We are Never Meeting in Real Life. by Samantha Irby

We are Never Meeting in Real Life.

Sometimes you just have to laugh, even when life is a dumpster fire. With We Are Never Meeting in Real Life., "bitches gotta eat" blogger and comedian Samantha Irby turns the serio-comic essay into an art form. Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making "adult" budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette--she's "35-ish,...

Title:We are Never Meeting in Real Life.
Author:
Rating:
ISBN:1101912197
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:288 pages

We are Never Meeting in Real Life. Reviews

  • Rachel León
    Feb 28, 2017

    I *love* Samantha Irby, like seriously love her.

    Irby writes with so much honesty and bravery it kills me. Her books have destroyed me. They make me laugh AND cry. Actually as much as I loved Meaty, I think this one is even better. It's just as personal, funny, and poignant, but it's almost like Meaty on steroids. I laughed out loud several times, which is not something I typically do when I read something funny. I'm usually amused, not roaring with laughter. But Irby is hilarious.

    I love Curbsi

    I *love* Samantha Irby, like seriously love her.

    Irby writes with so much honesty and bravery it kills me. Her books have destroyed me. They make me laugh AND cry. Actually as much as I loved Meaty, I think this one is even better. It's just as personal, funny, and poignant, but it's almost like Meaty on steroids. I laughed out loud several times, which is not something I typically do when I read something funny. I'm usually amused, not roaring with laughter. But Irby is hilarious.

    I love Curbside Splendor, the small press that published Meaty, but I'm thrilled that this book is published by a major publisher because I want Irby to have a larger audience. Her talent is huge and she should be widely read. I really hope this forthcoming essay collection has the success Irby deserves because it's such a truly great read.

  • Roxane
    Jan 04, 2017

    Reading Samantha Irby’s We Are Never Meeting In Real Life cracked my heart all the way open. The essays in this outstanding collection are full of her signature humor, wit, and charming self-deprecation but there is so much more to her writing. For every laugh, there is a bittersweet moment that could make you cry. From black women and mental health to the legacies created by poverty to dating while living in an all too human body, Irby lays bare the beautiful, uncompromising truths of her life.

    Reading Samantha Irby’s We Are Never Meeting In Real Life cracked my heart all the way open. The essays in this outstanding collection are full of her signature humor, wit, and charming self-deprecation but there is so much more to her writing. For every laugh, there is a bittersweet moment that could make you cry. From black women and mental health to the legacies created by poverty to dating while living in an all too human body, Irby lays bare the beautiful, uncompromising truths of her life. I cannot remember the last time I was so moved by a book. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life is as close to perfect as an essay collection can get.

  • Debbie
    Jan 06, 2017

    Wow! If I weren’t reviewing this sort of officially, I would be shouting out happy expletives! But I feel like I must not go all R-rated.

    Speaking of cuss words—a warning to all those who don’t appreciate them: there are A LOT of 4-letter words here. In fact, there is A LOT of raunch. I’m all for raunch, but this is uber-raunch. There is one sort of long graphic sex scene that almost ruined the book for me. I don’t know why she had to go there; it seemed to

    Wow! If I weren’t reviewing this sort of officially, I would be shouting out happy expletives! But I feel like I must not go all R-rated.

    Speaking of cuss words—a warning to all those who don’t appreciate them: there are A LOT of 4-letter words here. In fact, there is A LOT of raunch. I’m all for raunch, but this is uber-raunch. There is one sort of long graphic sex scene that almost ruined the book for me. I don’t know why she had to go there; it seemed to detract from her story rather than add to it. She made it funny, so I guess she was going for honesty and humor and a little shock effect. Considering how I didn’t like the uber-raunch, imagine how much I loved the rest of the book to give it 5 stars!

    "Wouldn't you rather be dead than hot?"

