too much swearing. Too many lists. Too many ridiculous generalizations. Too much negativity. While I may be average, I'll take a reach-for-the-stars kind of self-help book over this any day. ...more
Apr 13, 2020 rated it liked it
As a reader of Samantha Matt's site, 20Something Problems, I had high hopes for this book. I was hoping this book would be a little more well written than her site since it was an actual book. However everything I read in the book was something I had heard or read before; nothing groundbreaking.

Sep 18, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book definitely feels more of a memoir/rant/blog post than a "manifesto." There was an overwhelming amount of personal stories - halfway through the book I couldn't help but start skimming to *try* to get to the point. I suppose I could see this book being inspirational or helpful to others, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. ...more
The general premise is good (you don't need to be extraordinary to be happy) but there are too many almost stereotypical white girl in big city moments for this to resonate with me. By the end, I was swimming just to get through this because I didn't really care about it anymore. ...more
Feb 19, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was fine. I think it would have been better for me to read between ages 22-27... at this point I’ve already accepted my average-ness and am pretty content with it!
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review to come!
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5-3.0 unremarkably average.
Julie Watkins
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Super easy read. Nothing earth-shattering, but the author is funny and I love the points she makes throughout the book, that it's really okay to settle for good, not great. I think I read this over the course of a few hours, again, just an easy funny read with lots of good points. ...more
Apr 01, 2020 rated it did not like it
Read 65 pages and the most I can say's average. The writing wasn't compelling, nor were the ideas. Okay, none of us are special. We are all average and aspire to be amazing. So what? ...more
Kati Polodna
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fabulous (and sweary) kick in the pants that reminds you that being average is good. It’s normal. It’s okay. Really, it’s okay.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Greatist Reads: Chapters 5–6 and conclusion 1 4 Apr 21, 2020 01:32PM  
Greatist Reads: Chapters 3 and 4 1 5 Apr 14, 2020 08:04AM  
Greatist Reads: Chapter 2 1 6 Apr 07, 2020 05:29AM  
Greatist Reads: Intro/Chapter 1 8 27 Apr 03, 2020 06:30PM  

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