Julie's Reviews > You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know by Heather Sellers
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's review
Oct 14, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: first-reads, memoir, own
Read in October, 2010 — I own a copy

I thought the premise of this memoir sounded interesting, like it would be a blend of the dysfunctional family of Jeannette Walls’s The Glass Castle and the author’s account of her strange neurological disorder like Daniel Tammet’s Born on a Blue Day. However, it completely lacked the humor of Walls and the insightfulness of Tammet. Right away I felt I was thrust into the middle of Seller’s own self-pity party. She overanalyzes everything from her relationship to her fiancé turned husband and his sons, her mother’s possible paranoid schizophrenia and her own inability to foster social relationships due to her face blindness. She constantly justifies her parents’ erratic behavior, not wanting to place blame on anyone other than herself due to her oppressive need to please everyone. I was more interested in the second half of the book when she actually seeks help because I wanted to see her make progress in her life. Her initial self-deprecation was too tedious and depressing. Her insecurity and indecisiveness affects every part of her life, especially her marriage. She doesn’t seem to have her own distinct opinions, though when she mentions that her husband is a libertarian, she acts as though she just uttered a four-letter word.

What really upset me about this book though, was the writing. How can someone with a PhD in writing, who teaches writing, and who’s written books on writing be such an ineloquent writer? I was not impressed or engaged with Seller’s disjointed thoughts and lack of structure, as she bounces around her own narrative, reflecting on her childhood one minute, then analyzing her current situation the next. She mentions that she has a brother, and a sibling relationship must have had some impact on her upbringing, but she only mentions his existence in passing, and it’s difficult to determine if he really meant that little to her or if she was protecting his privacy. There were just too many flaws to elicit any strong emotions in me while I was reading. While writing about her life may have been therapeutic to Sellers, I don’t think it was written well enough to engage readers.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads program.
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Reading Progress

10/15/2010 page 86
05/26/2016 marked as: read

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