Cover Image: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life.

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book.  It made me laugh and cry and I might have ignored my kid so I could finish reading it.  Ten stars.
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While I did find parts of the book funny,  overall I just did not connect with it.   I went in to this book blind, not knowing anything about it  I don't think I fall in the target audience for it and that may be why there was such a disconnect.  It just wasn't for me.
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Wonderful, honest, hilarious, brilliant, raw, and did I mention hilarious?

I am a big fan of memoirs, especially those written by women funnier than me, and this is one of the best I have read so far. I adore the way Samantha Irby's language flows, with her perfectly placed expletives, there is just a poetry to it that I can't quite describe (the best kinds of voices are like that, I find). More than that, her essays are perfectly structured in a way that isn't obvious from the beginning and ones I settled into the rhythm of her writing I found it absolutely hypnotizing. 

Samantha Irby's writing worked best for me when her topics were deeply personal ones - such as her childhood but also her unsuccessful relationships. I loved reading about her finally finding a partner for life and it just shines through her whole writing how beyond in love she is and how much she adores her wife. I like that - I like that there is positivity offsetting some of the negativity but that she still remains fundamentally the same person. I like when relationships do that to people.

She made me snort, she made me laugh and she made me tear up. She made me think about things I haven't thought about, she made me agree with her so much (and sometimes not so much), she made me admit to myself things I haven't before (yes, I also need so much time for myself that I sometimes even like being in a long distance relationship). In short: I loved this a lot.
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My dislike of this book isn't because I don't like this style of humor, or "get" her type of humor, because I do, but there is a finesse to it and many of these essays don't have it.

I was led to believe this was a body positive book, but making larger than average size women seem gross, lazy, and depicting them as unhealthy eaters is not going to do this. There are parts about dating, and deciphering what love truly means that are painfully enlightening, but the descriptions of gross bodies, aggression towards pets, saying changing your diet doesn't help symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases (when gastro specialists do recommend special diets for her specific malady. I know because my son has it and he will be the first to tell you diet affects his symptoms) overshadows the former.

What I got from this book was mostly, "I tried what you suggested once for 27 seconds and it didn't help me so f#¢k off, and I have an excuse for everything else. She doesn't shave her pits because she doesn't want to, but you are unreasonable if you won't date her because if it. Actually, she makes it sound like you are an as$#ole if you won't accept her hairy armpits. Hell, I used to make my ex shave his armpits and he's a guy. It's a personal preference, but I guess I'm an a$s#ole. The entire book was a string of contradictions. She wants to do better, but here are all the reasons why she's not going to try it, be successful at it, do it. I was elated when the book ended.
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Wow! If I weren’t reviewing this sort of officially, I would be shouting out happy expletives! But I feel like I must not go all R-rated. 

Speaking of cuss words—a warning to all those who don’t appreciate them: there are A LOT of 4-letter words here. In fact, there is A LOT of raunch. I’m all for raunch, but this is uber-raunch. There is one sort of long graphic sex scene that almost ruined the book for me. I don’t know why she had to go there; it seemed to detract from her story rather than add to it. She made it funny, so I guess she was going for honesty and humor and a little shock effect. Considering how I didn’t like the uber-raunch, imagine how much I loved the rest of the book to give it 5 stars! 

Maybe my favorite line ever: "Wouldn't you rather be dead than hot?"

Definitely my favorite dedication ever: To Klonopin

Okay, so you might be wondering, what does this 60-something white heterosexual woman have in common with a 30-something black lesbian woman? A lot more than you might think. For example, since I’m an inside bunny (and yes, I’m embarrassed and ashamed of myself, but damn it, I am also proud), her list of all the bad things about the great outdoors, such as bugs, bees, and scourging heat, made my head sing in glee. And her list of all the good things about staying the hell inside made me an even happier (indoor) camper. Her harangue against sun-worshippers totally endeared her to me. I wanted to say “Oh oh oh, and don’t forget to add this to the list, Samantha,” my head churning with additional urgent bulleted items.

Listen to one of her observations about sun-worshippers:

"You dudes frying under the sun at the beach can't really expect the rest of us to believe that you enjoy painfully peeling your seared flesh from plastic chairs while everyone in the restaurant is staring at the armpit stubble revealed by your tank tops, can you?"

A true confession (for my dear super literary friends, I hide behind my TV in semi-embarrassment): We both like trashy TV. (Okay, and I like many movie and TV masterpieces, too, I really do.) Since she told the world, I’m feeling pumped to admit it too.
 
