Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

Reviewed by Chioma

Published: 2008.

It's about: This book is a collection of personal essays written by Sloane Crosley, a publicist who lives in New York City (among her clients are Dave Eggers, Toni Morrison and Joan Didion). While a book about her experience with those authors and the fabulous NYC life would be interesting, these essays are more down-to-earth. Her stories range from focusing on the difficulties of having a unique name in "Bastard Out of Westchester" (I can relate!), navigating old friendships in "You on a Stick", and dealing with old gifts from ex-boyfriends in "The Pony Problem (who can't relate?)

I thought: Her sassy, smart personality comes out strongly in her writing. She actually makes a story about losing her wallet interesting ("The Beauty of Strangers"). The stories are written as though Sloane (I figure I can refer to her by her first name) is an older sister or friend who is telling you her post-college stories in a clever and hilarious way. Each story is true to life and funny.

Verdict: In-Between. Like most funny things, it really depends on your sense of humor. I'd probably borrow it from a library or read excerpts from her website before purchasing it. I think her humor is one that some people might not like. Also her audience is more geared towards young adult women. Not sure how well males would relate to this book. As well, I'm not sure women in my mother's age group could relate to the stories either. But I certainly enjoyed it.

Reading Recommendations: You don't need to read the stories all in one sitting. Although I would read them in order because some stories are self-referencing.

Warnings: As a New Yorker, she occasionally peppers her stories with the a-word, s-word and a few f-words. There are allusions to sleeping with guys and some light innuendos, but nothing graphic. However, I would skip "One-Night Bounce" (a story about Sloane's pursuits of one-night stands). One story, "F-You Columbus" is actually a pretty good one despite the title. I would say the book is similar to a PG-13 rated chick flick.

Favorite excerpts: The day I get shot…will in all likelihood be the day before laundry Sunday and the day after I decided to clean out my closet, got bored halfway through, and opted to watch sitcoms in my prom dress instead.

Perhaps it's simply that niceness has always been New York's best-kept secret, kept quiet to keep the tourists out, like how it really don't rain all that much in Seattle.

Number of times I have received an email with my name spelled incorrectly in response to an e-mail originating from me and therefore making use of the correct spelling of my name and thus have passive-aggressively retaliated by leaving off the last letter of the sender's name in all future correspondence: 32. "Thanks for getting back to me, Rebecc."