So Julie Klausner, sometime comedian/comedy writer, wrote this book.
I heard about it on the various websites, I read it, and I liked it. I think. Like many books and movies and TV shows and things, I think I spent half my reading thinking about it from the outside, defending it, wondering just how I felt about it, judging it. I read it in concert, sort of – people around me kept reading it while I was. My boyfriend said it was repetitive, my brother said he didn’t like Julie, the author/protagonist, my friend Anna judged her the whole way through and thought, even I don’t have self esteem that low.
I guess the conclusion to be reached here is it was a fun read, I’m over it…and yet, I still keep talking about it. All the time. With everyone.
Maybe the book has such a hold on me (us?) because it represents a version of the world, a possible life, presented as, if not ideal, one worth trying for. Julie (we referred to this book as “Julie” because the title was so long, so it seems natural to talk about her in the first person) presents herself as a sympathetic narrator, and she is, but the book has sneaky prescriptivist tendencies. Julie explains, basically, subtly, what it takes to be cool, and her version of the world, of cool, of herself, is so different from what I usually think. It ends up feeling like a fight, a fight to keep my own version of cool, of life, of what I want, in the face of this sneaky writer, who gets on my side but actually doesn’t think anything that I think. And so I find myself feeling like I know her, wanting her to win, to care about her, but also mostly I want to beat her at her own game. So, basically, to use a very Julie turn of phrase, this book is your best female friend.