counter Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir

Availability: Ready to download

Strong, sassy, always surprising—and titled after a Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” monologue by Tina Fey—Bitch Is the New Black is a deliciously addictive memoir-in-essays in which Helena Andrews goes from being the daughter of the town lesbian to a hot-shot political reporter… all while trying to answer the question, “can a strong, single, and successful black woman Strong, sassy, always surprising—and titled after a Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” monologue by Tina Fey—Bitch Is the New Black is a deliciously addictive memoir-in-essays in which Helena Andrews goes from being the daughter of the town lesbian to a hot-shot political reporter… all while trying to answer the question, “can a strong, single, and successful black woman ever find love?” Fans of Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) will love the bold and brassy Bitch Is the New Black.


Compare

Strong, sassy, always surprising—and titled after a Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” monologue by Tina Fey—Bitch Is the New Black is a deliciously addictive memoir-in-essays in which Helena Andrews goes from being the daughter of the town lesbian to a hot-shot political reporter… all while trying to answer the question, “can a strong, single, and successful black woman Strong, sassy, always surprising—and titled after a Saturday Night Live “Weekend Update” monologue by Tina Fey—Bitch Is the New Black is a deliciously addictive memoir-in-essays in which Helena Andrews goes from being the daughter of the town lesbian to a hot-shot political reporter… all while trying to answer the question, “can a strong, single, and successful black woman ever find love?” Fans of Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There’d Be Cake) will love the bold and brassy Bitch Is the New Black.

30 review for Bitch Is the New Black: A Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nikita T. Mitchell

