Cover Image: How to Be Miserable in Your Twenties

How to Be Miserable in Your Twenties

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Member Reviews

I don't read much "self help" books. And I thought the title and content sounded different. Not many people write a self help book about all the miserable stuff going on when your in your twenties. Being in your twenties you are suppose to be able to find your dream job or a partner or do stuff fun, but Randy Paterson shows what most of people go through in their twenties. I thought it was okay. Nothing too new to read about. I lived it.
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I liked the concept of this book – a self-help book provides you a surefire path to misery.  Every chapter is devoted to an idea or an action to be taken that will guarantee it.  Obviously, the actual idea is that you’ll consider doing all the opposite things if you actually want to be happy, but presented in this way, the lessons sink in a bit deeper.  While I’m only a few months from being out of my twenties, I enjoyed the book both in that it acknowledged what I wish I had known in the beginning of this decade, but also what I have yet to learn.  (I’m actually wondering if his original book, How to be Miserable, would have been a better fit for me…)

I appreciated how many of Paterson’s examples describe perfectly some “faulty” ways of thinking that we have all probably engaged in, but never questioned.  It is only when presented so bluntly in the form of (bad) advice (ex. Wait for permission, Never give an inch, Don’t rehearse…) that we start to realize how we’ve probably been contributing to our own misery all along.  

So, I liked it.  That being said,  halfway through, the concept that I was initially attracted to started grating on me.  I’d get lost in the message being given and forget that I was supposed to be interpreting everything as its opposite.  The messages were sometimes repetitive, sometimes tedious, and sometimes presented in a tone that made the teenager in me flare up (“I’ll do what I want!”).  I still think it’s a worthwhile read, though, and especially for someone starting off in life who has yet to experience some of these lessons the hard way.

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!
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The book started out well. I hadn't read any book in the anti-advice genre before and I was excited to start my first one.

The author's advice is definitely point-on. The writing style is good and the way the information is structured makes it easy to read and digest information. The author has shared a lot of anecdotes and most of them add on to the narrative.

My problem was the anti-advice way of writing. It wasn't for me. It has worked for others but it just bore me down until I was ready to close the book just to be done with it.

But the introduction was GOLD for me because it gave me a lot to think about.

Overall, recommended.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley.
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I generally like humor books, especially in the self-help category so i thought I would like this one, but I didn't. The anti-advice genre can be hard to pull off without sounding bleak and dark. I skimmed through a lot of this book because I got tired of all the sarcasm.
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A different kind of read for me, but it taught me some new things. I feel as if this book is targeting a specific kind of person, which isn’t bad, and I wasn’t exactly that person. On some pages I was, but on most of them I wasn’t. The ideas in the book weren’t new yet sometimes I would see something I’ve known my entire life in a new light.

I haven’t read anything else of the author’s but psychology has always fascinated me. This book wasn’t my cup of tea but it taught me some new, helpful tricks along life’s road.
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This is one great book!

I'll be 26 this February and while most of the "tips" in this book are applied ( or hopefully not) in pre & early 20s, I still felt called out on a lot of them which I loved because 1, this book is honest, it did not tip-toe around facts just to be sure no one will blush while reading it and 2, because I had the chance to take a second look at my life and decisions and see things in a different perspective. 

Yes, admitting to failing is not easy, nor pleasant. It is the first step to getting things on the right track though and Randy manages to help you in a very fun and funny manner.

Loved the book, highly recommending it and I think YOU should read it too :)
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Thank you NetGalley for this book in exchange for an honest review. How to Be Miserable in Your Twenties provides a creative new perspective in learning how to transition out of the limbo between adolescence and adulthood. It provides a lot of honest and frank tips. The structure of the tips take time to get used to (after all, it explains the antithesis of self-help tips to understand self help better). I'm really glad that I got my hands on the book given that I have a lot of friends who will be entering their twenties, and me following shortly after. I found some of the advice extremely useful and relevant.
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This book was helpful.

It's all the things you already know you should be doing/not doing, but presented in a counter-intuitive way that gives you a fresh perspective on long-held unhelpful thought habits. That may seem gimmicky, but for me, a person who hates the smarmy "health, wellness, and gratitude" aesthetic that internet influencer culture seems to be relentlessly touting, it was useful.

I know that holding onto anger hurts only me, and I know that a poor-me attitude leads nowhere, etc. but Paterson's structure and mirror-image approach helped me look at several things in a new way. Also, as an actual psychologist and not just a well-connected New York City writer, his understanding of how to actually help people seemed deeper to me than that of most self-help happiness gurus.
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This book right here is timely! I wish I was in my twenties and got to read this, however, there are many insights and common traps that we fall into trying to fit in or achieve the success expected of us in life, and the author shares details on all this in the book.
It's witty, fresh and written in the tone that I feel communicates the fact that twenties is not all about fun and exploration, but it is also an opportunity to make something of ourselves- and this is often overlooked.
Thanks Netgalley for the eARC.
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