Rating: 3 stars
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Knopf Doubleday via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
Review: Non-fiction isn’t really my thing. Biographies/memoirs? Not so much. But essays? I’ll take those in spades. Especially if they come from a genuine place, are sometimes funny, and mostly relatable. Enter We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby.
Now, I’ll be honest. I had no idea who Samantha Irby was or that she had a popular “laugh about my crazy life” kind of blog. All I knew was that it sounded funny, and it was in essay format which meant it could be read in small bites instead of having to plow through big chunks in a small span of time in order to keep up with the overall story. I’ve been in a bit of slump, so small bites were just what I had in mind. And some laughs. I definitely was due for some of those. So, I jumped in expecting to take my time reading it, but to have tears streaming down my face while clenching my aching gut à la Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened.
Truthfully, it wasn’t all that funny. One time I laughed out loud. Once. But, I finished it in 5 days instead of the many weeks I had planned (read one essay every night was the plan). And I really, really enjoyed reading it. Irby has such an authentic voice and though she is often a great deal more self-deprecating than I’m comfortable with, she speaks about her mess of a life with a great sense of humor and complete absence of shame. She is very much “This is me. I’m flawed. I’m messy and lazy and have lifelong physical ailments and I don’t really want to grow up. And I’m ok with that. If you aren’t, there’s the door.” We need more of that in the world.
In a nutshell: amusing but not really funny, refreshingly authentic, and hard to put down.