    You had to have been living under a rock over the last several months if you didn't catch the media’s obsession with letting the world know that black women are undesirable. If so, I submit Exhibits A, B, C, D, E…Z – and I’ll stop there even though there’s much much more. Well, in the midst of this ridiculous craze, a young woman named Helena Andrews made the spotlight. A single, educated, successful and attractive woman, she was featured in a Washington Post article about her, then, upcoming me You had to have been living under a rock over the last several months if you didn't catch the media’s obsession with letting the world know that black women are undesirable. If so, I submit Exhibits A, B, C, D, E…Z – and I’ll stop there even though there’s much much more. Well, in the midst of this ridiculous craze, a young woman named Helena Andrews made the spotlight. A single, educated, successful and attractive woman, she was featured in a Washington Post article about her, then, upcoming memoir entitled Bitch Is The New Black (aka #BITNB). The article focuses on Andrews’ life as a young black woman dating in DC and the frustrations that many like her feel trying to meet suitable companions in the city. While the article was interesting, it didn’t do the book justice. I couldn’t be happier that I stepped out of my used-books-only (or-seriously-discounted-bookstore-books-only) norm and ordered myself a copy. I absolutely loved it, and let me tell you why. Her wit is razor sharp and her writing style is engaging. He’s the Nigerian E-mail Scam of ex-sorta-boyfriends, trying to seduce me over cyberspace with promises of riches in the real world. Problem is, I’m black and I have a vagina, so my Waiting to Exhale intuition tells me this shit ain’t for real. The memoir is a collection of 16 essays with titles such as ”Perfect Girl” and Other Curse Words and Riding in Cars with Lesbians. Nuff said right? It gets better, though. Andrews uses each of these essays to chronicle her past, smoothly jumping back and forth in time in many of them. She gives us insight into everything from her childhood to her professional endeavors post graduate school. She has a really intriguing childhood growing up with a lesbian mother who made them move around quite a bit and an even more interesting adult life filled with dating trials and tribulations, a friend/line sister who commits suicide, a best friend on the west coast, and a blossoming career in DC. Her mother is awesome. See, Frances does this. We’ll be talking about something FCC-approved for mothers and daughters, like, say, vaginal itch, and she’ll bust in like the emergency broadcasting system with a ‘What kind of birth control do you use’ or and ‘I’ve been celibate for almost a decade’ or an ‘Oh, so you two are just fuck buddies then. Beeeeeeep goes the filial flat line. Dead. She’s got mommy Tourette’s. Simply put: Frances, Andrews’ mother, is awesome. Not more awesome than mine, of course. But on a scale for non-my-mothers, she hits the top. Beside the fact that she calls her daughter “little brown eyed girl” – my mommy calls me “precious” *smile* – she’s just an amazing fun-loving woman pulling Andrews through a childhood filled with unpredictable turns while working hard to raise her the best way she knows how. She’s me. At the very least, she’s like my bff. I don’t feel almost twenty-eight. Not an actual adult, I’m more adult-ish. See, I’m just a girl. An awesome one, of course, but just one. And like so many other little brown girls my age, I believe the problem of loving, lusting, or even “liking liking someone can be solved with a simple equation: x + y = gtfohwtbs (if “x” ≥ 28 years old and “y” = socially retarded men). I connected to Helena like she was a new girlfriend telling me her story over sushi and way too many bottles of Riesling. She laughs. She curses. She complains. She gets excited. She struggles. She seeks love while still holding onto pieces of relationships that aren’t worth more than a penny. She’s a twenty-something. She’s me. It was so exhilarating for me to read a candid and completely relatable memoir written by someone not much older than me. It’s like being in eighth grade and listening to the older kids talk about their daily lives, both in junior high and high school. You listen to the joys, the heartache, the triumphs with excitement for times to come while wondering how to avoid the future heartbreaks that are inevitable. She and her best friend are hilarious. ‘Dude, what is your life about!?’ quizzes Gina every morning over IM like the opening bell of a boxing match, startling me into the ring of another Monday. The alarm to starting the day off single. Frequent use of DUUUDE! and play by play accounts of online IM chats and texts with her BFF and various guys were enough to make me giggle like a little girl. Now, my daily gchat convos with one of my girlfriends have never been the same since we put this book down. A convo just doesn't feel right without at least one use of the word. What did we ever say before to express our feelings? "Dude" just seems so much more fitting now for every situation. She’s real. I don't think Michelle [Obama:] minds bein our new muse. I think she gets it. We little brown girls - drunk off The Cosby Show, sobered up by life, and a little suicidal - we need her. I love how willingly she shares her imperfections. In an effort to tell her life story she provides the reader with a view into her mind and allows us to laugh with her as she reflects on her moments of insanity, pain, confusion and joy. To judge her would be to judge both my current and my future selves. She makes mistakes, deals with broken hearts horribly, has terrible days and denies her need to emotionally release all while cherishing her family, friends and dog and living life as best she knows how. All of these things I know too well (except the dog part…). After all, isn’t that what the twenties are about? If not, then I guess I’m doing it wrong.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    Yeah, I'll be honest, there's absolutely no way to review this book without coming off as a racist cracker. Even still, let's give it a go...only with highlights. 1. In case you were wondering what effect, if any, Sex and The City had on women growing up in the 90's...I give you Ms. Andrews. A writer that complains how hard it is out there for a strong, black woman with a college degree who is just looking for love and a secure bank account. You know why she's not having any luck? Jesus himself Yeah, I'll be honest, there's absolutely no way to review this book without coming off as a racist cracker. Even still, let's give it a go...only with highlights. 1. In case you were wondering what effect, if any, Sex and The City had on women growing up in the 90's...I give you Ms. Andrews. A writer that complains how hard it is out there for a strong, black woman with a college degree who is just looking for love and a secure bank account. You know why she's not having any luck? Jesus himself could not fulfill her "must have" list. Also, she seriously says, "Dude" way, way too much. 2. Her essays are not funny, the focus jumps all over the place, and they're devoid of any depth. 3. Throughout the book Ms. Andrews is constantly praising African Americans, but yet, when it comes to every other race she has no problem grouping us all in to our pre-determined stereotype. We won't even discuss the travesty homosexuals played in her book. 4. You know funny it is when you see a white girl walk past you all decked out in Baby Phat, hair greased down, eyeliner painted on, fake nails curling over, talking loudly on her cell saying the following: "Yeeeeh homie, you know I gotcha dawgg. I ain't gon let ya slip like dat mayyne. I'll give ya a fiddy. Naw, keep da fuuuhin change nigga." Picture Ms. Andrews like that, only the exact opposite. She seems to be more of a Paris Hilton fan. 5. Finally, she really needs to quit bitching about her mom. Who do you think bought her her first pair of Manolo Blahnik's?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Deborah Palmer

