Advance Galley Reviews
I love humor books and have read quite a few, so trust me when I say Erin Chack's "This is Really Happening" is one of the best. Honestly, I'd rate it higher than Amy Poehler's "Yes, Please!"
Chack's book will be my new go-to, especially for friends who don't read much. The chapters standalone, so readers can read one, put the book down, come back to it weeks later and not miss anything.
I enjoyed this book and the stories along with it. Several pages made me LOL and I really appreciated her outlook on life. I think that this book is well worth the read!
Interesting and entertaining read. Really liked her voice; just the right amount of homour.
As a writer for Buzzfeed, Erin Chack knows how to write for millennials. She understands that, sometimes, a person doesn't care about anything enough to read twenty pages of verbose exposition that give nothing to the story. Erin Chack's essays are concise and full of heart. They tell the story of a young woman who was resilient but would probably scoff at being called "brave." Who has loved the same man for half of her life, but knows that not everything is a guarantee. Nothing is forever.
One of my favorite things about this book is that it is hopeful without preaching about hope. It's a list of things that happened and how the writer felt about them, but it doesn't reach for lessons or morals. It makes no conclusions for the reader, leaving the stories open for application or non-application to any life. Most of all, the perspective is interesting, and not just because the person attached to that perspective survived cancer. Erin Chack is funny and grounded, and reading her words was fun in a way that I don't normally experience when reading essays about some other life.
My only complaint while reading was that it felt like I was missing something, but my galley was missing actual pages of text, so I think I was literally missing something. It's very plausible that the connective tissue within some of the stories was actually missing for me. I sometimes wondered why an essay was included because it didn't seem to travel along the established threads of the story, but then three paragraphs would just be gone, and I'd be confused about the narrative.
In all, I think Erin Chack's book would be an important one to read for a teenager or young adult who doesn't really know how they fit in the world yet. For someone mired in their own existentialism that they have trouble finding the humor in things. I think this book would undo a few knots for them.
A fun, quick, and enjoyable read. Chack's writing style makes you feel like you've known her forever. Definitely recommend. 4.5 stars
I can definitely see how fans of Jenny Lawson will enjoy this book. Erin Chack has a very easy to read style and a lot of her stories were funny. I did skip a few stories that I felt might lean too far toward "gross" instead of funny, but overall this was an enjoyable read.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading This Is Really Happening. Erin Chack’s writing is clever and witty, and I easily finished the collection of essays in one sitting. While she is frequently side-splittingly funny, Chack also writes about her battle with cancer at age 19 so be prepared with tissues nearby. I needed them several times. When I started reading this book, I did not realize she was a senior writer for BuzzFeed. Having been subjected to hundreds of BuzzFeed quizzes and lists by my girls and heard about a thousand more, I loved the stories that focused on her job and the creation of some of these lists. I was also glad to hear how much she liked her job. With the recent spate of negative press for some of the large internet and news companies, it was refreshing to hear that BuzzFeed is a happy and satisfying place to work.
Every essay was fabulous. Frequently in an essay collection, two or three will not measure up to the rest, but in This Is Really Happening each essay held its own when compared to the others. My favorites were probably Don’t Read the Comments and It’ll Grow Back. Don’t Read the Comments focuses on how Chack creates the lists she generates including a list she once wrote about Malta and the publicity that resulted. She also addresses the anonymity the internet provides and the ugliness that it sometimes breeds when she details the criticism she occasionally receives. To help herself deal with the meanness, she tries to do two nice things for strangers to balance out the “Negativity Debt” engendered by the mean commentator. (I just love this idea). It’ll Grow Back addresses the loss of her hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes due to chemotherapy. Having had several close friends endure this travesty in the midst of already coping with cancer and the other horrific side effects of chemotherapy, I particularly liked that essay and plan to share it with every friend who has had or is currently going through treatment for cancer. It’ll Grow Back was very moving and effectively grapples with the fact that losing your hair can be so much more traumatic than the fact that you are now bald.
My one complaint was that her language could have been better at times. I never understand the need to throw in gratuitous bad words when so many other words exist that can convey the same point usually more effectively. This idea especially holds for a writer at BuzzFeed who has thousands of teen fans that will most likely be reading her work. However, that is a minor quibble, and it didn’t detract much from her essays.
I highly recommend This Is Really Happening and frequently laughed and cried. Thanks to First to Read for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I absolutely enjoyed Chack's humor facing a fight against cancer, relationships, college, work, and life in general. She has a knack for finding the right tone and level of sarcasm without seeming cynical or aloof and unfeeling. I could relate to her views on living life and about death itself, and I respect her opinion and viewpoint. She can find humor in just about anything, which is what life is all about. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a light-hearted yet thought-provoking and poignant read.
I loved the collection of happenings she wrote about. Such great detail and attention to join all the elements of her stories.
