Book Review | Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig

Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig

Published by: Touchstone on October 21, 2014

Genres: Nonfiction, Humor

Format: Paperback

Pages: 240

Source: Purchased

Goodreads: ★★

“One of the sharpest, funniest voices on YouTube” (Forbes), comedian Grace Helbig offers an irreverent and illustrated guide to life for anyone faced with the challenge of growing up.

Face it—being a young adult in the digital era is one of the hardest things to be. Well, maybe there are harder things in life…but being an adult is difficult! So Grace Helbig has written a guide that’s perfect for anyone who is faced with the daunting task of becoming an adult.

Infused with her trademark saucy, sweet, and funny voice, Grace’s Guide is a tongue-in-cheek handbook for millennials, encompassing everything a young or new (or regular or old) adult needs to know, from surviving a breakup to recovering from a hangover. Beautifully illustrated and full-color, Grace’s Guide features interactive elements and exclusive stories from Grace’s own misadventures—like losing her virginity solely because her date took her to a Macaroni Grill—and many other hilarious lessons she learned the hard way.

Amusing and unexpectedly educational, this refreshing and colorful guide proves that becoming an adult doesn’t necessarily mean you have to grow up.

REVIEW

I’ve been a big fan of Grace Helbig’s YouTube videos for years, and was very excited to find out she was releasing her first book, Grace’s Guide, back in 2014. I was so excited, in fact, that I attended her book tour and got to meet Grace at Housing Works Bookstore in New York. For some reason I waited two years to read the book, and finally picked it up to read for my 2016 Popsugar Reading Challenge. Unfortunately, Grace’s Guide was a big disappointment for me, and I am so sad I didn’t enjoy the book more.

Grace’s Guide is a nonfiction book designed to give millennials life advice on everything from college life to finding a job to dating in the 21st century and more. My main problem with the book is that none of the advice Grace gives is anything but common knowledge. In fact, I did not learn one new thing while reading this book even though I am in the target demographic. Perhaps some of Grace’s tips can be nice reminders for some readers, but I honestly don’t think anyone will learn much from this book.

Similarly, I found Grace’s Guide to be a huge gimmick. For instance, most sections of the book end with an unhelpful acronym to help readers remember Grace’s advice. However, it became clear that some of the tips in the book were added in simply to fit within the acronyms. An example of this is spelling the word clean with a K to fill in the phrase “Work Poot” at the end of the chapter on the workplace. In the same way, while I enjoyed the plethora of high quality photographs in the pages of Grace’s Guide they felt too much like filler for lack of actual content.

I would love to think that the reason the advice in the book isn’t more helpful is because Grace’s Guide is supposed to be comedic. Unfortunately, the tone of the book is not very strong. While I did have some laughs while reading, the book isn’t funny enough to be deemed pure comedy, and it’s not serious or helpful enough to be a true guide book. Thus, Grace’s Guide falls somewhere in an uncomfortable middle state.

My favorite parts of the book, on the other hand, are the personal stories that Grace shares about her life. I really like learning more about Grace and what she’s experienced. I think Grace is a person with whom a lot of us can easily connect, and that’s why I wish we got more of Grace and less of the gimmicky acronyms and photos. Plus, I still felt like Grace was holding back a lot of herself, and her story got a bit jumbled due to this. For example, at one point Grace mentions that she moved in with her boyfriend after college, but two paragraphs later she is moving in with her college roommate after college. It seems things don’t add up because a lot of information is left out of the narrative.

For all of these reasons, I don’t recommend picking up Grace’s Guide unless you are a Grace superfan who wishes to support her by buying a copy of her book. I will not be reading her subsequent book entitled Grace & Style, because I feel like it will be in the same vein of this book. That being said, if Grace ever releases a memoir or a book of personal essays, I would consider giving that a read because I did like learning more about her. It’s a shame that I did not enjoy this book, but I still love watching Grace’s videos and will continue to support her career.

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