    Bitch is the new black by Helena Andrews Finally ended my suffering at Chapter 13. How appropriate. First impressions: Ms. Andrews is crazy. Her stream of consciousness writing is akin to reading prose from a demented Valley Girl on a bad LSD trip. The fact that she writes in some kind of secret code language for Black women in her age group or social strata was off-putting to say the least. I do like the fact that the chapters are presented as vignettes of her life story or rather life problems Bitch is the new black by Helena Andrews Finally ended my suffering at Chapter 13. How appropriate. First impressions: Ms. Andrews is crazy. Her stream of consciousness writing is akin to reading prose from a demented Valley Girl on a bad LSD trip. The fact that she writes in some kind of secret code language for Black women in her age group or social strata was off-putting to say the least. I do like the fact that the chapters are presented as vignettes of her life story or rather life problems but that's where it all ends for me. Ms. Andrews book contains too many weird acronyms that my old fogey butt will never figure out, nor do I wish to do so. She would have done better to leave out the texts, twitters and tweets and just use plain English. The only two things in the book I could really relate to were her experience with "the boss from hell" which we've all had and when she had an abortion at age 19. She seems to blame or at least relate a good portion of her relationship problems to the fact that her mother is a lesbian and what she deems to be a bad parent or bad parenting. She never seems to focus on the educational privileges she had as a child or relate her failed relationships to her nutty behavior and her inability to take responsibility for her own bad decisions. We could all play the dysfunctional family card. My mother was a functional schizophrenic but any failed relationships I had after the age of 18 were my own fault, not hers. After all once you are an adult you need to take ownership of your life and not blame your parents, childhood or external circumstances. Part of Ms. Andrews problem is that she seems to be ruled by her hormones. Must you sleep with or arrange booty calls/texts with guys who you know don't give a rat's ass about you, your feelings and are poor candidates for marriage! Stop having sex! Get to know the guy first. Being celibate won't kill you and in the long run it will force you to be accountable for your actions. Yes I love sex but I can wait for the right man. Just because a guy makes your panties wet does not mean he will make a good life partner. Sex partner perhaps, but not a life partner. Helena Andrews needs to sit down for a counseling session with Steve Harvey and watch documentaries on love, sex and relationships that are readily available on Netflix. I have to admit I'm not a religious person nor am I one of those right-wing, Bible thumping Christians, but I do believe in God. I've had several spiritual crises but I always come back to God. I have to admit my parents were for the most part secular or what the church calls carnal Christians. However they did have a moral base and fairly conservative values which they transmitted to my brother and me. Unlike Mom & Dad, Stephen and I have chosen to stick with the church but we don't ram our beliefs down other’s throats nor do we believe that our faith has all the answers. It does not matter whether you are Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, etc.. But at least have faith in something greater than yourself. Ms. Andrews purports or tries to position herself as an elitist making all these black bourgie statements and liaisons, however her mask cracks time and time again with each failure or challenge in her young life. She is so cynical that her satirical style reveals a deep self-hatred. She is desperately in need of some spiritual guidance. She seems to have little value or worth for herself as a woman or even as a human. Ms. Andrews also needs to try getting some new friends. As the expression goes, "If you lay down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas!"

