Cover Image: Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful

Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful

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Member Reviews

It's hard to review a book that is memoir about loss, grief and a person going through one of the worst times in their life. Stephanie Wittels Wachs has generously shared her grief in the year after her brother Harris's death.

Harris Wittels was a comedy phenom. He had a hand in one of the funniest comedies in the last ten years, Parks and Rec. His twitter was just....a joy. One liners were his speciality. Harris struggled with drug addiction for a few years and tragically died. 

This is a book about Stephanie and Harris. This is about moving on and drug addiction and acceptance and grief. This is inside of the pain of losing someone you've loved your entire life. It's an entire piece of your life and your heart that is going to be missing for the rest of your life. 

Thank you to Stephanie for sharing this part of her life with everyone who reads this book. 

Thanks also to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I first heard Harris Wittels on my favorite podcast, Comedy Bang Bang, and definitely had a 20% crush on him from then on. Reading his sister's book was cathartic. This book is so inspiring and, of course, reminds us that everything is horrible and wonderful. Thank you to the author for sharing this with us.
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Oof. I've read a lot of memoirs of addiction which is admittedly a weird genre to be interested in but this is the only one I've read by the sibling of an addict and it was particularly devastating.  It alternates between chronicling the events leading up to the overdose death of comedian/television writer/producer Harris Wittels and the life of his family after his death.  It is a story of debilitating grief and the struggle to make sense of something senseless. Wittels Wachs often writes directly to her brother throughout, recalling events and asking questions of him to which she will never get answers.  It's a situation familiar to anyone grieving a loss.  The loved one is gone but the habit of going to text him a question or dial his number to tell him a funny thing that happened is still there like a cruel type of muscle memory but also one that you never want to go away.  She captures this so well in her almost stream of consciousness missives to her brother.  For fans of Harris Wittels this is a must read, as it gives you a peek inside his brilliant comedic mind from the perspective of someone who knew him from the start. Heroin addiction is a terrible disease that doesn't care about your brilliance or your money or your beautiful, loving family.  Harris Wittels' story is the perfect example of this.  His sister manages to tell this dark story while still showing us the light that was in her brother and the light and hope that still exists even after such a tragedy.
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What a beautiful book this is. Obviously it is very sad but the love Stephanie has for her brother shines through every page. I am a mental health counselor and will be recommending this book to clients. I don't work with substance abuse directly but I work a lot with grief. This book speaks the truth about grief and I think anyone who has lost someone from this awful disease will relate. Highly recommended.
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This was an outstanding read. Written by the sister of a drug addict, I found it very honest and well written. She allowed us to view her and her family life while dealing with her brother whom was a success in life but had a drug habit. She allows us to peek into their trial with her brotther and how they all dealt with it. Very good read. Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for the ARC of this book in return for my honest review.
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"Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful" is the perfect title for this book. The title came from a quote of Harris Wittels, the author's brother, who passed away from a drug overdose a few years ago. This book was incredibly difficult to get through, not because of the writing–which was beautiful and poignant and so heartfelt–but because of how tragic the story truly is. Harris Wittels was one of the best comedians of all time. He was not well-known outside of the world of comedy, but the impact he had on comedy was extraordinary. Fans deeply mourned the loss of such a talented person, but none of us truly knew him. Stephanie Wittels Wachs lost more than a talent, she lost her brother. I've always been a large fan of Harris's, and his death hit me harder than it should've, but Stephanie's writing so beautifully cherishes his memory. I was close to tears reading this book because Stephanie's love of her brother bled through the paper. The empathy Stephanie can make the reader feel is astounding. Stephanie Wittels Wachs's book can't bring Harris back, but it can bring closure, both to his family, and the many fans that mourned his death. "Everything Is Horrible and Wonderful" truly is horrible and wonderful, and it's the send-off Harris Wittels deserves.
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This is one of the most powerful and honest books I have read in a long time. I will recommend this book to everyone I know. As a reader, I liked the way the chapters alternated between "before" and the present. I felt we got to know Harris as he spiraled into his addiction. My heart breaks for her family and also for the world - to lose such a young and talented person before their time. I have not lost a close family member yet (aside from elderly grandparents), so I cannot speak to the feelings of grief that Stephanie has experienced. I HAVE, however, experienced having a sibling with an addiction and I can definitely relate to those feelings of anger and helplessness and despair. I know that feeling of being scared every time the phone rings - is someone on the other end going to tell me my brother has died? Our family has made it through to the other side of the addiction, luckily, but Stephanie's story could have easily been our story.
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https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36365825-everything-is-horrible-and-wonderful

I spent the last twenty pages of this book crying and I’m not really a crier.
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When Stephani Wachs is notified of her brother's sudden overdose she is in shock. In Everything is Horrible and Wonderful, she does what most of us would, and tries to put the pieces back together. This book is exactly that, a sister wrestling with the frustration that comes with grief and moving on. For those who have someone in their life they love who suffers from addiction, this book is for you. In it you will find solace in knowing you're not alone.
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The Wittels family is exactly the family you’d think Heroin wouldn’t effect - which is why this honest and raw look into the life of a brilliant young comic writer and the aftermath of his overdose is compulsively readable and heartbreakingly relatable. 
Written by the late Harris Wittels’ sister, this book showcases Harris’s humor and addiction, and how the family struggled and suffered along with him., and after him. The comic parts of this novel are a welcome relief from the palpable grief, yet also highlight the loss of such a funny person.
 I will recommend and discuss this book often.
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Stephanie Wittels Wachs idolized her brother, Harris. He was hilarious from a young age and Stephanie just adored him, as did many people. A talented comic and writer, he struggled with drug addiction and ultimately died of an overdose.

In her memoir, Everything is Horrible and Wonderful, Stephanie details the life of her brother and his death and how she tried to cope with it. 

This book is so good and tough to read in parts, my heart broke a million times reading Stephanie’s story. I know the publisher wants advance readers to hold off on spilling too much about this book so I’ll stop here but definitely pre-order and mark it to be read in March 2018 when it comes out!
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Gripping, in-depth look at grief caused by the loss of a sibling and how heroin addiction impacts not just the addict, but the addict's family. The author's pain has saturated the pages of this book, but her love for her brother Harris is equally strong.  

Current Events: Timely in terms of the current opioid crisis across the country. 
Pop Culture: Deals with former Parks & Recreation (TV Show) comedy writer.
Would recommend to add to library collections.
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