Book 37 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from July 2 - 6
Unabrow: Misadventures of a Late Bloomer by Una LaMarche
Summary (via the book jacket)
As a girl, Una LaMarche was as smart as she was awkward. She was blessed with a precocious intellect, a love of all things pop culture, and eyebrows bushier than Frida Kahlo's. Adversity made her stronger...and funnier. In Unabrow, Una shares the cringe-inducing lessons she's learned from a life as a late bloomer, including the seven deadly sins of DIY bangs, how not to make your own jorts, and how to handle pregnancy, plucking, and the rites of passage during which your own body is your worst enemy.
This is one of those books that I have to rate solely on my personal reaction to it. You either connect with it or you don't. I absolutely did. Some of the essays fell a little flat for me (a word of caution - the story in the introduction isn't an indication of the rest of the book, thankfully) but for the enjoyment the ones I loved gave me, I rated it 5 stars.
Books about awkward experiences seem to be the new thing and what made this stand out for me is that she was able to find a balance between the outlandish and the deep while still maintaining the funny. Here's how the layout of the book went in my head..."Hey, here's my crazy side! Are you still around? Okay, now let's get serious".
I'm sure it had a lot to do with the fact that we are around the same age so I understood and related to all her culture references, mainly early to mid 90's stuff. I also liked that she was able to talk about the frustrations of marriage and parenting while still keeping the underlying tone that she actually likes her husband and son.
Some examples: describing an emotional state as "umbrella Britney", or puberty as when "your body has up and Scooby Doo'd you, pulling off its kindly mask to reveal a villainous wretch", or when she adds "By way of a disclaimer, I'm not wearing what would pass in most circles for pants as I type this advice, so you might want to consider that TMI nugget your official grain of salt".
So yes, I loved it but again and as always, this is a highly subjective rating so I'm not recommending everyone run out and buy it. To be perfectly honest, the disclaimer I mentioned above also applies to this review...probably another reason I enjoyed the book. Anyone who hates pants is a-ok with me. But if the quotes sound good, give this quick read a shot; you won't be disappointed.
A Few Quotes from the Book
"Given that my first crush was a mythical creature hybrid of Garrison Keillor and Ted Danson, you won't be surprised to learn that I was a late bloomer."
"I still didn't get invited to parties and spent my senior year infatuated with a classmate who would later turn out to be gay. Anna, meanwhile, began an intense phone relationship with an older guy based on his belief that she was someone else. It was pretty much par for our course."
"If you ever find yourself being treated in a hospital staffed only by ethereally beautiful doctors and nurses who have questionable medical ethics and obvious sexual chemistry with each other, rip out your IV and crawl to the nearest free clinic, because chances are four hundred percent that at some point in the near future, a large aircraft / special needs school bus / cruise ship carrying both explosives and zoo animals will crash into the waiting room, killing you but sparing the bi-curious anesthesiologist with a pending international adoption."
"Sleep is to the rest of your life what sex was to your twenties: you talk about it much more than you do it, and your roommates present a considerable obstacle."