I’m going to give myself a pat on the back for blogging consecutively for the past few days. 🙂 *pat pat, pat pat* I have a small stack of ARCs that I had planned to read a while… Alas, that didn’t happen. But since I’m on summer break, I hope to catch up.
This book was sent to me by the author. Thank you, Beth! All quotes are taken directly from the ARC and may change in the final copy.
Title: I Really Didn’t Think This Through: Tales from My So-called Adult Life
Author: Beth Evans
Publisher: William Morrows Papereback
Release date: May 1, 2018
Genre: Non-fiction, graphic novel, comic, humor
Length: 172 pages
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “Did you ever wish your best friend—the person you would trust with your innermost secrets, the person whose wisdom and comfort you seek in times of stress or self-doubt—could draw?
Like Mindy Kaling meets Hyperbole and a Half, I Really Didn’t Think This Through gets at the heart of what makes life both so challenging and so joyful—figuring out how to be a person in the world. Armed with her beloved illustrations, popular Instagram artist Beth Evans tackles a range of issues—from whimsical musings to deeply personal struggles—in this imaginative anti-guide to being your own person.
This book is a compendium of Beth’s collected wisdom and stories, interwoven with her tremendously popular and loveable illustrations. The book is a wonderful mix of fun (playful meditations on the band Rush and international pen-pals) and thoughtful (Beth delves into her personal history with obsessive compulsive disorder and depression while commiserating on topics like dating and credit card shame) all with a simple candor that anyone from a teen to their grandparent can relate to. Through all of her experiences, Beth manages to extract valuable lessons, and the book is replete with friendly advice about caring for yourself, getting help no matter what your problems are, and embracing what makes you happy. Beth is a compelling storyteller, her drawings picking up where her words leave off, creating an approachable and immersive experience for the reader. Beth’s work feels like a hug from your best friend. And like a best friend, she’s here to say “You got this!” “
I am forever encouraged by those who are able to write openly and honestly for their readers. This book is no exception. I’ve followed the author for quite some time on Twitter and Instagram, so her art was familiar to me, providing relatable and real anecdotes, which often came across my feed when I needed them to most. So when I knew there was a book releasing, I knew I had to get my hands on it.
Evans writes about her struggles with her OCD, anxiety, and depression. The parts that stood out to me the most were the ones about her self-injury. As a recovered self-harmer, I saw myself so vividly in Evans’s shoes. But not only does she speak about her mental health, she also provides various ways to cope (that work for her). She reminds her readers that it’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to have these thoughts and feelings, but not to do through it alone–that you don’t have to go through everything alone.
“…[W]hat we want isn’t always what we need.”
Of course I absolutely adored all the comics, too! I found myself laughing out loud and showing my husband. I like how there’s a myriad of different situations drawn out in this book, from light-hearted to thought provoking. Evans even provides well-thought out lists and longer comics, and I feel like those are the ones that are the most important to her. She emphasizes a lot of self-care, too, which I’m a big advocate of.
“Anything that’s important to you is just as vital as any therapy session or talk with your friends. It’s like an invisible thread keeping you tethered to the world. And it should be celebrated that you found something to keep you going, no matter what it is.”
While I was reading this book, I’m reminded that it’s often so easy to focus on the surface level aspects of friends, family, work, etc. But we have to look a lot deeper than that because it allows connect on a more emotional and mental level. The writing is simple, but the points are easily understood. So if you don’t want to dive into something heavy or are looking for a quick read, pick up this book.