I'M JUDGING YOU by Luvvie Ajayi


The Do-Better Manual
Email this review


A collection of societal criticism tempered with humor.

If you combined Joan Rivers, Whoopi Goldberg, and Amy Schumer and added a twist of Nigerian slang for that extra bit of tang, you’d come close to deciphering the unusual blend that comprises Ajayi’s writing. At first glance, these essays appear to be fluffy, making fun of odd things such as posting pictures of someone’s grandma pre-burial or complaining about women who don’t wash their bras more than once per year. But if readers push past the forced humor, expletives, and made-up words, they will discover that Ajayi explores real issues. Why is racism still so rampant in the United States? Ditto rape, and why does it take so long for a woman to be heard when she accuses her attacker? Why are people still homophobic? Why do people lighten their skin or undergo cosmetic surgery? “There are seven billion of us on earth, and we are all different,” writes the author. “But one thing is clear: humans excel at using our differences as excuses to act like assholes and torment each other….We have created rigid, yet often invisible, systems that keep some people at the top on the backs of others at the bottom, based on their identity markers….I am judging all of us for being shitty humans by being culture vultures, homophobic jackasses, racist trolls, sexist douchebags, and born-again hypocrites.” By exposing the uncool, unwashed underbelly of American society, Ajayi’s essays force readers to reconsider their stances on a variety of issues, including social media and the public airing of everything, celebrities, sex tapes, the various types of friendships one might have, feminism, religion. Be prepared for some laughs, but also be prepared to think and confront tougher issues.

Bits of humor help these occasionally hard-hitting essays go down.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62779-606-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2016


NonfictionIF SOMEONE SAYS "YOU COMPLETE ME," RUN! by Whoopi Goldberg
by Whoopi Goldberg
NonfictionSPRINKLE GLITTER ON MY GRAVE by Jill Kargman
by Jill Kargman
NonfictionFURIOUSLY HAPPY by Jenny Lawson
by Jenny Lawson