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I’m a bitch. I’m white. I’m a WASP from Boston. Mostly I’m jealous when I keep reading memoirs such as Bitch is the New Black-- about the challenges of being a single professional [although many would think that’s a stretch for me as I’m not that successful]. Why haven’t I yet written a memoir about all the miserable men in my life? When I read a memoir such as Bitch is the New Black by Helena Andrews it motivates me to get writing. Oh and if you aren’t already jealous of Washington D.C.-based r I’m a bitch. I’m white. I’m a WASP from Boston. Mostly I’m jealous when I keep reading memoirs such as Bitch is the New Black-- about the challenges of being a single professional [although many would think that’s a stretch for me as I’m not that successful]. Why haven’t I yet written a memoir about all the miserable men in my life? When I read a memoir such as Bitch is the New Black by Helena Andrews it motivates me to get writing. Oh and if you aren’t already jealous of Washington D.C.-based reporter/writer Helena Andrews, Bitch is the New Black has already been optioned by Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice producer/writer Shondra Rhimes. You certainly don’t have to be black to relate to this memoir. How ridiculous would that be? Helena writes about when the Congressional Black Caucus meets in D.C. [The CBC is to single-black-chick Washington as Fleet Week is to single-white-gal New York. Seamen? How ‘bout degreed men!]—to her lesbian mother—walking her “racist” dog through the sketchier areas of DC [The dregs of LeDroit Park hang around the busted-up concrete slabs that make for a sidewalk outside. I won’t assume these men push “product” for a living, but, well, they wear puffy black coats in summertime.]—how being an educated black woman can often be a huge roadblock to establishing a serious long-term relationship to a guy—why work can be more rewarding than dating—to her best friend’s decision to only date white men--and other much more observant and timeless topics. All jealousies aside, Bitch is the New Black provides yet another stand-out memoir by a strong, opinionated, independent woman who has achieved monumental professional success but by society’s standards hasn’t yet hit her stride on the personal front. And does that matter at 30? Sure, even the most intelligent women resort to embarrassing ridiculous and oft-demeaning behavior around men. Try getting to 40 and realizing that BOTH one’s personal and professional lives are hot messes. Andrews cuts to the chase and gives women the skinny on navigating the competitive dating world. Her writing is bright, refreshing and Bitch is the New Black is chocked full of entertaining anecdotes and vivid descriptions. Bitch is the New Black is well worth adding to your reading list.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    If you've been paying attention for the past few months, you would have heard about conversations, TV shows, books, and even town hall meetings dealing with the subject of single, successful, Black women and their difficulty in finding suitable partners (and somehow how it is their own fault). I have stayed out of these conversations for the most part because although I am single (waaaay too single) and Black (I actually prefer African-American), what I'm decidedly not is successful. Now as a mo If you've been paying attention for the past few months, you would have heard about conversations, TV shows, books, and even town hall meetings dealing with the subject of single, successful, Black women and their difficulty in finding suitable partners (and somehow how it is their own fault). I have stayed out of these conversations for the most part because although I am single (waaaay too single) and Black (I actually prefer African-American), what I'm decidedly not is successful. Now as a moderately enlightened person, I know that successful is in the eye of the beholder. But for the purpose of this national conversation, successful means educated (possessing one or more university degrees) and making a high 2 figure or 3 figure salary in a career with an upward trajectory and therefore not needing a man to take care of you. I, on the other hand, dropped out of college (ran out of money & motivation - I learn way more from just books) and have no desire to return and I have a JOB not a career. And while I do have 2 nickles to rub together, if I lost one I'd be in trouble. In this memoir, told in the form of essays, Helena Andrews chronicles her life so far - an only child raised by a lesbian mother between Catalina Island and Compton, graduate of a prestigious East Coast university, successful career in journalism living in our nation's capital. Being a single woman in DC is notoriously difficult because of several things: the transient nature of the population (they come & go every 4-8 years, and it's a company town driven by dreams of power, not very conducive to romance. Andrews relates her dating dilemmas hilariously and doesn't hold anything back. I see Bitch is the New Black as an answer to the above national conversation that seems to blame Black women for our inability to find a "good man". She is putting a real life face to it and shows that there are no cut & dried answers. My favorite thing about the book though are her friendships with her girlfriends. A lot of their conversations remind me of ones I've had with my friends (but we didn't have Facebook & IM-ing, we did it the old-fashioned way on the phone). Despite our apparent age and lifestyle differences, I could really relate to Andrews and her adventures navigating the adult world of dating and careers. You will find yourself laughing out loud in several places and crying in others. Definitely worth all the hype.