I must start by thanking ASKReviews for letting us all know that there was a SECRET MUSICAL in the middle of this audiobook! I heeded their recommendation to “Get the Audio Version”, and boy howdy am I glad I did! Not only do we get a musical adventure about Rachel Bloom’s desire to be a musical theater STAAAR, the musical is performed by her harmonizing with herself, herself, herself, herself, and maybe another Rachel Bloom or two.
Bloom’s voice is so important here; her style, her brutal honesty, her overall delivery- if you are at any way interested, then you MUST listen to the audiobook. I love how she shouts “New Chapter!” every time there is, well, a new chapter. It reminds me very much of the “BLAM!” from the opening credits of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
You don’t have to be a huge CXG fan in order to enjoy this book; I stopped watching in Season Three because the stress of the characters within the show was too much to handle on top of my own stress, haha- but you do get a little peek behind the CXG curtain. Bloom also dedicates the book to Adam Schlesinger and speaks throughout about his work, friendship, and-in the afterward- his loss. Adam was an incredible songwriter; he was a founding member of Fountains of Wayne, wrote “That Thing You Do!” for That Thing You Do!, “Pretend to be Nice” for Josie and the Pussycats, and co-wrote MANY songs on CXG with Bloom (my personal favorite: “Settle for Me”). He was taken by Covid-19 in the Spring.
Bloom is aggressively honest in an extremely cheerful way; she absolutely cackles with glee while detailing accounts of being bullied in middle school, dealing with mental health crises, refusing to be potty-trained until the age of four- there is nothing she won’t share, but it doesn’t feel like TMI. She reads excerpts from her childhood journals- including some amazing “erotic poetry” written in middle school. This could could be a recipe for some extreme cringing, but Bloom is so delightfully over-the-top but you can’t help to laugh along, even if you find yourself reliving your own adolescent horror stories while she shares hers!
The collection itself is a riot: fairy tale parody, Harry Potter fanfic, jabs at Neil Patrick Harris, behind the scenes glimpses at working in TV and sketch comedy, and stories about relationships good, bad, and ugly- but the true star of the show is Bloom herself; a 4-Star book was blasted into the 5-Star stratosphere by her so-high-energy-I-kind-of-worry-about-her energy. Also- HOW GOOD is that Judy Blume-esque artwork?!