    To Klonopin

    Okay, so you might be wondering, what does this 60-something white heterosexual woman have in common with a 30-something black lesbian woman? A lot more than you might think. For example, since I’m an inside bunny (and yes, I’m embarrassed and ashamed of myself, but damn it, I am also proud), her list of all the bad things about the great outdoors, such as bugs, bees, and scourging heat, made my head sing in glee. And her list of all the good things about staying the hell inside made me an even happier (indoor) camper. Her harangue against sun-worshippers totally endeared her to me. I wanted to say “Oh oh oh, and don’t forget to add this to the list, Samantha,” my head churning with additional urgent bulleted items.

    Listen to one of her observations about sun-worshippers:

    "You dudes frying under the sun at the beach can't really expect the rest of us to believe that you enjoy painfully peeling your seared flesh from plastic chairs while everyone in the restaurant is staring at the armpit stubble revealed by your tank tops, can you?"

    A true confession (for my dear super literary friends, I hide behind my TV in semi-embarrassment): We both like trashy TV. (Okay, and I like many movie and TV masterpieces, too, I really do.) Since she told the world, I’m feeling pumped to admit it too.

    There are many other similarities but who cares (translated: I’m not as open or brave as she is to divulge stuff). But all this just made the read that much more un-put-down-able.

    But hell, I wouldn’t have to have a lot in common with her because her world view is so fascinating, it transcends all the demographic markers. It doesn’t matter who you are, you’re liable to laugh at Samantha’s weird cat, Helen Keller, and their tumultuous relationship. I couldn’t relate to it all, for sure (the dating scene, the angst that accompanies your 20s and 30s), but I lapped it all up because she is just so damn funny and smart.

    Some of her stories that completely entertained me:

    -An imaginary questionnaire for Bachelorette applicants, for which she supplies hilarious answers.

    -A detailed description of her life as a long-time worker at a vet’s office.

    -The chapter titled, “Fuck It, Bitch. Stay Fat.”

    -Her story about turning a boyfriend into a friend.

    -Her story about acquiring a cat.

    Most of my total love of this book comes from the fact that the author is a master comedian. Sure, she sometimes pokes fun at people, but mostly she’s poking fun at herself. I just love how self-effacing she is—that honesty is so endearing and makes me feel like I know her (yes, I KNOW we’re never meeting in real life). I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for laughs, especially when cynicism and absurdity, all wrapped up in brilliant observations, take front and center, like it does here.

    But it’s not all fun and games. This woman has some serious health problems (Crohn’s disease, big-time arthritis, depression) and she describes so well how this impacts her everyday life, her social interactions, her self-confidence, and her self-consciousness. As I got more and more attached to her, the more deeply sad I felt about all the physical and mental pain she has had to endure—and she’s just in her 30s. But it’s clear, by the way she writes, that she absolutely is not writing for sympathy, which makes me all the more sympathetic. Her sad childhood and her serious ailments together make her wise; her writing is punctuated with plenty of buds of wisdom.

    Besides the over-the-top sex scene that I didn’t like, I had two other complaints. At first, it seemed like she was trying to be too clever. But as I kept reading, I didn’t notice the self-consciousness any more. I don’t know whether she got more relaxed or whether I was just falling under her spell.

    Also, she makes a lot of pop culture references, and 90 percent of them I didn’t get, which was frustrating. I didn’t want to sit there googling terms every time I ran into something I didn’t know; I didn’t want constant story interruptus. (Here, we do see the one problem with our age difference.) I was smug and felt cool that I got one reference: We both watch the great new series called Queen Sugar, which I desperately hope has been renewed for next year.

    The book is full of great quotes. I was so excited by her true stories, I found myself copying a bunch of good quotes and sending them off to friends.

    Here’s a favorite:

    "During our last training session, right after I'd completed seven of the 50 sit-ups she'd asked me to do, she said, 'You're my most disappointing client.' And I interpreted that as 'This tiny human says it's okay for me to keep eating red meat and cupcakes in bed.'”