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    So stupid I was to read the rave reviews for this book and then impulsively buy it to be greeted with nothing but page after page of dialogue that resembled rambling rants from a drunken night. I admit, there are times where a philosophical ramble can come out of liquor stupor and I've even had my fair share of those moments with friends...but let's just say we don't write all that crap down and shill it as a book. In the words of Ernest Hemingway: "Write drunk...edit sober." And for this book, So stupid I was to read the rave reviews for this book and then impulsively buy it to be greeted with nothing but page after page of dialogue that resembled rambling rants from a drunken night. I admit, there are times where a philosophical ramble can come out of liquor stupor and I've even had my fair share of those moments with friends...but let's just say we don't write all that crap down and shill it as a book. In the words of Ernest Hemingway: "Write drunk...edit sober." And for this book, nobody did the latter. I'm in my mid-20's, Black, and know first hand about us black, brown, tan, and fair toned women of color having moments of invisibility, having to deal being boxed in by stereotypes--you know the stuff that makes us "mad" and erroneously "proud" of it. So this book seemed right up my alley, especially since it came out during the time where the media had a microscopic lens to Black women and their actions, especially at their bare ring fingers---and well, Black women like myself were waiting for someone to address this in a snarky, but poignant matter through their life story. I even ignored the fact that Andrews is in her 20's and writing a memoir because maybe she's got something to really say... *cue Price Is Right fail horn* For me, sadly, she doesn't. I usually have a mindset when reading a book, I stick with it till it's over, but this one I could barely plow through thanks to the jumbled prose, so skim I did. Someone on here described Andrews and her book as a "demented Valley Girl on an LSD trip" and I co-sign that descriptor. I must be crazy, but Andrews' writing style makes reading a laboring chore. I'm a fan of snarky, intricate wit, but Andrews stab at it just doesn't sit with me. Even though I get the 'social network' dialogue, it did nothing for this book and didn't make her more of a 20-something with their Blackberry attached to their ass---it just made her a lazy writer. For a memoir, you're supposed to welcome the reader into your life, not mock the reader and their intelligence with your crazy-ass prose. I have nothing against the subject of her vignettes, because that is HER life story, and I can't exactly tell her to "do better" so she can write a better memoir, but right off the bat, her whole attitude about her life was just unlikable for me. I'll explain why later. Two parts that sort of gave me the twitches were bits about her mother and her "boss from hell". Mother-daughter relationships are complex, my own mother and I have our riffs, but I don't well, sound ungrateful towards her. That sort of turned me off. I also understand her diss to her boss, because we've all experienced a 'boss from hell" who needs to be put in their place. Yet, making fun of your boss for having Alopecia? Yeah, you ARE a bitch. Andrews and I have in common that we were raised the 'Huxtabilian' way. We are products of the generation that went through the Civil Rights Movement, with grandparents raised with Jim Crow breathing down their backs. We have been the generation, who thanks to our 'Civil Rights Era' parentage, have assimilated to the suburban (aka White) lifestyle, and have been conditioned to "Only Black Girl In The Room" Syndrome---but have somehow elevated over it. We are also the carriers of the 'Age of Obama' and have prime role models who show that Black women CAN do it all. Thus, we have our moments of social privilege---but on a vastly different level than our White peers. Still do I sit around with my nose up in the air and think my fellow Black folk who are 'less privileged' than me are worse than me? No. Do I mock them just for the sake of making myself feel superior? No. Privilege doesn't always equate snobbery nor indifference or ignoring empathy towards others. Andrews has privilege, far greater than a lot of people, but she's still angry---and I ask the fuck WHY? Nothing searingly bad has happened to her (well, she lost a close friend), she's gotten a high-end education, and actually she's gotten journalism gigs that I wish to have achieved right after I left undergrad, plus she's got a book deal (um, we are reading the book...)---yet she has 'a right' to label herself and be a bitch because she feels life hasn't worked out for her in a couple of areas? Oh, where is the sheet music so I can play a symphony with the smallest violins in the world! Contrary to 'rave' reviews, this book just treads water and feels like a temper tantrum. Plus it sure doesn't cool the stereotype of Black women being bitter---it just further feeds those flames. No, "finally! someone gets me!" cheer did I have with this. It just made me feel left out of the "inside joke" that I have experienced with 'angry Black girls' like Andrews--that I can't fully commit to all that seething anger because maybe for the most part, even though I've been ridiculed and degraded (and will continue to be)...that I AM actually happy being a Black woman. That I don't give two-shits about what others think about about me or try to box me into with stereotypes. That I know I have my privileges, but don't let them hang like a albatross across my neck. And finally, that I don't need to be an overly-insensistive bitch to get my way. Seriously, life is too short for all of that 'bitchin'.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    Frankly, I don't like reading books that I think I could have written. I don't mean that Helena Andrews is a bad writer, but...she's average. And, look, I don't want to disparage her, because I don't know her, but the stories she tells in this memoir just make her seem...well...kind of bitchy. Which is, you know, part of the title of the book. Some of the stories at the beginning resonated quite strongly with me, but by the end of the book, I got tired of reading about how horrible fat people ar Frankly, I don't like reading books that I think I could have written. I don't mean that Helena Andrews is a bad writer, but...she's average. And, look, I don't want to disparage her, because I don't know her, but the stories she tells in this memoir just make her seem...well...kind of bitchy. Which is, you know, part of the title of the book. Some of the stories at the beginning resonated quite strongly with me, but by the end of the book, I got tired of reading about how horrible fat people are, how every guy she meets is gay--or least possibly gay!, and the name dropping got to be too much. The stories about sex had just enough detail to be TMI, but not enough detail to be a book you'd want to pass on to your friends. I understand she's writing a screenplay based on this, and more power to her. I'd probably watch at least a couple of episodes.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Candice

