Friday, December 21, 2018

This Is Really Happening, by Erin Chack

In this set of eleven chapter-length essays, Chack recounts tales of her youth.  They range from her year-long battle with cancer to her relationship with her long-term boyfriend.  In between are observations about parties, periods, and incontinence. My favorite was her account of  her day job writing click bait for Buzzfeed, but her observations on YA writer John Green were pretty amusing as well.

It’s not particularly YA although the chapters that deal with her adolescence will be of interest to young readers.  And it is not fiction either – just well-told life stories.   So, it’s a bit far off from my usual radar.

My take is that the writing is funny but the book is inconsequential.  These are the types of essays that we all polish up in one form or another: stories to tell at parties about ourselves to make people laugh.  They become polished because we have told them again and again.  Nice essays, but not sure why they needed to be collected into a book.  There isn’t much here that will stick with you.

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