There are many other similarities but who cares (translated: I’m not as open or brave as she is to divulge stuff). But all this just made the read that much more un-put-down-able. 
 
But hell, I wouldn’t have to have a lot in common with her because her world view is so fascinating, it transcends all the demographic markers. It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re liable to laugh at Samantha’s weird cat, Helen Keller, and their tumultuous relationship. I couldn’t relate to it all, for sure (the dating scene, the angst that accompanies your 20s and 30s), but I lapped it all up because she is just so damn funny and smart.

Some of her stories that completely entertained me:

-An imaginary questionnaire for Bachelorette applicants, for which she supplies hilarious answers.
-A detailed description of her life as a long-time worker at a vet’s office.
-The chapter titled, “Fuck It, Bitch. Stay Fat.”
-Her story about turning a boyfriend into a friend.
-Her story about acquiring a cat.

Most of my total love of this book comes from the fact that the author is a master comedian. Sure, she sometimes pokes fun at people, but mostly she’s poking fun at herself. I just love how self-effacing she is—that honesty is so endearing and makes me feel like I know her (yes, I KNOW we’re never meeting in real life). I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for laughs, especially when cynicism and absurdity, all wrapped up in brilliant observations, take front and center, like it does here.
 
But it’s not all fun and games. This woman has some serious health problems (Crohn’s disease, big-time arthritis, depression) and she describes so well how this impacts her everyday life, her social interactions, her self-confidence, and her self-consciousness.  As I got more and more attached to her, the more deeply sad I felt about all the physical and mental pain she has had to endure—and she’s just in her 30s. But it’s clear, by the way she writes, that she absolutely is not writing for sympathy, which makes me all the more sympathetic. Her sad childhood and her serious ailments together make her wise; her writing is punctuated with plenty of buds of wisdom.
 
Besides the over-the-top sex scene that I didn’t like, I had two other complaints. At first, it seemed like she was trying to be too clever. But as I kept reading, I didn’t notice the self-consciousness any more. I don’t know whether she got more relaxed or whether I was just falling under her spell.
 
Also, she makes a lot of pop culture references, and 90 percent of them I didn’t get, which was frustrating. I didn’t want to sit there googling terms every time I ran into something I didn’t know; I didn’t want constant story interruptus. (Here, we do see the one problem with our age difference.) I was smug and felt cool that I got one reference: We both watch the great new series called Queen Sugar, which I desperately hope has been renewed for next year.

The book is full of great quotes. I was so excited by her true stories, I found myself copying a bunch of good quotes and sending them off to friends.
 
Here’s a favorite:

"During our last training session, right after I'd completed seven of the 50 sit-ups she'd asked me to do, she said, 'You're my most disappointing client.' And I interpreted that as 'This tiny human says it's okay for me to keep eating red meat and cupcakes in bed.'”
 
I’ve read a few funny memoirs by young-ish blogger women, including Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh (an absolute favorite), Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling. I liked them all, but We Are Never Meeting in Real Life definitely wins second place, losing only to Hyperbole and a Half.

Funny, it was the title that drew me in from the start. I have a good friend on Goodreads whom over a few years I’ve developed a great friendship with—we talk almost daily. I’ve told her numerous times that we are never meeting in real life. She threatens to show up on my doorstep one day, lol.
 
I don’t like this book cover because I don’t like it when cats look mean. I’m a cat lover and I like my cats looking nice or even just stoic. I really don’t like looking at a pissed off cat, all fang-y and scary. I don’t like looking at mean or pissed off people either, so it’s not surprising I prefer to see chilled-out, cool cats.

I love it that the author put that period at the end of her title: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. (PERIOD) I’m sure we’re supposed to read that period out loud. Because she really really means it. 

I hear you, Samantha Irby. I know we're never meeting in real life, but you threw it all out there so vividly and honestly, I feel like I HAVE met you in real life. 

Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.

Publication date: May 30, 2017 (you just have to wait 5 days!)

(P.S. Man, this review ended up being way too long. I understand if you decided you had to unload the dishwasher instead of reading my ramble.)
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So I saw this title in a Goodreads email.  I keep telling myself to step outside my normal box of contemporary romance and try something new.  So Samantha’s take on life sounded very funny in the description.  And she has a cat.  I like cats.  And she likes the Bachelor/Bachelorette series.  I like that too.  