    Laugh out loud funny, and a very enjoyable read. FINALLY somebody is giving voice to single black women in the age of Obama, social networking and study after study dissecting "The Unmarried Black Woman." We find ourselves both "Chasing Michelle" and dodging bad date after bad date hoping that this big eared doofus across the dinner table from us will one day be our Barack. Or not. I love that Andrews manages to portray every woman's innate desire for companionship and love -- but makes it very Laugh out loud funny, and a very enjoyable read. FINALLY somebody is giving voice to single black women in the age of Obama, social networking and study after study dissecting "The Unmarried Black Woman." We find ourselves both "Chasing Michelle" and dodging bad date after bad date hoping that this big eared doofus across the dinner table from us will one day be our Barack. Or not. I love that Andrews manages to portray every woman's innate desire for companionship and love -- but makes it very clear that we're not just some unmarried statistic withering away by the phone on a Friday night. Andrews hilariously paints a picture of a young woman that is much more complex and complicated -- and whose story is unique and very much her own. I personally loved the format -- a collection of essays and not a chronological narrative -- although I note that some reviewers can't think outside the box and see this as a perfectly good way to construct a memoir. Definitely looking forward to the movie adaptation, although I hope Andrews' wit and personality is not lost along the way.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Izzy

    Marketed as a dating memoir, this is more the story of Andrew's precarious upbringing and occasional dating mishaps. She has led a really interesting life and her free spirited lesbian mother Frances (a rockstar in this book) is partly to blame. Andrews is funny and the book is light and entertaining. The chapters read like stand alone pieces which bothered me. Instead of a memoir, I was reading a collection of personal essays. There's a scene where Andrews recalls going out to eat with a barely Marketed as a dating memoir, this is more the story of Andrew's precarious upbringing and occasional dating mishaps. She has led a really interesting life and her free spirited lesbian mother Frances (a rockstar in this book) is partly to blame. Andrews is funny and the book is light and entertaining. The chapters read like stand alone pieces which bothered me. Instead of a memoir, I was reading a collection of personal essays. There's a scene where Andrews recalls going out to eat with a barely acquaintance who tells her that she's "robotic." I get the observation. I never really learned who Andrews is or what lessons she's learned. Between being kidnapped as a child, being raised on some remote island, having an abortion at 19 and being stalked by an abusive boyfriend....I would assume one would feel things and want to honestly express those things in a memoir. On the other hand there's plenty of humor and you won't come away feeling like she's damaged and undone.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    It's the life and times of a Black woman who grew up in an unconventional Black setting. Helena's voice sounds a lot like mine - a Black woman who grew up amongst Caucasians...and is no worse off. Sometimes uncomfortable, often hilarious, Andrews shares an honest look into the life of the Black woman less talked about. A great read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Adrien Julious

    Some books are just not for me so I won’t give this book a one star but...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    "I never actually pulled the race card per se, but I'd never cut it into with a pair of scissors in front of unsuspecting diners either" 84 I don't understand why people disliked this book so much. I thought it was a rip-roaring good time and it was nice to read a book (even if it was non-fiction) about an upper 20-something Black woman. Granted I'm a bit biased since I'd begun reading Reliable Source in WashPo (the author's blog) this past summer while I interned in DC so I was more familiar wi "I never actually pulled the race card per se, but I'd never cut it into with a pair of scissors in front of unsuspecting diners either" 84 I don't understand why people disliked this book so much. I thought it was a rip-roaring good time and it was nice to read a book (even if it was non-fiction) about an upper 20-something Black woman. Granted I'm a bit biased since I'd begun reading Reliable Source in WashPo (the author's blog) this past summer while I interned in DC so I was more familiar with her voice. But it's not like books are getting written about them or we're starring in TV shows so this was a nice and very welcome change. It was also a bit depressing reading about what will be ahead of me in personal and work relationships once I graduate from college but it's good to know. And although the title and summary make it seem like this book will be full of laughs, there are some sad and scary moments. I think Ms. Andrews is able to work through the terrifying moments by writing about them and looking back on them with a sense of humor but being stalked and harassed is a horrible experience that I'm glad she had the courage to write about. Ultimately I found this book to be hilarious and different from anything else out there memoir-wise and I really hope Helena Andrews is still working on the screenplay with Shonda Rhimes.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Danita

    In a world of half-hearted and/or half-assed apologies, Helena Andrews gave me 241+ pages of straight, no chaser, unabashed honesty, and I adored every word of it. She's not every girl and ain't fidna be the every girl speaking for all young, black, single ladies, but she's definitely that girl--the one that all-kinds-of-loud says what you and your finely arched eyebrow have been thinking about career-ishness, pop culture, friendship, menfolk and love (or the lack thereof). If you appreciate hon In a world of half-hearted and/or half-assed apologies, Helena Andrews gave me 241+ pages of straight, no chaser, unabashed honesty, and I adored every word of it. She's not every girl and ain't fidna be the every girl speaking for all young, black, single ladies, but she's definitely that girl--the one that all-kinds-of-loud says what you and your finely arched eyebrow have been thinking about career-ishness, pop culture, friendship, menfolk and love (or the lack thereof). If you appreciate honesty--in all its heartbreaking, hilarious and hell yes forms--read this book. It's a collection of stories standing akimbo in the face of all those who too quickly assess black women as being too much of everything bad and not enough of anything good. As raw as the Eddie Murphy of old and worldlier than your 'round the way girl, BITNB manages to unearth a bit more of the much-hyped mystique surrounding us pigeon-holed BBFs today with sass and great heart.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Latiffany

