Title/Author: Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour by Rachel Shukert
Publisher: Harper Perennial 2010
How I got this book: Sent to me by the awesome people at Harper Perennial
Why I read this: I'm obsessed with travelogues and was so excited because it about a girl who was a recent college grad and I figured I'd be able to live vicariously through her as a recent college grad myself!
Rating: Between 2.5 stars and 3.
This book and I had a love/hate relationship. I started this book and found myself loving it and then I hit a chunk where I wanted to fling at the wall and abandon it and then I got to a place where I didn't loathe it and then I found myself really enjoying it again.
I think that the subtitle is a little misleading. I had such high expectations for this being a travelogue lover. This was more a series of hilarious sexcapades in 2 countries rather than a "European Grand Tour." I was so excited about this book because I felt like Rachel and I were kindred spirits and that I'd connect with her plight--being a college grad, not knowing what you want in life, wanting to see the world and just generally being broke and wanting to find yourself. She was all that but I just didn't find myself connecting with her until maybe the end.
Let me tell you some GREAT things about this book: Rachel is hilarious and the girl can write! I was seriously laughing out loud and dying with some of her descriptions of people and things. I'm impressed by her ability to make something otherwise not that exciting or amusing become something that makes me snort iced tea out of my nose. I also appreciate how honest she is about herself. I connected with that. At first, I found myself rolling my eyes at her and not caring about her because I just thought she was selfish and never learning and growing, but I found myself gaining alot of respect for her and genuinely finding her to be likable. I also thought she was clever in adding all these hilarious "extras" like when you are reading a travel guide and it might have a little boxed off section for things like "how to order food or what to do at the airport." Instead, her "extras" were things like "Assembling Your Rachel Shukert costume" (with a full on diagram about the "tuck method if you are a male" or "Are You About To Be Sex Trafficked?". Really clever and hilarious sections.
Things I Didn't Like/Feel The Need to Warn You About: If you are the least bit offended by explicit sexual details or lots of vulgar language, skip this one! I wouldn't consider myself a prude but sometimes felt shocked or embarrassed by the details. This book can be raunchy, vulgar and she loves to describe and talk about male anatomy in great detail--chocolate ones, big ones, little ones, uncircumsized ones--penises all over the globe! Also, I didn't find myself DYING to pick this up. I was trying to finish it during Readathon because I needed the motivation to do it. I got tired of her sexcapades after a while but I will say that in the end she does redeem herself a little bit.
The final thought: In the end I was pretty disappointed with this book as whole. I'd recommend going into it without the expectation that it will be the travelogue of a college grad. Read it if you wished David Sedaris and Chelsea Handler had smart assed, hilariously hip child. Don't pick this book up if you will be offended by sex and foul language. It's not that this book was BAD by any means..I just didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.
Here's a 4 star review from Leeswamme's blog to check out so you can have a more balanced opinion.
Yikes! "Chocolate ones" -- maybe I am a prude, too! :)ReplyDelete
I enjoyed this book more than you did, I think. Maybe it helps that I'm Dutch so I recognised many of the situations she got herself into- well, in a way!ReplyDelete
My review is here, if you like to see it: http://leeswammes.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/everything-is-going-to-be-great-by-rachel-shukert/
I'm going to link your review in my post!ReplyDelete
I've been on the fence about this one and now I think I may just give it a pass. I'm not a prude, I'm just not all that interested in other people's sex life.ReplyDelete
Oh, what a shame it is about sex so much. Like marthalama said, I just find that a bit boring. But what a great premise for a book. I can't remember the title right now, but I read a surprisingly fantastic book about a woman exploring baths around the world that really incorporated some adventurous travelogue themes. I'll see if I can find it and pass along the name of the book.ReplyDelete
Lifetime Reader-- Yes, please do pass along the name if you can find it! I LOVE travelogues!ReplyDelete
I'll admit to being a bit leery about this one. I have it on the shelf, but I'm worried the all sex all the time will get old fast. However, I do appreciate snark, so I'm sure I'll get to it. Eventually.ReplyDelete
I've been having the problem with expectations in a book lately, as well. It's hard to figure out sometimes if you think a book is bad if it fell below your expectations. Was it bad? Or did it just not live up to your expectations? These are questions I have a harder time answering.ReplyDelete