Monday, December 30, 2013

10 Heart Review: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened
Allie Brosh

Page Count: 369

Release Date: October 29th 2013
Publisher: Touchstone (Simon & Schuster)
Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Simon & Schuster!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Features new material and stories from HyperboleAndAHalf.blogspot.com

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative—like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it—but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly:
  • "...some might say the book is full of stories..."
  • "...It could be claimed that this has more pictures than the dictionary..."
  • "...IS GREAT BOOK."
So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:
  • Pictures
  • Words
  • Stories about things that happened to me
  • Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
  • Eight billion dollars*
  • Stories about dogs
  • The secret to eternal happiness*
*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!
Allie Brosh's pinpointed humor, childish yet not-quite-childish anecdotes, and incredibly self-realized life stories at her cherished blog, Hyperbole and a Half, are what made her an internet icon. You either have never heard of her, or worship the ground upon she walks. There is no in-between.

For the first time, her illustrated memoir essays are bound, and this print volume features not only eight of her most popular and most affecting blog entries, but also ten brand-new original pieces that will remind you of why you fell in love with her blog in the first place—or if you're unfamiliar with it, just how much you've been missing out.

Hyperbole and a Half is so well known for its bizarrely hilarious cartoons; as exemplified in the infamous "CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!" meme, her essays are accompanied by intentionally rudimentary Paint (et al.) illustrations that bring her personality and wit to life. Some daft early readers commented "I could draw way better than you!" on her posts, and well, that's the point. (Those readers didn't last very long).

Brosh's short memoirs are so special because they are highly conscientious, highly exaggerated (hence the hyperbole part), and perfectly capture the essence of identity and self-acceptance. I find it magical how she manages to be sentimental without being corny, intellectual without being standoffish, and comical without being snarky. She covers nostalgic topics like the mishaps of childhood, edgy topics like chronic depression, and downright entertaining topics like the weird and lovable beasts that are dogs. I swear to you: THERE ARE SO MANY DOGS IN THIS BOOK. If you have dogs, this is a must-read for a good laugh. If you have ever struggled with depression or self-doubt, this is a must-read for harsher realities and a sliver ever-burning hope. If you had a childhood, this is a must-read because—don't even lie to me: everyone was a child once. This book—and blog!—is simply a must-read, no excuses.

Pros


Some of my favorite essays from the blog selected // New content is fresh and original; did not disappoint  // Dorky, strange, hilarious // Spunky and kooky; makes you want to be Allie's BFF // Appropriate for all ages // Still manages to be deeply meaningful and substantial

Cons


Not enough stories! I want MORE

Love

Verdict


This blog-inspired collection of full-color-illustrated memoirs—ranging from lifetime reflections to random observant wisps of humor—is guaranteed to fill you with nostalgia, cripple you with laughter, and become your next internet obsession. An adult graphic novel that would just as easily please preteens, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened is entertaining, wacky, and at times, even somber—and this attitude of not taking things too seriously, yet still being sincere, makes it that much more of an extraordinary experience. Brosh's intelligent but self-deprecating humor will charm you and disarm you. This is a book to be read over and over again Americanflag

10 hearts: I'm speechless; this book is an extraordinarily amazingly wonderfully fantastically marvelous masterpiece. Drop everything and go buy yourself a copy now! (x)