I did not know who Samantha Irby was.  Never heard of her.  But I’ll be on the lookout now.  This book is stories and musings on everything from her childhood, to sexual encounters, to food obsessions and everything in between.  

She kept me on my toes and each section was something different.  The book is not all about the funny.  It gets very serious at moments and very real.  Some very raw moments and some laugh out loud moments.  And some cringe-worthy moments that make you uncomfortable.  But that is life.  This is her life and she’s opened herself up.  I think I could be her friend.  But I can just hear her opinion on that.  We will never be friends.  <smile>  And that’s okay.

*I received an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review of this book.*
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Unfortunately after a couple of chapters, this book was not clicking with me. The humor did not appeal to me, and I did not find it funny at all. I had to set it aside as it wasn't a good fit for me. I am certain others will appreciate the humor but it just wasn't for me. I will not be reviewing or rating this book. Thank you for the opportunity.
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I received a free advance reader copy of this book from the publisher.

this collecting of essays was great! I've never heard of Samantha Irby. never read their website or other book. based on how good and funny and impactful this was though I'm frankly surprised that their other published book from 2013 only has 1,700 reviews on Goodreads. why doesn't it have more? why aren't more people reading Irby?!

irby writes about sex, boyfriends, girlfriends, homelessness, child abuse, dating, mental health issues, her cat, road trips with her father's ashes... and everything with just indomitable wit and scathing humor. 

highly recommend.
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Samantha Irby is the blogger from Bitches gotta eat.  Here we are presented with a series of essays about her life- childhood, maintaining a job, relationships, and having a super hateful pet to name a few.  Sam goes over why she should be the next Bachelorette, the perils of eating old McDonalds, and how love should feel like someone is stomping on your chest.
I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Vintage Entertainment for the price of an honest review.  It took me a couple days to process how I feel about this book.  Some parts were fantastic- I loved the opening essay about the Bachelorette (perfect opener by the way).  I also loved her sassiness and honesty.  What actually brought me to this book though, was the cover.  I like to imagine that’s her hateful cat Helen Keller (you read a lot about her in this book).  I’m not going to lie, I cracked up at her hate/hate relationship with the thing.
But there were things I didn’t like as well.  The profanity is strong in this one…. for real.  Also, I know I say lol here sometimes but this is a blog.  This is not a book set for publication and unless it’s a YA novel where the characters are texting I don’t feel that internet cant has any place in a book.  Then there are the uncomfortable parts.  There is such a thing as oversharing and I don’t need to know about your sex toy or the time you had to poop in a McDonalds bag on the side of the road.  Seriously.  Way too much information.  Maybe I am just too old for this book.
That said, I have decided that the good outweighs the bad-barely.  This is a three star book for me.  
On the adult content scale, I would have to rate it pretty high for the language and sexual content alone.  We’re giving it an eight.
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Samantha Irby is my favorite blogger, so I'm biased. Books from bloggers tend to be disappointing -- the content is often ripped right from their blog and feels familiar, or the content is even worse and you realize they should've just stuck to blogging. Samantha Irby is a rare exception to this rule. I have been waiting for another book from her since I finished Meaty, her last collection of essays, and We Are Never Meeting In Real Life manages to be even better. 

I envy her talent -- so many times throughout the book I'd thought to myself, "YES, THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL, FINALLY SOMEONE GETS IT," and also "But I could never write about it like she could." In this collection, she is hilarious and honest as always, and every essay here will move you. She writes about her troubled relationship with her late father, figuring out the logistics of lesbian sex, and dealing with the death of her cat, and there are many parts of the book where you will laugh out loud in one paragraph and weep openly in the next. She's not so much the best friend I wish I had, but more the person in my head who says what I'm thinking but in a less clumsy way. This book is like her blog, but better, like the VIP backstage pass.
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I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Samantha Irby's blog Bitches Gotta Eat has hovered on the periphery of my internet browsing for years-- occasionally I'll remember and check it, laugh myself into tears at her writing, and then, like a dingus, immediately forget. Lucky for me, this book has changed that. 