At times the book was funny, sometimes sad, and sometimes it was something I could relate to and that's something I love to find in a book, mostly memoirs.
As with all books of this type, some stories are stronger than others, but overall, I enjoyed it. I'm around the same age as the author, so I found her voice and many of her experiences to be very relatable. Favorite lines:
"And that's true friendship, isn't it? Giving each other space to be your true, weird selves."
"And it's sweet to think that most of us don't want to go, like life is a party that's too fun to leave. How lucky we are to even be invited."
"This is really Happening" is a lovely book. What I love most is the narrative voice, that sounds fresh, fun and painfully honest. It's the story of the author's cancer but it's also much more than that: it's a love story and a testament to what it means to be alive and love every minute of it. The author doesn't focus uniquely on the story of her illness and her recovery, there's a lot of everyday life and smart observations on people and situations. Reading this memoir made me think about something a friend of mine told me many years ago about photography: it's about how you see the world. And Erin Chack's eye for details is what makes this book a physical experience.
First, let me just say that I chose this book because it was recommended for fans of Jenny Lawson. Erin tells her story from a deeply personal place, it is an engaging, fast read.
Things that I loved: Richly detailed stories, told in such a way that you want to be her friend when you're done. Heartfelt and irreverent.
Things I didn't like so much: The stories were a bit disjointed. Chronologically confusing. Also, the end sort of pissed me off. Had I been reading an actual paper book and not on my phone, there is a good chance I would have thrown it across the room. ERIN. There better be a sequel.
Overall I would definitely recommend this book to people that enjoy inappropriate humor, emotional stories, and unflinching honesty.
First, I would like to say that I chose this book as I am a huge fan of Buzzfeed and its articles. And when I finished reading it, that's what it felt like - like I had just read a book that could have been split up into multiple Buzzfeed posts. I would give this book 2.5 stars out of 5 because I did like some of the stories (especially the one about her studying abroad). However, other stories felt like they were geared towards a younger age group and I didn't connect with them as much. Overall, not bad and I did appreciate her sharing a story about someone young experiencing cancer as I do not think this is shared often enough.
Not as laugh-out-loud funny as Jenny Lawson's LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, but in the same vein. Erin shares her experiences as a cancer survivor in frank, gritty, and amusing terms. I enjoyed the book, picking up a chapter or two at time, as a nice break from the more intense suspense novel I was reading.
This book was very humorous and engaging. I felt like a good college friend who telling me about her exploits. I really enjoyed it and would read more from this author.
I started this book with absolutely no idea what it was about or anything about the author, and so was pleasantly surprised when during the first essay, the author talks about the darkly funny but unpleasant task of telling her college age friends that she has cancer. It is about an obviously traumatic time in her life but it is so funny, even laugh out loud funny. Erin Chack is a writer for Buzzfeed and has a healthy sense of humor towards her life and her work. I really enjoyed most of this essay collection. She does write from a very "millennial" point of view, which meant that I (a gen-Xer) didn't always find the over-the-top anecdotes amusing, but I am really excited to read future collections from this author. I received this from Penguin's First to Read Program in exchange for an honest review.
Erin Chack's This Is Really Happening was a very down to earth memoir. It was one of the kind of memoirs where instead of using fancy words or long explanations from the A-Zs of life it was a general synopsis. It was like getting to know a new friend in as short amount of time as possible.
There was nothing fancy about the way she wrote about herself. It was just a seemingly honest truth and a desire to tell an average life with amazing updates. From being a teenager with all of the normal worries, desires and as aspitrations, along with a crush which has turned into an 11-year relationship, working at Buzzfeed and having been diagnosed with cancer at 19 - it was hard to not flip pages.
I think what I like the most is that it didn't focus on her job as much as people would probably expect. Buzzfeed may have been a selling point and cancer is obviously the one demon we can all agree needs to be discussed and cured...however, she told her story without her life on pages reading off as those two things defining her. Or defining her story.
As I said, it wasn't some massive success story nor did it give the impression of just throwing things into the mix for the sake of it. It I is just one of those memoirs where you go, "Wow, this person had some wonderful and not so wonderful experiences such as myself". It was nice to be reminded me of just LIFE.
I really enjoyed it and was glad I had the chance to read it!
There were parts of this I liked and parts I am probably just too old for. Overall I enjoyed it, as it is an example of a not so typical millennial life. Erin's cancer and her writing of it show her talent.
Overall I'd give this 3 stars and suggest it for essay readers looking for something quick with humor, but also some poignancy.
