Friday, February 03, 2017

Quick someone call the girl police: THE GIRL WITH THE LOWER BACK TATTOO.

The Girl with the Lower Back TattooThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Amy Schumer's book comes out at a time when it seems like every celebrity in the world has a book out: some collection of essays about their life, showcasing how funny they are and what their life like as a celebrity. In Schumer's, we hear about her life from childhood to her post Trainwreck success and nearly everything in between: her friendships, her relationships, her parents, and her growth as a comedian. And, of course, a lot about sex. The book is told in a series of chapters - essays if you will - each one covering a particular moment in Schumer's life. They don't go in any particular order, but cover the gamut of her range of experiences.

I found this book to be a refreshing and engaging celebrity book. It carried a surprising depth. I don't know a ton about Schumer, but loved Trainwreck and have had a crush on her for ages. That crush has only intensified upon reading her book, as I discovered several similarities between us: introverts who love hotdogs and have complicated relationships with their mothers, who both internalize stress to the point where it makes us sick. We're a match made in heaven! But, seriously, Schumer is an excellent writer, and her book is an easy read, with well-written and wonderful essays that range from humorous to serious (and often both).

Her book avoided all of my usual celebrity autobiography/memoir/essay pet peeves. In this book, we really learn about Schumer, instead of just a few token stories. I was fascinated to hear about her career trajectory: you get a great look into how hard she worked in her early years as a comedian. In addition, we actually get a lot of insight into her early life-- her childhood and teenage years. What I love is that she comes across as a real human being, instead of giving us a book that is simply full of polished, trite jokes and well-worn stories.

In fact, while parts of the book make you laugh out loud, other places make you empathize with Schumer. The book is funny, but not too funny or fake funny. And it's serious without preaching. She covers topics such as sexual assault, gun control, her father's MS, her relationship with her parents, and other serious childhood experiences that molded her, with a realism that is refreshing. Sure, there are a few "woe is me" moments about how hard it is to be a celebrity, or what it's like to have money, but they are few and far between. By the end, I admired Amy even more as a person and a comedian, and my crush will continue on stronger than ever.

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