I have been a fan of Samantha Irby’s writing for quite awhile from her blog (bitches gotta eat). I’m also a member of her book lovers Facebook community, Bitches gotta read. Thus, I was already poised to like We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. I adore her humor. And yet, this book exceeded my expectations!
Her collection of essays allows Irby to bare her soul with her trademark matter-of-fact no fluff tone. I read the audiobook that she narrates herself, which I highly recommend! Hearing her own voice allows her sarcasm to be pitch perfect. From the first essay, Samantha’s self-deprecation is loud and clear in case the title didn’t let you know already. She keeps it real, even if it will probably gross you out or make you uncomfortable. Irby hails from Chicago, never moved far away and ended up working in the same animal hospital for over a decade.
She reluctantly adopted a cat, which in the book she compares to a demon from hell. Even as a sickly kitten, it gave her evil side eye when it laid eyes upon Samantha. Nevertheless, she ends up taking it home and they become uneasy roommates that judge each other constantly. I loved all the her tales of annoying animal hospital patrons. She does like some of them, especially since you end up getting to know regular patients. That does not mean none of them get on her nerves with insane voicemails and their litanies of questions at the reception desk.
She shares tales of her childhood as the youngest daughter born to older parents. They never played ball with her or helped with her homework. She turned to television for companionship, something I can relate to very well. She gushes about her love for trashy reality tv. In one essay, she pens a hilarious application-essay that explains why she wants to be on The Bachelor. As a college drop-out, she is skeptical the producers would select her for the show. 😉 She continues to keep things honest about her unabashed love for junk food and her ups and downs with Crohn’s disease. A good amount of the book reveals lessons she learned from romantic disasters. She does eventually fall in love and embarks on a long term relationship. Samantha simultaneously praises her partner and ponders why they even love her. I appreciate her very blunt and hysterical musings on how life. She doesn’t gloss over the hardships in her life. The last essay wraps up with explaining her anxieties and ties in nicely with the title of the book.
I would recommend this book for readers who want to laugh at the strange and sometimes sad things that come up in life.
Read reviews from previous Cannonball Read years on my blog.