⏲ Read time: 2-5 minutes
There are fewer things more intimate than when someone opens up and shares their personal stories. The stories that make them the person they are today.
Honestly, one of my favorite things about getting to know people is sitting and listening to the stories they share with you. There’s a reason why they picked that particular one, so you can get an understanding of where they’ve been, who toughened them up or who broke down those walls.
I often forget how much I love reading essays and collections like We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. One of my all-time favorite series was Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell (Before you even start on me, I never once claimed to only read intellectually stimulating stories…), and after reading the first chapter of WANMIRL, I immediately felt that same hilarity, but with a female mindset.
But after the first essay of her rejected Bachelorette application, I didn’t find that continuous hilarity that I was predicting and ultimately searching for. Irby highlights (but more so lowlights) the struggles she’s faced in her life, with a bit of humor and her writerly idiosyncrasies, like drawing up imaginary people in the second person (like “your aunt Karen” or “your Grandma’s favorite adhesive bandages”).
For someone who also tries to make light of situations, I appreciate how she navigates through each personal experience with that same humor. The biggest takeaway I took from WANMIRL was sometimes, you just have to laugh at yourself, even when your life is a literal dumpster fire. I might not have suffered nearly as much as she illustrates, but it’s a valuable lesson to keep in your back pocket.
However, while reading through the essays, I felt that I wasn’t truly connected to Irby on a personal level, which in hand made me just read this for the sake of crossing it off my To-Read list. I have never heard of her prior to picking up this story and even after checking out her blog, I felt like there wasn’t any correlation between us besides the fact we both love chicken nuggets and profess our dire need for them while drunk.
And if I could be completely fair, I don’t even know why this was on my To-Read list. It had been sitting there for nearly 10 months before I got to it, completely forgetting the premise of the book. I’m sure it was probably a recommendation from theSkimm.
I could see how people would fall in love with Irby as a writer, as she lays it all on the line, but I think the whole feminism air of it turned me off. In all, it wasn’t an awful read, but it certainly won’t replace my obsession with I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.
Rating: 3 out of 5