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Confession: I didn’t know who Issa Rae is when I picked this up. I’m only vaguely aware of pop culture at the best of times and influencers or even show writers and producers are just not on my radar. I don’t remember why I added this to my list but I’m glad I did because it was so funny!
I’m shyly awkward myself, which is a little different from what appears to be Issa’s outgoing awkward. My awkwardness is generally just obvious to myself or a handful of close friends or else I get away with it by flying under the radar. Issa is a little more out there with her self-described awkwardness.
This collection of essays tackles many different aspects of Issa’s awkward life. We start when she’s a curious 11-year-old catfishing older men in the early days of the Internet as we know it. We move on to dancing, music, dating, hair, and I don’t even know what else. I laughed where appropriate and winced or blushed in sympathy as the story demanded.
There were several different sidebars that offered Awkward Black Girl hot takes. I really laughed at these. Issa advises readers about how to address people who make inappropriate comments about your hair (as a curly girl myself, I should have taken notes in this section) or how to handle terrible co-workers (she’s had some doozies) and more.
Issa narrates the audiobook and she is fantastic.
Grab this if you’re in the mood for an entertaining memoir with moments that we can all relate to. I highly recommend the audio version.
Synopsis from GoodReads:
In this universally accessible New York Times bestseller named for her wildly popular web series, Issa Rae-a singular voice with the verve and vivacity of uncorked champagne (Kirkus Reviews)-waxes humorously on what it’s like to be unabashedly awkward in a world that regards introverts as hapless misfits and black as cool.
I’m awkward-and black. Someone once told me those were the two worst things anyone could be. That someone was right. Where do I start?
Being an introvert (as well as funny, according to the Los Angeles Times) in a world that glorifies cool isn’t easy. But when Issa Rae, the creator of the Shorty Award-winning hit series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, is that introvert-whether she’s navigating love, the workplace, friendships, or rapping-it sure is entertaining. Now, in this New York Times bestselling debut collection written in her witty and self-deprecating voice, Rae covers everything from cybersexing in the early days of the Internet to deflecting unsolicited comments on weight gain, from navigating the perils of eating out alone and public displays of affection to learning to accept yourself-natural hair and all.
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl is a book no one-awkward or cool, black, white, or other-will want to miss.
If you liked The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, you might also like my reviews of
- Embroideries, written and illustrated by Marjane Satrapi, translated by Anjali Singh
- Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour by Rachel Shukert
Buy The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl from Malaprop’s Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC or