If you're looking for something light and funny, this book is it. Very funny and entertaining. We all get bombarded with advice on how to better take care of ourselves and the author's attempts at following that advice is humorous. We could all not take all of this so seriously and learn how to laugh at ourselves.
Thank you Netgalley for my free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Do I Feel Better Yet is all about self-care and the myths we are told about taking care of ourselves -- especially the crap that we're all told (especially women) regarding HOW to go about doing it. Self-care is certainly not a one-size fits all kind of form of care and Madeleine Trebenski explores all notions of this in her book. At times hilarious, and sometimes all too relatable, most people would enjoy the essays in this book. I am 45 years old and I feel like this author nailed exactly what it feels like to be stuck inside ourselves and mental health issues, confused about where we're going and how, and what the road ahead might look like without putting our own oxygen masks on first and taking care of number one in the best ways we know how.
Thank yous go to Netgalley and Chronicle Books for an advance copy to review!
I laughed out loud at several points in this book. It was a nice, quick read and I'd recommend it. Thank you for the advanced copy.
Title: Do I Feel Better Yet?*
Author: Madeleine Trebenski
Rating: 3.75 stars / 5 stars
Favorite Quote: “All I can say is it’s very hard to be in my brain sometimes.” Trebenski, Madeleine. Do I Feel Better Yet?. Chronicle Books, 2022.
*This post contains affiliate links. If you make purchases after using these links, I will earn a percentage of your purchase without any further cost to you.
Review: Thank you to the publisher, Chronicle Books, and the NetGalley platform for the free e-ARC I received in exchange for an honest review.
Overall, this book is an absolute delight. Trebenski tackles a myriad of issues facing millennial women as they deal with work woes, aging, mental health concerns, and health and body standards. Trebenski does so with acerbic wit, and often is at her best when her humor is used to show a pervasive, often anxiety-causing concern.
The structure of this book is successful as well. It’s well organized, tackling a variety of topics in a concise manner, often beginning each section with a summary of what the issue is before bleeding into a more abstract, imaginative reflection on how the issue might be addressed. (I found the Pro/Con list about procreation to be particularly titillating, as someone who is child-free by choice but also at the peak of when society expects me to procreate).
Ultimately, the biggest issue for this book is that it could honestly have been shorter. Even though the portions of the essays that verge into the absurd and hilarious are imaginative and still manage to capture the heart of the issues Trebenski is addressing, sometimes they dragged on longer than necessary. Trebenski is clearly creative and employs humor (often dark humor) effectively in a social critique. But at times, these essays seemed to be written (or at least prolonged) with humor for humor’s sake, rather than to make the book as compulsively readable as it might otherwise be. There were definitely moments I put it down because I got a bit bored, and once I was able to power through to the next section, I was once again delighted, but if those sections had been cut shorter, that sense of boredom likely would have never occurred.
About that Quote: This book is much more insightful than it might seem at first glance. (For instance, read the meditation for surviving as a woman if you want to be equal parts amused and enraged.) I think this quote, in particular, captures that moment. Trebenski is funny. There is absolutely no doubt about that. But she’s also someone who has experienced anxiety, loneliness, fear, and uncertainty. And this quote demonstrates what it feels like to cope with those experiences.
Have you read Do I Feel Better Yet? Share your thoughts below!
I was lucky to receive this advance copy from NetGalley. I was drawn to this book by the title and cover.
Just the other day I received a nighttime serum and it said that you can layer serums atop one another. The fact that you can get through this book in small bursts of reading makes it even better. There were parts that I totally laughed at and others that really clicked.
I like the concept of this book, but it was a miss for me. Personally, I felt that this was kind of flat and couldnt really relate to it. I can see others enjoying this though.
Thank you NetGalley and publishers for this E-Arc.
This was an amusing read about a woman trying the various self-help and self-care methods you’ve seen suggested in blogs umpteen times. I enjoyed the personal essay pieces more than the satirical ones, and it’s worth noting that the book contains both rather than strictly personal, albeit still humorous, essays.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
I appreciated what Trebenski was going for here - funny-snarky essays on our culture's obsession with "wellness" (read: unattainable perfection and the absurd lengths people go to in trying to achieve it). Unfortunately, these essays missed the mark for me.
I didn’t connect to this book, but I think other women might. So I don’t want to discourage others from reading it!
This is for anyone who has expressed a negative emotion, such as stress or sadness, and a person, possibly your mom or a stranger, says, "Have you tried ___? It changed my life!" This book is filled with essays in response to that question. Each chapter starts with an honest essay from the author before launching into a series of funny satirical essays about the topic. This is a book that you can leave out on the coffee table for people to browse. It's not necessary to read all the way through at once. We've all been in that situation, and if you're one of the people saying "Have you tried...?" please read this book.
This was a fun book about the multitude of fads and self help tools available. An easy and humorous read
This book was an absolute delight. Laugh-out-loud funny more often than not, but still insightful when it needed to be. Joking most of the time, but occasionally deeply sincere. I gobbled it up in two days and have recommended it to all of my friends, saying, "I'm reading this book and I'm having the BEST time."
Do I Feel Better Yet? takes a look at the kinds of well-meaning wellness and self-care suggestions you get from people who have found their salvation in exercise or religion or just drinking a whole lot of water. Trebenski examines her own relationships to these trends with humor and honesty, but also spends plenty of page space mocking the sillier suggestions. Introspection stands alongside comedic listicles (a pro/con list of having children, a collection of obituaries for dearly departed plants, descriptions for terrible imaginary sex toys) and imagined scenarios (bringing your literally monstrous boyfriend to dinner, luxury lingerie shopping, a recipe for haunted bone broth). I found myself wanting to send all the best quotes to my friends, and slowly realized that that was basically most of the pages of the book.
Admittedly, the book's shtick got a little old after 200+ pages, and some essays landed better than others, but those felt like relatively small issues in amongst all of the other excellent and entertaining content of the book. This is an antidote to all of the overwhelmingly tiresome discourses of wellness out there. I recommend it with all the zealousness of someone telling you to try Keto.
Happy Publication Day to "Do I Feel Better Yet?" If you're looking to laugh, this might be a great select for you!
A tour across the many layers of our self-care culture, this nonfiction centers on the lengths we'll travel to make ourselves feel better. There is absolutely no question the author, a McSweeney's contributor, is funny. In a chapter titled "Are You Hungry or Are You Just Horny?" she asks: "Is it your appetite for melted cheese? Or is it your appetite for human intimacy?" She has a unique, often laugh-out-loud take on so many things we do in the name of bettering ourselves.
But, paradoxically, I wanted more self-care perspectives. She touches on her conclusions in a glimpse of insight: "Lately, I've started to feel like the call for people to practice self-care is just another version of telling people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps." (Girl, YAS.) I wished for more of this across the book - but those who know they're going into a book that's 90% humor, 10% insight will no doubt be satisfied by this very funny, talented author.
Thank you to Chronicle Books for giving me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
If you are a person who is trying to find happiness in our increasingly insane world (and of course you are, you exist), you will likely identify with some (or all) of Do I Feel Better Yet? This book takes a look at a lot of the trends sweeping the millenial/Gen Z world to see if any of this ceaseless advice is actually helpful.
As someone who battles my anxiety and depression constantly, I identified deeply with the idea of all of the different things or activities people tell you will magically fix you. From fad diets to yoga to exercise to the great outdoors to alien romance novels to rampant consumerism to possibly sketchy "wellness cults", this book takes a comical look at the lengths we will go to to try to feel better - instead of, you know, dealing with it responsibly with a therapist.
I greatly enjoyed these essays and found the entire book to be very approachable and funny. Anyone at all aware of today's culture will be all too familiar with the subjects, which are addressed in a variety of essay formats, from personal anecdotes to "brochures" explaining why the MLM wellness group you are interested in definitely isn't a weird sex cult, to a letter to the parents explaining that your boyfriend - who happens to be cursed to be a monster for going on three centuries now - is coming to dinner, and may or may not destroy the house and/or drink grandma's blood.
While this book probably will not be a viable substitute for therapy and/or medication, it is a diverting way to spend some time, and will likely make you feel better while reading it.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book! All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This glorious, quick read is a self help book full of short essays that made me feel so seen! Talk about hitting the nail right on the head with most of these, omg I was laughing out loud during some (most) parts- and I literally love a book that can make me actually laugh! 🤣 From start to finish, this makes you think about all the previous attempts you’ve made at your own self care and makes you laugh along with how amazing it seemed but then how silly it probably turned out. I could tell from the start this book was going to get me- it totally did! Definitely recommend, especially if you’re into self-care types of books!
The formatting of the book itself was difficult to read, but I tried to ignore it. I still found the concept of the book interesting and I love the author's writing style. I'm looking forward to buying this book for all of my fellow McSweeney buffs. I found this book a welcome respite in a sea of self-care books, and laughed out loud often.
I found this such a slog to get through. It is trying too hard, and I just really couldn't connect with any part of it.
I really wanted to like this book because the idea sounded appealing to me but this book fell flat. I skipped ahead several sections but it was the same content every time. Jokes that aren't funny.
Thank you to NetGalley and Chronicle Books for the opportunity to read and review an e-ARC of this book. I am absolutely the target demographic and audience for this title, and so much of it resonated with me. I'm a millennial and have my fair share of chronic illnesses, so it's definitely a common occurrence for well-meaning folks to wholeheartedly recommend some combination of yoga, scented candles, exercise equipment, an all-soup diet (or was it a no-soup diet?), juice cleanse, bath bomb, face cream etc etc etc that will completely change my life and heal me. And while I enjoy (most of) those things and find that they do actually improve my overall well-being, we know they're not cure-alls and it gets frustrating to be constantly presented with this idea that all our physical, emotional, and spiritual ails are a few small self-care purchases away from being solved. I liked the portions of this book that played with the ridiculousness of this notion. (It is a lot to expect from a humble piece of wax that an expensive candle can turn my life around!) It also captured the endlessness of this cycle. (Oh, you'd feel way better if you did yoga. Ah, you do practice yoga? Well, you're probably using the wrong mat. The toxic material is killing you slowly. You still feel terrible? Is it perhaps because you eat GRAINS?)
Ultimately, my takeaway is that we're all searching for things to make our lives incrementally better - little treats we purchase for ourselves to brighten a bad day, or big lifestyle changes that force us to look at the choices we've been making thus far.
I really liked and enjoyed this book! I feel like a better person for reading it, and it’s something that’s going to stick with me for a long time.