    Upon completing this book, I sat it down, took a deep breath and applauded. I have to preface this review by stating that the last 2-3 books that I read weren't very good, so I am grateful for Helena (who in my head is my new bff) and this book. It is funny, thought provoking, funny, honest, funny and just wonderful. This book felt like a conversation with your best friend. I saw slices of my own life through Andrews' life. I haven't dated much, so I also felt as if I were living vicariously thr Upon completing this book, I sat it down, took a deep breath and applauded. I have to preface this review by stating that the last 2-3 books that I read weren't very good, so I am grateful for Helena (who in my head is my new bff) and this book. It is funny, thought provoking, funny, honest, funny and just wonderful. This book felt like a conversation with your best friend. I saw slices of my own life through Andrews' life. I haven't dated much, so I also felt as if I were living vicariously through her hilarious dating adventures. Her relationship with her best friend reminded me of my own and I think most women have dealt with the reoccurring boyfriend-you know the one that won't commit, but won't completely go away either. Andrews offered her life up with humor and love-and the guest appearances in many of the stories by her mother Frances were just brilliant. They have a relationship that I can definitely appreciate. This is a good read that is worth buying.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Star

    I read several reviews complaining about this book being a collection of short essays of life events rather than a connected story, but I'm sure the book cover says it's a "memoir" somewhere on it so isn't that what it was supposed to be? Kinda? Sorta? Maybe? The first few chapters in the book kept me glued to each page as I could relate to her life's story in so many ways...I even grew up in the town you caught the boat from to get to Catalina! (I didn't know people actually LIVED there...like I read several reviews complaining about this book being a collection of short essays of life events rather than a connected story, but I'm sure the book cover says it's a "memoir" somewhere on it so isn't that what it was supposed to be? Kinda? Sorta? Maybe? The first few chapters in the book kept me glued to each page as I could relate to her life's story in so many ways...I even grew up in the town you caught the boat from to get to Catalina! (I didn't know people actually LIVED there...like on purpose...) Some of her stories brought back plenty of childhood/pre-teen/young-adult/dumbcollegekid memories of my own. I could have done without some of the stories, or "essays", but in all, It was funny! A great read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shanae

    I like the material in this book but I do not like the way it is written at all. It's a bit too brash, even for me, and a little all over the place. Not succinct...and it's really bad because I want to read this book badly, but it just isn't working for me. In the Andrews's defense, I don't like books written like conversations at all. Though I'm a fan of memoirs, I like to be told about events that happened in the writer's life, not receive tidbits and scenarios. It reads like, like...like I'd I like the material in this book but I do not like the way it is written at all. It's a bit too brash, even for me, and a little all over the place. Not succinct...and it's really bad because I want to read this book badly, but it just isn't working for me. In the Andrews's defense, I don't like books written like conversations at all. Though I'm a fan of memoirs, I like to be told about events that happened in the writer's life, not receive tidbits and scenarios. It reads like, like...like I'd been on a few escapades with Andrews in the past and we were remembering them after a night of drinks. It's hard to explain but I didn't like this one at all.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

    I listened to this book via Audible. I think I enjoy memoirs best when read aloud, and Helena Andrews' story was slightly above average for me. In a lot of ways, her experiences spoke to me and were very relateable. I could see many similarities in Helena's life and mine, as we are both upwardly mobile Black women living in DC. However, I found some of the chapters (namely the one where she eviscerates President Obama's former body man Reggie Love for an awkward blind date) a little too mean-spi I listened to this book via Audible. I think I enjoy memoirs best when read aloud, and Helena Andrews' story was slightly above average for me. In a lot of ways, her experiences spoke to me and were very relateable. I could see many similarities in Helena's life and mine, as we are both upwardly mobile Black women living in DC. However, I found some of the chapters (namely the one where she eviscerates President Obama's former body man Reggie Love for an awkward blind date) a little too mean-spirited for my taste. I should have realized from the beginning that Andrews is proudly owning her "bitchiness". I'd read another book by her, but with lowered expectations.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Westward Woess

    Helena Andrews writes a truly witty, honest, and impressive account. Her essays insightful and entertaining, though they did come across as a little directionless at times. Still, the piece was entertaining and, I will say it again as it was a great strength of the book, very honest.

