LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT YOU by Jennifer Preuss

LIFE WOULD SUCK WITHOUT YOU

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A memoir about friendship, womanhood, and the idea that girls just want to have fun.

Debut author Preuss begins her story as a 20-something transplant from the East Coast in 1999 Los Angeles. There, she made friends with two co-workers, Nikki and Panooch, while waiting tables in the Century City neighborhood. In a series of sitcom-esque anecdotes, she tells of Panooch trying to teach her to walk in heels, of them capitalizing on their acting skills to con their way out of a traffic ticket, and of getting an awkward lap dance at her own bachelorette party. She married Rich, a television director, and they became fast friends with Chris and Cecilia, a couple she met through a substitute-teaching gig. The foursome were inseparable, and once, Chris even rescued Preuss from a snake in her living room. The narrative takes a turn, however, when Chris is diagnosed with cancer. As Preuss writes, “I certainly would rather tell you a story about when we went to Palm Springs and stayed in bed the whole time re-watching The Notebook five times after finding hot, sexy, deleted scenes on YouTube. But this is real life. Life isn’t full of all funny and happy stories.” In the aftermath of Chris’ diagnosis, the storytelling resonates most. Preuss strikes a nice balance between sentimentality and humor when discussing hospital visits and the absurdity of dying young. Soon, though, the memoir returns to Sex and the City–like territory. Into their 30s, Preuss and her friends continue to have a blast while going on thong-buying trips, having drinks, and giggling about men’s shortcomings. Overall, the author hits the mark with her lighthearted tone and self-deprecating asides, as in her explanation for a quick dabble in controlled substances: “I judge others for smoking weed, but I don’t hesitate in trying my son’s prescription pills. I have no defense other than I’m an ass.” That said, some sections seem rather flimsy, such as her account of seeing a driver accidentally knock a cyclist off his bike, which doesn’t add anything substantial to the book as whole.

A pleasant remembrance and an easygoing beach read.





Pub Date: May 23rd, 2017
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Facetious
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2017




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