BuzzFeed senior writer Erin Chack hits you in the guts, the feels, and the funny bone all at once with this collection of personal essays that reads like Sloane Crosley for the Snapchat generation.
In turns hysterically funny and heartbreakingly poignant, Erin recounts everything from meeting her soulmate at age 14 to her first chemotherapy session at age 19 to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major Internet media company.
She authentically captures the agony and the ecstasy of the millennial experience, whether it's her first kiss ("Sean’s tongue! In my mouth! Slippery and wet like a slug in the rain.") or her struggles with anxiety ("When people throw caution to the wind, I am stuck imagining the poor soul who has to break his back sweeping caution into a dustpan").
Yet Erin also offers a fresh perspective on universal themes of resilience and love as she writes about surviving cancer—including learning of her mother's own cancer diagnosis within the same year and her attempts to hide the diagnosis from friends to avoid "un-normaling" everything.
Perfect for fans of Jenny Lawson, Amy Poehler, and Kelly Williams Brown, this sharply observed memoir introduces Erin Chack as a strikingly original new voice.
Advance Galley Reviews
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!