  19. 5 out of 5

    CHAVELLE BARNETT

    Helena Andrews is a witty author. This book talked about her life growing up with a single lesbians mother and her relationships with men. I gave this book 3 stars because certain parts of her storyline was redundant towards the middle of the chapters. I would not recommend it to readers.

  20. 5 out of 5

    CheeseAssasin

    This book had its moments but sadly not enough of them. It took me three attempts to finish and the last third was a chore.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Shakeima

    Wasn't one of my favorite books. I laughed out loud at some parts but I didn't get the point of this book being written she could have just had this on a blog.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chastity Parker

    It only started to be mildly entertaining towards the end. The first... 14/15 chapters were rambling. It's a memoir, but soooooo disjointed and actually kind of.... pointless.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    This book was terrible. It did not flow it was just a bunch of rambling. Would not recommend.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Keondra Freemyn

    andrews has a very strong writing voice however, the book is disjointed and laden with waaay too many phobic comments (homophobia, transphobia, fatphobia, ableism...take your pick!). that being said, i know many helenas and the dialogue was (sadly) authentic. i agree with others that this is not the misadventures of a young black woman's dating life by far. would not read again or recommend but am always happy to see a wide array of voices in the literary space.

  25. 5 out of 5

    L'Oreal

    To be honest, I couldn’t get past the first chapter due to derogatory terms and slurs used “jokingly” (I imagine) by the author. Granted, much has changed since 2018; however, those terms are just as politically incorrect now as they were then.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelyn (O Emme He)

    This book is phenomenal. It really drew me in from the first couple pages. The way Helena writes about her life and what she's gone through is mesmerizing. She is an awesome writer and she's been through very interesting and intricate things in her life.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Toyo Ayeni

    sometimes too raunchy. interesting read. good writer

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katharine Thomas

    Funny, irreverent (I really like this) and at times at little too raunchy for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kay Reid

    HILARIOUS!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Pete Marchetto

    Had you suggested to me two weeks ago, civilised Englishman that I am, that I could possibly read a book littered with the word 'awesome' to describe anything less than a visitation from God and the entire heavenly host on a chariot of fire; or that I could read the word 'dude' without throwing the document containing it at the nearest cat, I would have taken you up to my balcony to admire the view of the hills of Guilin and then pushed you off, taking great delight in the Jackson Pollock effect Had you suggested to me two weeks ago, civilised Englishman that I am, that I could possibly read a book littered with the word 'awesome' to describe anything less than a visitation from God and the entire heavenly host on a chariot of fire; or that I could read the word 'dude' without throwing the document containing it at the nearest cat, I would have taken you up to my balcony to admire the view of the hills of Guilin and then pushed you off, taking great delight in the Jackson Pollock effect you created on the pavement six storeys below. Consequently, I curse Helena Andrews for putting me in the position of reviewing such a book and giving it four stars. (Yes, four. In the understated Englishman's mind, four stars is the American equivalent of 23 awesomes and a yee-haw. Five stars is for Shakespeare. (William Shakespeare? (Wrote Hamlet? (Okay, forget it). This is such an American book I frequently wished it had come with subtitles. Cultural references abound - some bloke called Obama kept popping up, pop star I think - and so many TV shows that never made it across either the Atlantic or the Pacific that I found myself relieved we'd been spared the full horror of it all. So, why the four stars? For an American, Andrews seems incredibly human. Talking about the petty day-to-day of approaching decrepitude - 30 - without a man in steady tow; an eccentric mother; the death of a friend; and the private hell that is social media, this could so easily have been the misery-memoir of a self-obsessed pubescent, but then aren't - or, in my case, weren't - all our twenties just that in so many ways? A little more serious, and Andrews would have had me wanting to slap her face and telling her to snap out of it. A little more relaxed, and it would have been farce. Andrews, though, and it's straight-down-the-middle without so much as a wobble. She may not understand the world, who does? But she knows herself lost in it far too well to take herself too seriously, and that's a talent most people lack. Her casual observations bear reading and pondering upon. Thus, on men's avatars in social media, On the guys’ side there were Douglas, Van, Raj, Chris, and Stu—all super cute in miniature, like doll-house furniture. Looking back, the black-and-white glamour shots should have tipped me off. Who takes a picture of just their eye? Well, quite. Strangely, the less Andrews has to write about, the more she excels. She's at her best with dull, tired themes, losing her edge a little when she has something solid to hang on to. This is a woman who turns trivia into an art form, showing us her life - thereby revealing our own lives - in a wryly affectionate light. It's a frightfully awesome book, me ol' dude. Check it out.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.