This is Really Happening does not feel like your typical memoir. Erin, a writer at BuzzFeed, talks about various events from her like so far, from the second worst haircut she got when she was 8 to her battle with cancer while in college. Her stories had me alternately laughing out loud (I want to know more about the Helen Keller thing!) and quietly thinking about more serious topics. I especially related to her stories about her cancer; i was diagnosed with a chronic illness around the same age as Erin. Reading this book felt more like having a conversation over a couple beers than just a quiet discussion of life events. Erin pulls no punches with her writing, telling it like it is and finding the humor in darker situaTions. I read BuzzFeed pretty frequently, but I will definitely be looking specifically for her stories now!
The copy that I received appeared to be missing parts of it so I don't feel as if I can offer a proper review on this memoir. The portions of the book I did have though were funny and honest. As a fan of Buzzfeed and an avid reader of its content, I probably have a bit of a bias towards this book. I did find it to be funny, honest, and quirky and I liked her refreshing perspective on death and fear. Some of her thoughts made me realize I probably thought the same thing when I was going through that particular experience (ie: attending my first college party). It's an interesting read if you're looking for something that approaches serious topics with a quirky and slightly morbid outlook.
I don't feel I can fairly review this book. It felt like it was written for a teenage age group. I barely finished the first story, began the second to realize it was more of the same style. Also, I was expecting humor, but didn't find the story humorous. Maybe that came at a later story that I didn't get to
My experience reading This Is Really Happening was disappointing. The advanced copy I received was missing chunks, therefore leaving gaps in some of the essays.
The author, a cancer surviving millenial who works at BuzzFeed, is admirable for wanting to share her story publicly, but the stories she shares don't leave much of an impression or impact. What I did read was at times amusing, but mostly it was unmemorable. It wasn't a bad book, don't get me wrong, but none of the stories or writing really stood out. Again, my copy was flawed, and perhaps some of the best writing was what was left out, but I can only go by what I was able to read.
"Telling someone you have cancer isn't like updating them on some fact about your life, like you've decided to go to grad school or you've stopped shaving your armpits."
I received a copy of this ebook from firsttoread.com in exchange for an honest review.
This book was probably around 3.5 stars for me.
It seemed like the copy I got was missing a page or two or the formatting was strange so there was only a word or two on some of the pages. Content-wise this book is honest and intriguing, however it jumps around a bit in a way that I found difficult to keep up with. I'd start a chapter that was about working at Buzzfeed, then we'd jump to post-chemo life, then life during chemo, and then a childhood anecdote. It made things a bit hard to follow sometimes because it wasn't always clear when in Erin's life she was talking about.
Otherwise this is an interesting book about growing up. I appreciate that the author opens up and shares her journey, although she didn't really go in depth about her mother getting cancer after she did or how things turned out. It's refreshing to see a book that talks openly about death and fear at such a young age.
I laughed and I teared up reading this book. You definitely get pulled in to what the author is going through and realize the best way to get through life is with humor, good support system, and accepting yourself as you are. There were a few parts of the book that felt a little disconnected as both topics and time periods were changed abruptly. But overall - a great read and well worth it. Interesting to learn more about how things work at Buzzfeed!
Soooo..... I picked this book because the description said it was funny.. I like jokes.. I like to laugh... but the first essay/story was about Ms. Chack's cancer. Cancer isn't funny... what in God's name did I signed up for???? Well I guess it can be and all the weird messed up things life throws at you can be funny as well.. this book is slightly morbid, unbearably funny, and slightly awkward.
I'm technically right over the edge of acceptable age for Buzzfeed readership, but a fun and honest voice is universal and that's exactly how Chack communicates.
She's completely honest and open about her life and the challenges she's faced while being fully cognizant of just how amazing her life now is.
Hers is one of the best memoirs about having and surviving Cancer I've ever read. She talks about the ups and downs of it while keeping things in a positive note. She also keeps things light by not making everything about her Cancer. Yes, she's a survivor. No, that's not all she is.
It's a quick and mostly light read that won't change your life or anything ground-breaking, but you will definitely not regret the time dedicated to this enjoyable tome.
This Is Really Happening offers a take on life as a millennial. Erin Chack, a writer for BuzzFeed, writes about different events throughout her young life, taking on topics such as cancer, long distance relationships, big people jobs and surviving college. Each chapter has a different topic of focus, all flowing seamlessly. Reading this books was like having a conversation with a friend. Unfiltered and undoubtedly down to earth, there were many relatable situations.
One thing that some may have troubles with is that each chapter focuses on a different area of the authors life. In one chapter she may be talking about her study abroad trip and in the next she'll be talking about a situation she encountered in kindergarten and the lessons she learned from it. However, the author ends each chapter completely, allowing for a seamless transition from one topic to the next. In this regard, the book was very well done.
**ARC was received in exchange for an honest review- Overall: 4 Stars**
A short, quick, easy read....& entertaining enough... It's a collection of short essays written by a young woman of today...she works for Buzzfeed, & has also had cancer...so some of the writing relates to those topics. One particular essay I found to be 'laugh out loud' funny! I enjoyed the read, for something different....from a young lady of the 'modern' world!
