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A special thank-you to Dey Street Books and Goodreads for providing an ARC for me to review!
Title: When You Find Out the World Is Against You: And Other Funny Memories About Awful Moments by Kelly Oxford
This book is a memoir detailing a variety of especially awkward and/or funny episodes from Kelly’s life. The stories run the gamut from childhood social gaffes to raising her own children, divorce to sexual assault. Whatever the circumstances, Kelly’s keen observations, wit and humor shine through to help give perspective to each story.
There were parts of the book which were very entertaining and I found myself getting quite wrapped up in them (like when Kelly went to camp!). There were a couple of chapters, however, which kind of fell flat for me. For some reason they didn’t pull me in and didn’t seem to add a lot of value to the book.
With that being said though, overall I enjoyed the book very much. I read through it fairly quickly and it was easy to digest each chapter as a separate anecdote. Some of Kelly’s antics are so socially awkward that it’s difficult to read about them. The story about her husband and the guy he meets in the gym comes immediately to mind. Yikes!!! I’m too embarrassed to even tell you what it’s about online–you’ll have to read it for yourself.
Probably the chapter I appreciated most was the last one about Kelly’s reaction to the Trump and Billy Bush recording when they were talking about sexually assaulting women. I had to psych myself up to the read the chapter after I skimmed it and saw all of the tweets by other women who had experienced sexual assault. It was right before bed and I put the book down, deciding that I had better wait to read that chapter until the morning when I’d have the whole day to process it and work through the unhappy feelings before trying to go to sleep. The way that Kelly helped so many women to feel connected and heard was amazing! Quite frankly, I think it was necessary at the time, especially since the behavior and language of those men was being justified by so many. For all of the women who’ve been on the receiving end inappropriate behavior or language, it’s like a slap in the face seeing it brushed off as “locker room talk”. So on behalf of all of the women who were feeling marginalized by that recording and the ensuing justification of it, thank you Kelly for putting yourself out there to start the conversation on healthy attitudes towards women.
I recommend When You Find Out the World Is Against You to adults who like funny and/or awkward memoirs. Kelly is an entertaining lady and you just might enjoy exploring some of her more memorable socially awkward moments.
A Favorite quote:
“The loudest drunks are groups of sober teenage girls. They think all their jokes are hilarious. All their drama is the biggest deal in the whole wide world.” (p. 259-260)
- lots of swear words (not used offensively, but sprinkled generously as potpourri)
- explicit talk about sexual stuff (particularly in reference to sexual assault)
- a bit of drug use
Rating: 4 Stars
Until next time…