    I’ve read a few funny memoirs by young-ish blogger women, including

    by Allie Brosh (an absolute favorite),

    by Jenny Lawson, and

    by Mindy Kaling. I liked them all, but We Are Never Meeting in Real Life definitely wins second place, losing only to Hyperbole and a Half.

    Funny, it was the title that drew me in from the start. I have a good friend on Goodreads whom over a few years I’ve developed a great friendship with—we talk almost daily. I’ve told her numerous times that we are never meeting in real life. She threatens to show up on my doorstep one day, lol.

    I don’t like this book cover because I don’t like it when cats look mean. I’m a cat lover and I like my cats looking nice or even just stoic. I really don’t like looking at a pissed off cat, all fang-y and scary. I don’t like looking at mean or pissed off people either, so it’s not surprising I prefer to see chilled-out, cool cats.

    I love it that the author put that period at the end of her title: We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. (PERIOD) I’m sure we’re supposed to read that period out loud. Because she really really means it.

    I hear you, Samantha Irby. I know we're never meeting in real life, but you threw it all out there so vividly and honestly, I feel like I HAVE met you in real life.

    Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy.

    (P.S. Man, this review ended up being way too long. I understand if you decided you had to unload the dishwasher instead of reading my ramble.)

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    Jun 17, 2017

    I loved these essays. They were reminiscent to me of a combination of Roxane Gay and Jenny Lawson, in their ability to confront tough issues and situations head-on (in this case - poverty, disability, weight, race, sex, among many other things) with a dark humor and open honesty that most of us can never dare get to. I laughed out loud at several points and I felt furtive reading them on vacation with my very conservative mother in the same room, in the very best way.

    Now I really want to check

    I loved these essays. They were reminiscent to me of a combination of Roxane Gay and Jenny Lawson, in their ability to confront tough issues and situations head-on (in this case - poverty, disability, weight, race, sex, among many other things) with a dark humor and open honesty that most of us can never dare get to. I laughed out loud at several points and I felt furtive reading them on vacation with my very conservative mother in the same room, in the very best way.

    Now I really want to check out Samantha Irby's blog,

    .

  • Hannah
    May 25, 2017

    Wonderful, honest, hilarious, brilliant, raw, and did I mention hilarious?

    I am a big fan of memoirs, especially those written by women funnier than me, and this is one of the best I have read so far. I adore the way Samantha Irby's language flows, with her perfectly placed expletives; there is just a poetry to it that I can't quite describe (the best kinds of voices are like that, I find). More than that, her essays are perfectly structured in a way that isn't obvious from the beginning and once

    Wonderful, honest, hilarious, brilliant, raw, and did I mention hilarious?

    I am a big fan of memoirs, especially those written by women funnier than me, and this is one of the best I have read so far. I adore the way Samantha Irby's language flows, with her perfectly placed expletives; there is just a poetry to it that I can't quite describe (the best kinds of voices are like that, I find). More than that, her essays are perfectly structured in a way that isn't obvious from the beginning and once I settled into the rhythm of her writing I found it absolutely hypnotizing.

    Samantha Irby's writing worked best for me when her topics were deeply personal ones - such as her childhood but also her unsuccessful relationships. I loved reading about her finally finding a partner for life and it just shines through her whole writing how beyond in love she is and how much she adores her wife. I like that - I like that there is positivity offsetting some of the negativity but that she still remains fundamentally the same person. I like when relationships do that to people.

    She made me snort, she made me laugh and she made me tear up. She made me think about things I haven't thought about, she made me agree with her so much (and sometimes not so much), she made me admit to myself things I haven't before (yes, I also need so much time for myself that I sometimes even like being in a long distance relationship). In short: I loved this a lot.

    ___

    I received an arc of this book curtesy of NetGalley and Knopf Doubleday Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for that!

  • Theresa Alan
    Apr 14, 2017

    I smiled and chuckled my way through this collection of essays. I love humorous essays, but this is the first time I’ve read a collection by a black author. There were differences, but I identified with a lot of what she talked about. We’re both from the north shore suburbs of Chicago, I’ve also battled the depression she describes, and while my health issues are different than hers, I understand.

