Review (Sort of): Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae

Before I get to the review, I want to remind you of the Jane Eyre giveaway that’s going on right now. If you’d like to win a copy for yourself or someone else click HERE to enter.

Title: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl
Author: Issa Rae
Format: Paperback, 204 pages
Genre: Humor
ISBN-13: 978-1476749075
Publisher: Atria
Release Date: 2015

= 4/5 – Really Liked It. Add to your TBR list.

[Read | Skim] [Buy | Borrow]

I’ve tried to get this and three other reviews done albeit not very hard because I keep finding other things to do. Right now I’m in the process of deconstructing my apartment. Here’s just a sample of what’s going on in my quaint and not so cozy abode.

I dare not show all the turmoil that’s going on. I made the decision to get rid of some of the bulky furniture and visually free up space.

I bought The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl (ABG) about a month or so ago and devoured it in a couple of days. Rae is witty, sarcastic, funny (there were some serious laugh out loud moments).

It’s taken me a while to write this review because there are so many things I want to say about ABG and I was having a hard time narrowing them down, so I decided to focus on a couple of essays.

Essay I likedWhen You Can’t Dance. Okay the reality is I can’t dance to save my life. There is still an unfortunate misnomer going around that black folks can dance. Welp, my fellow bloggers I am here to tell you that is sooo not true. I totally bypassed the rhythm line when God was handing it out.

According to Rae she actually practiced the latest dance moves in front of the TV. I, myself, gave up practicing, be it in front of the television or in front of the mirror when I realized that no matter how much I practiced I still looked like a fish flopping out of water.

My mother enrolled me in ballet classes, I say under the guise to try to get me a bit of rhythm even though she told me it was to help me become more graceful and less clumsy.

FYI. I’m still incredibly clumsy. Sidewalk cracks often come up and trip me.

Essay I didn’t care for but still thought was witty – ABG Guide Connecting with Other Blacks. In the beginning I enjoyed this essay, but when I went back and reread it and it’s probably one of my least favorites. Why the change? After rereading it I found a bit stereotypical.

Indeed, there were things I could relate to and even those I found stereotypical.

. . . some blacks are a hybrid o two or even three blacks. . .

  • The Nerdy Black. Rae says that this person is ‘socially hopeless’. I’m not sure what nerdy folks she knows, but I consider this statement a colossal fail. This one I relate to not just because I’m called a nerd but because I am one and pretty damn proud of it.
  • The Not-Black Black. Rae describes this person as someone whose features are inherently European or their hair is straight. I related to this topic not because of the way Rae described it but because I have always been described as not being black enough. I’ve been accused of acting and talking white. I have no idea what the hell that means.
  • The Strong Black. Rae says this person is tired of carrying the world on his/her shoulders and that they typically come from a single parent home and that people don’t question how they became so strong and emotionless. I will agree with some of this, except I don’t come from a single parent household and yes I have been through some things to make me strong but I am not emotionless.

Mind you I tried to take each of these with a grain of salt and with the humor intended.

One of my favorite lines in the book is:

I felt my vagina dry and shrivel up, like a raisin in the sun.

This quote gave me perhaps the biggest laugh out loud moment. It’s from the essay Dating Lessons & Summer Lust. I don’t think Langston Hughes or Lorraine Hansbury meant for ‘a raisin in the sun’ to be used in such a way, but . . . oh well.

A bit context on this. Rae had gone out on a date and after the date the fella gave her call and told her to her to look up at the moon because he wanted her know that he’s thinking of her whenever she looks in the night sky.

Ummm. A little creepy and after that how can anyone look at the moon without seeing said creep?

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