I did win an ARC from a Penguin First-To-Read Giveaway program....simply in return for a fair & honest review.
I have to say this one just didn't do it for me. I tried, but after the first stories I just couldn't go on with this one. Thanks for the chance and sorry, it just didn't appeal to me.
This is Really Happening really happened to me! Chack's epistle to her readers touched home so strongly at just the right time, particularly the opening salvo: cancer. Her story of how to tell people she was sick and their reactions was spot on. The more I read, the more I felt like I knew Erin, like she was a close personal friend. I was totally engrossed in her story. At no time did it feel stale or insincere like some books of this type tend to be. She is down-to-earth, honest, and her writing embodies that. Her sense of humor is refreshingly brutal! I am so glad that I picked this book as an ARC. Thank you, Erin Chack!
This is Really Happening is a humorous collection of essays written by BuzzFeed writer Erin Chack. It covers a wide range of topics from being together with the same guy since high school, trying the latest feminine hygiene products, and the perils of peeing your pants as a child to the much more serious topic of having cancer as a young adult.
The most important part of this collection is Chack's voice--it's like you're talking to a friend and she's getting around to telling you some stories you haven't heard before. That's what makes it such as fast read--once you get a taste of Chack's personality, you want to keep reading more. Although readers may not think Chack is old enough to have the life experience needed to fill a whole book of personal essays, it's a book worth checking out, whether you are a Millennial or not.
I enjoyed this book - it was short, funny, and an engaging read. Occasionally, I did feel like the messages that she was trying to push in her stories just kept being repeated over and over (cancer sucks, I like to be around strange people, my boyfriend and I have been together forever!) but overall it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book. Thanks, FirstToRead, for the advanced copy! :)
Whenever an author is represented as a voice of all milennials (or writes "...personal essays for the Snapchat generation"), I hear a whisper that tells me, "this is not for you..." I am glad in this case that I ignored that whisper because I really enjoyed this book and finished it in one day. I had not heard of Erin Chack, an editor at BuzzFeed, because I never read BuzzFeed on purpose, but I hope to see more of her work in the future. While it sounds like a great job to have, the website is clearly not the best showcase for her writing talent. The essays in this memoir range from her experiences from being diagnosed with Cancer at age 19, to her experiences getting drunk while studying abroad, to trying to find a party as a college freshman, to perils in her relationship with her menstrual cycle. I have seen some reviewers dismiss this book as they don't see a common thread or theme throughout, but I feel like the title says it all. There are many times in life when we have to remind ourselves, "Okay, so this is happening...", and figure out how to move forward. Sometimes it's disbelief of devastating news, sometimes it's trivial or absurd, and sometimes it's just the awkwardness of the moment. It is all life and yeah, it's really happening. I'm glad I ignored the voices in my head and didn't dismiss this as being For Milennials Only.
I enjoyed this quite a bit. Chack's writing is honest, easy to read, and funny. Her story was relatable and made me laugh out loud several times. Chack describes parts of her battle with cancer but also talks about college escapades and in both, her voice is clear and light. I enjoyed her discussions of feeling vulnerable when trying to make friends but also of how great it is when something just clicks into place.
I didn't have any expectations going into this and I'm really left without much of an impression. It contained nothing to compel me to recommend it. It contained nothing that made me dislike it. It was just rather...plain. Like a magazine you might flip through on the train and leave behind for someone else - thankful for it while it easily passed the time.
I read this book as part of the Penguin Random House First To Read program. Honestly, I only give this about 2.5 stars. I was intrigued to read this because a lot of reviews had said it was great for fans of Jenny Lawson. And there were moments in her stories where I found myself laughing out loud, but the stories jumped around and I found myself expecting more. ("Oh, that's the end of the 'story'?!) I didn't feel like chapter to chapter (story to story) flowed very well. However, her not so sugar coated tellings of her experience with cancer and the possibility of death were admirable.
I knew a few lines in that this book would be panned.
On one side you have your millennials, your Buzzfeed generation. For those who enjoy short quips and articles, those preferably labeled tl;dr, then this book is for you. It is funny, light-hearted, and is a small peek into Chack's life thus far.
On the other side, you will have everyone else. Those who say Chack hasn't lived long enough, experienced enough to write a memoir. But everyone has a right to share their story.
It's a story of triumph along the small fissure between life and death. It isn't meant to bend genre or make a strong impact, but it is the story of a woman who endures hardship, something that we all can learn from no matter if we find ourselves in the technology camp or otherwise.
Hoo boy. I am not the demographic for this book.
I didn't find this book well-written or engrossing in the least, probably because nothing happened! I got no sense of who this woman is as a person.
Millennials who write listicles for clickbait websites are not journalists, and I wish they would realize that. I also wish they would realize that they are probably not very interesting people yet.
Get off my lawn!