I normally say "My take on...," when I post a review, but I have to make an exception with Everything is Going to Be Great by Rachel Shukert. I'm just giving my thoughts on this one because I couldn't finish it. I usually give books 50-60 pages before deciding it's not for me. I gave it 168 to be exact, before deciding I had to stop. Here is why:
Everything is Going to Be Great is about Shukert's journey in Europe after landing a role in a play. After graduating with a fancy degree from NYU, Shukert is at a loss of what to do with her life. Going back home to Omaha, Nebraska, is not an option. She barely has any money to get by, so a non-paying, non-speaking role in a play in Vienna sounds great doesn't it?!?! This is after Shukert has been dumped by her boyfriend for cheating on him, and has a one-night with someone simply because she thought he had an accent.
Her mother, who would rather berate Rachel on the dangers of traveling abroad (you know she could get sold into sexual slavery), thinks the trip is a horrible idea. Maybe she'll find herself. Trying to find herself? That immediately made me think of Eat, Pray, Love. Was Shukert's book the Eat, Pray, Love for the twentysomething set? Early on I had high hopes for this book. Some things she said hit home for me:
"Sometimes I have dreams in which I become extraordinary, capable of extraordinary things. I dream I am a professional ballet dancer or an Olympic gymnast or an M-to-F transsexual married to Joe Biden (actually this last was rather upsetting, as none of the other Georgetown wives would have lunch with me once they'd heard I had a penis) and I feel small and empty when I wake up to discover that I am still just me."
I don't exactly dream of being a transsexual married to Joe Biden, but I often dream of being more than I am. I dream of being a pilot, an astronaut, a lawyer, a doctor, an actor, and a writer. And sometimes I get a little bummed when I wake and see that I'm still the same person.
Rachel Shukert is a very funny and brash writer. Before you begin the book, there is a diagram on how to make your own Rachel Shukert poster -- with a diagram of the male anatomy and a picture of the author included. I was laughing before I even got to the heart of the book. She isn't afraid to tell someone off. A hotel clerk thought she was a hooker and she promptly told him to, "*#%* off!!" Again, I laughed. But sometimes I thought her humor was going in circles. How many times can you say or do something outlandish, before it becomes repetitive. By page 168, I couldn't go on. I just wasn't as interested anymore. I'm not a prude, but after a while this book just wasn't for me. If you aren't put off by brash, in your face humor, then definitely give this book a try.
Notes: I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. For more information on Rachel Shukert visit: http://www.rachelshukert.com/