In a series of essays, Irby's inimitable writing covers her family, her imaginary Bachelorette application and season, her relationship with her cat, and more. She's not apologizing for who she is and what she likes, and that confidence in her own tastes and personality is fantastic. Reading this was an exercise in trying to laugh quietly as someone slept next to me, because her ability to turn a phrase is amazing. By the time I'd finished this, I'd badgered three coworkers into reading Meaty and/or ordering this book.
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This collection of essays by Samantha Irby, titled  We Are Never Meeting In Real Life is really something different from the everyday stuff you pick up.  This being my first experience with the comedian and  "bitches gotta eat"  blogger, it took me a bit to catch on to her serio-comic style.  But then it was smooth sailing and easy reading, going from laughs to amusement at her story telling style.  I have a lot of empathy for the pain of the things she went through growing up that reflect in her today.  I deal with some of those myself.   It's a mix of painfully honest family stories that all seem to end abruptly  because first her dad died, then not long afterwards her mom died as well.  Then she was alone, with no one.   In better circumstances certainly, because then her dad couldnt drink her check away.  No one to worry over or to make her feel guilty.
I was  given an  ARC of this book by NetGalley and Knopf DoubleDay Publishing Group   (Vintage Editions) in return for an honest review.
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I have been on a wicked essays kick, and I picked this up at the right time. I am going to fumble my way through this review because I can't get out the right words. So there. But... 
It was exactly what I wanted from a collection of essays. Funny. Pretty sad a lot of the time. Vulnerable and honest. Scathing. I will not pretend to relate firsthand to Ms. Irby's experiences... but I relate. I thought I was the only one who likes SWV, Smashing Pumpkins AND Liz Phair. I understand about solitude and personal space. I have organized condiments. (Not ketchup, but still.) I read the essay about customer service out loud to my husband, who also worked CS. I laughed and cried about Helen Keller.
It's not for everyone, but it is for me, and I am a new fan but a huge fan.
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I knew Samantha Irby was funny, but I didn’t know she could make me weep with laughter until I read the opening essay in this collection, in which she details the many reasons why "The Bachelorette" needs her crass, disabled, depressed, TV-obsessed presence to liven up their tired franchise. Even when writing about chronic illness, death, and the nightmare cat from hell, Irby keeps her self-deprecating humor intact. 

While I’m accustomed to Irby’s stream of consciousness style, the book could have benefited from additional editing to remove repeated anecdotes. Still, this is one of the funniest and most honest essay collections I’ve read in years. 

I hear that the brains behind “Broad City” are developing a show based on Irby’s confessional writings; get this book and say you knew Samantha Irby before the rest of your friends.
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Laugh out loud hilarious!!  I love how honest and frank Samantha was in this novel!  It was like having wine with your favorite best friend!  I look forward to more from Samantha!
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Samantha Irby gets me. I was attracted to this book because of the cover, that poor little cat, and then I started reading, and I couldn't stop. I found so much of myself in Irby's words, and she completely captures the stage of life I'm in right now. Adulting, but single, and out of my partying days. She lets me laugh at myself white laughing at her experiences. Don't let the humor fool you; there's a lot of heart here as well. This is how you write a collection of essays, and I"ll definitely be seeking out more.
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From goodreads!

"It's hilarious, but uber-crass. A memoir in essays, in the voguey genre of super-funny-essay-with- super-funny-Twitter-account-or-blog-attached genre. It's not bad, but I feel like I'm not the best audience. I actually love a good comic memoir or the humorous essay (Sedaris, Colbert, Trevor Noah, Tina Fey.) I was okay with Amy Pohler's memoir. I didn't read Amy Shumer. And her fans might LOVE this. Irby is talented, undoubtedly. I liked the cat bits, loved the Bachelor parts, kinda squirmed in the unsavory parts. It looks to me like there is no audio book edition of this, and I wonder why not. I think if Irby narrated, it would be fab."
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This book feels like a fluffy summer read, while sneakily normalizing pretty much all marginalized groups. I frequently snort-laughed and tried to read parts aloud to my partner.
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I am surprised at how much I really like this book, considering how much I don't actually essay collections. Irby is incredibly funny and witty in her descriptions, I really love that she can find humor in everything even in the most depressing of situations. Despite these comedic writings she still does not discount the severity of these events in her life, still giving levity to each situation. Since I am close to Irby's age I knew all of her pop culture references and was incredibly happy when she talked about older songs I knew as well as technology, most books I've read lately have references to modern pop culture so it was refreshing. 

Irby's observations were candid and honest venturing into topics such as sex, dieting, and flatulence. Honesty is so refreshing, with all the YA I've been sick of and science books reading was so much fun. Considering that Irby is a blogger I think I'll check out her blog 'Bitches Gotta Eat" and I hope it is just as funny and honest as this book was.
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