    Parts of this collection are very funny; others poignant and sad. There are so many lines I’d like t

    I smiled and chuckled my way through this collection of essays. I love humorous essays, but this is the first time I’ve read a collection by a black author. There were differences, but I identified with a lot of what she talked about. We’re both from the north shore suburbs of Chicago, I’ve also battled the depression she describes, and while my health issues are different than hers, I understand.

    Parts of this collection are very funny; others poignant and sad. There are so many lines I’d like to quote but can’t because I’m reading an ARC (advance reader copy) uncorrected proof. I will definitely buy her first collection MEATY.

    Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book.

    For more of my reviews, please visit:

  • Nenia *the flagrant liberal* Campbell
    May 29, 2017

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    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a cat lady in want of cat pictures is going to buy your goddamn book if you slap a cat on it. Also, Yaa Gyasi's HOMEGOING was kicking my butt all over the place emotionally (yes, butts can be emotional, thanks), so I decided that my ARC of WE ARE NEVER MEETING IN REAL LIFE would be just the thing to revitalize my drained repository of feels.

    I WAS WRONG.

    Don't get me wrong. WE ARE NEVER MEETING IN R

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    It is a truth universally acknowledged that a cat lady in want of cat pictures is going to buy your goddamn book if you slap a cat on it. Also, Yaa Gyasi's HOMEGOING was kicking my butt all over the place emotionally (yes, butts can be emotional, thanks), so I decided that my ARC of WE ARE NEVER MEETING IN REAL LIFE would be just the thing to revitalize my drained repository of feels.

    I WAS WRONG.

    Don't get me wrong. WE ARE NEVER MEETING IN REAL LIFE is funny. It's the crude kind of funny appropriated by YouTube celebs, but unlike most of the YouTube celebs I've read, Irby knows where to draw the line. Each expletive is delivered with deadly precision, each risque phrase meant to drive home a singular point or idea. Samantha Irby swears like a pro, and like a pro, she does it with finesse.

    What surprised me the most, however, was not the swearing, but the

    of this book. Irby talks about some very difficult subjects, like racism, dieting, body image, sex, masturbation, depression, dismal childhoods, alcoholism (specifically living with someone with alcoholism), and discrimination. I wasn't expecting something so gritty, and even though Irby delivered these topics with the same candidness and humor as she did less weighty topics, I found myself struggling to get through some of these passages - not because I didn't appreciate them, but because I

    to appreciate them, and had to get myself into the proper mindset to take in everything fully, which sometimes meant taking breaks to absorb what I'd read.

    There are a lot of really decent memoirs coming out this year. WE ARE NEVER MEETING IN REAL LIFE is one of them. I'll have to see about getting my hands on some of her other work; her style may be unconventional, but it is entertaining and thought-provoking in equal measure.

    3 to 3.5 stars

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    Jun 15, 2017

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Let’s just get things out of the way and address the pink elephant in the room. The title of this one alone almost gave me an out of body experience and

    had me saying . . . .

    Then she added in a homeless-as-fuck looking kitten for the cover art as a bonus and I was sold.

    (Have no fear, Samantha Irby, I am far too lazy to actually leave the comfort of my couch in order to stalk you properly. It shall strictly be via the

    Find all of my reviews at:

    Let’s just get things out of the way and address the pink elephant in the room. The title of this one alone almost gave me an out of body experience and

    had me saying . . . .

    Then she added in a homeless-as-fuck looking kitten for the cover art as a bonus and I was sold.

    (Have no fear, Samantha Irby, I am far too lazy to actually leave the comfort of my couch in order to stalk you properly. It shall strictly be via the intertubes.)

