Okay, here it is, I’m doing it. I’m putting the nerd back in Makeup Nerdery and adding some book lovin’ to this place. I feel like society often tells us that books/brains and beauty don’t go together and I’m just another woman here to tell you that’s a crock of shit. You can be smart and still rock a badass red lip or fierce wing or whatever else you’re into. (You can also not wear makeup at all, but that is definitely not me.)
So, book reviews. For all my years of endless internet rambling, this is a new one for me. Last summer a friend recommended a book to me which I will write about at a later date, but it was already on my list and she told me to read it and I absolutely fell back in love with fiction and reading in general after we had taken a lot of time apart during/after the Hell on Earth that was grad school. Anyway, I read a lot now. Well, not like Elissa level of a lot, but a lot for me.
For 2019 I set two goals:
- Read 20 books (with a bonus of getting to 25 if possible)
- Read only women (I can get into this more if anybody wants to talk about it, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about right now).
As with everything else I throw myself into, I now cannot shut up about my books. Right now I want to talk about I Hate Everyone But You, the first little fiction from Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin, whose names you might recognize from their former jobs being awesome Jewesses on BuzzFeed. They now also do a podcast together called Just Between Us, but I have the aural attention span of a toddler so I haven’t listened to it yet. (Look, I’m trying really hard to get into podcasts okay, I even listened to an entire episode of Sammi Jefcoate’s As You Are today, but it’s a slow process.) I digress. I say little fiction because it was a short and easy read, but by no means is the story little. I chose it thinking it would be a quick and funny fluff story that I could plow through in a few days as a much needed break for my brain as I make my way through a pretty intense WWII-historical-fiction-badass-lady-spy series (Maggie Hope Mysteries by Susan Elia MacNeal, highly recommend; I am starting book four tonight after I finish writing this and take a shower and do all my skincare – yes I will eventually do an updated skincare routine Tara thank you for asking).
So I went into this thinking it would be short and sweet and it was more like short, very funny, but also an emotional roller coaster that nearly made me cry and also made me feel very seen by both main characters. I want everyone to read this. My mom would probably hate it, but I think she’d gain some new understanding about my sister and me and our friends too.
I Hate Everyone But You is for sure based on the real-life Gaby and Allison, but at a younger point in life. Ava and Gen (Genevieve) are high school best friends who go off to their separate liberal arts colleges in different parts of the country and maintain their friendship (and this story) in a stream-of-consciousness flow of e-mails and text messages back and forth. I kind of loved that to be honest – no chapters, no cliffhangers, just actually written the way long distance friends talk: something I am painfully familiar with as I sit on my couch in Portland that is approximately 2,055 miles away from my best friend in Austin and 2,864 miles away from my sister in Philadelphia (who definitely needs to read this book).
Am I a bitch? Does being judgmental automatically make you a bitch? Looking forward to your thoughts and notes.
You are NOT a bitch. You just have taste. And high cheekbones.
I guess I was expecting this book to be purely comedy, and it definitely had some gold in it, but it also tackled a lot of really serious subjects in [what felt like] very genuine ways. I’m in my thirties now, and still am constantly learning and growing and trying to be better, so to read this same experience from eighteen-year-olds navigating freshman year in the current political landscape (it’s set in post-election real-world this-is-the-worst-timeline 2017) felt very authentic. It felt real, sometimes to the point of tears, to read two best friends trying to cope with long distance in addition to one another’s mental illness, exploration of sexual and gender identities, and experiences as young Jewish women.
Does no one else have panic attacks that they’re going to arrive late and ruin their lives so they overcompensate by arriving extremely early?
I’m sure someone else does. And ull prob marry them.
As someone who personally struggles with chronic illness, both physically and in the form of soul-crushing anxiety, I have to say it again that I felt very seen reading this. Ava’s character in particular had some things to say that could have come from my own thoughts if I was that eloquent.
I don’t even have IBS. I would probably be cooler if I did have it, though, because people with IBS are so above being embarrassed for banal needs.
Whether you are looking for a quick, funny read or a better understanding of what it’s like to be a young, badass woman in a post-apocalyptic world (that’s what this is, right?), you should read this. It’ll take you four hours max.
Yep. That was both an excuse and a real fear. I don’t like anyone to touch my legs if I haven’t shaved in the last two hours. OCD or Jewish genes? Your guess is as good as mine.
If you can’t get out of your own head, go hang out in someone else’s.