My Rating ~ Three stars
RELEASED: 17 January 2019
Publisher: Faber and Faber
Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., “bitches gotta eat” blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette–she’s “35-ish, but could easily pass for 60-something”–detailing a disastrous pilgrimage-slash-romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms–hang in there for the Costco loot–she’s as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.
Many thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of We are Never Meeting in Real Life in exchange for an honest review
We are Never Meeting in Real Life is a collection of part comedy, part heartfelt essays about Samantha’s life. There were some truly funny moments (trying to scatter someone’s ashes into the river during a strong breeze? THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME. My ex-mother in law ended up all over us. I’m not sure anyone else found it quite as hilarious as me, but it WAS.) I usually find real life comedy writing amusing when I can relate to the situations the author faces, and in this book there was just not quite enough material that was relatable to me. That doesn’t make it a bad book by any stretch, it just means I probably wasn’t quite the right reader. I think for anyone who relates well to the type of life Samantha is living will honestly find this book hilarious. There were still some great moments though and this book explores lots of important and sensitive topics – such as race, depression, poverty, anxiety, weight shaming and struggles, family issues, sex and relationships.
I think this book walked the line between being self-depreciatingly funny and sad, because there’s no doubt the author has led a difficult life. Maybe it spilled over into the sad territory a little too much for me to be able to enjoy it as the comedy I expected it to be – but then, maybe my expectations were to blame there.
Photo via my Instagram account – Bookbookowl