    Several years ago I had a bit of what you might call an addiction to the blogosphere. It started with The Bloggess and other “mommy blogs” like People I Want To Punch In The Throat and several more I can’t remember the name of now and also Hyperbole and a Half and I Can Has Cheezburger (because

    ) and Shit My Dad Says and Damn You Autocorrect and Texts From Last Night and Texts from Bennett and Parents Shouldn’t Text and one about what a dog’s texts would say and on and on and on.

    Now I know this might seem insane to you guys, but I’m actually pretty fucking good at what I do for a living. And if you think I read fast? Well, you should see how quickly I can draft and file a pleading or create a closing binder. Like a boss, yo. Long story long, with an entire universe of fellow weirdos right at my fingertips and zero desire to interact with actual, real-life humans - like EVER – the rabbit hole became harder and harder to pull myself out of once I got in and I knew I could end up getting fired if I let myself go there at work. Then Jenny Lawson wrote a seriously disappointing second book that made me realize our pretend friendship probably wouldn’t work out so well after all and the entire imaginary bubble burst so I quit blogs pretty much cold turkey (and began to focus on memes and gifs – lucky you). All this is being disclosed to let you know I had never heard of Samanthy Irby before seeing this title so I can provide zero insight as to whether this is fresh material or simply “upcycled” content from Bitches Gotta Eat that has been repackaged with a mangy cat on the front.

    As soon as I saw this thing (somewhere at some time ‘cause y’all know my momma must have dropped me on my head a time or twelve since I cannot remember

    ), I ran straight to NetGalley in order to get a copy. Then I noticed the publication date had already passed and

    politely requested the porny library order a copy. Which they did (probably because they’re scared of me by now, but whatever it takes, right?). Oh and NetGalley? You can go ahead and decline me. You know you want to and since I managed to land a copy already there’s no need to keep pretending you’re not going to . . . .

    Good news is, since this

    an ARC I’m allowed to quote it. And quote it I must because you need to know if your big girl panties are actually large enough to handle what Ms. Irby is about to throw at you – a/k/a I’m pretty sure you probably need to be at least 72% asshole to truly find her relatable. Lucky for me I’m 97.4% asshole so she was my lobster.

    Shall we start with the sewer rat looking mah fah with the yellow backdrop? That’s Helen Keller. Irby was forced to take her in as a roommate when a co-worker brought her crusty eyeballed self in to the animal clinic for saving and they couldn’t force her on anyone else with a clear conscience . . . .

    And then she wrote

    an experience I have at least weekly with someone I work with . . .

    Not to mention how she once had to pay twenty-seven dollars

    to the swear jar her boss put on her desk (please boss, don’t ever do this, I can’t afford it), or how she spent her formative years waiting for the moment Drake would get up out of that wheelchair on Degrassi and come for her, or that she’d rather be dead than hot in the summer, or that she knows not only all of the cast members of The Real Housewives of Atlanta (past and present), but also all of their children, pets and significant others by name, or when buying a garment for the pool she’d like to request to

    and admits to having things called “outside pajamas” . . . .

    And then she told a diarrhea on the side of the road story . . . . .

    That was the moment my husband and manchild “shushed” me because I was making it hard for them to concentrate on the ever-so-important MLB draft because apparently we’re getting a cut out of the signing bonuses this year or something?????

    Maybe the most amazing thing of all is how Irby was able to mix in some real talk and serious subject matter and still keep it light (excluding one thing which I am

    going to spoil below so you don’t go in unprepared like me). She didn’t shy away from sharing about her abusive upbringing and a run-in with a pervy weirdo, her sexuality, medical problems, etc., but never in a “please pity me” way. She even offered some real truth big gals need to hear right now in case they think they aren’t allowed to have any self-worth just because they’re fat. Simply put, Samantha Irby wrote something amazing. I’ll definitely be picking up her first book

    sometime.

    Now for the spoilsies. The goddamn cat died . . . . .

    If you’re a fan, this is probably old news, but it wasn’t to me and even though Irby tried to keep it light, I still ended up looking like this at bedtime . . . .

    None of y’all need to go through that.

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