Tuesday, August 9, 2016

I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley

We're all in the midst of our own existential dilemmas and hearing someone write quirky little diatribes about their Devil Wears Prada-esque boss or the friend who left poop on their carpet can sometimes make us feel as though we aren't alone.

I WAS TOLD THERE'D BE CAKE isn't that different from the hundreds of other autobiographical essays out there, but Sloane Crosley does have a style that is all her own. Some of her analogies are creative and on-point. Not rip-roaringly hilarious, mind, but clever and unusual and amusing. Sometimes she reminded me of me. Other times she reminded me of the me I wish I was. The me who says that clever punchline when it's needed, and not five minutes later, after I've already walked away.

As pithy as Ms. Crosley is, the problem with collections like these is that there are always going to be some stories that just aren't as good as others, and bring down the collective quality of the book as a result. Apart from a few choice stories that really stood out to me, I found them blurring in my head almost as soon as I had read them, and it was difficult to suss out which story was which.

That's really the keystone of this problem: she just isn't memorable. Her stories lack that extra panache that makes them stand out. Jenny Lawson, with her funny sadness, sad funnyness, and taxidermied raccoons, is what Sloane Crosley dreams of being, but she just isn't quite there yet.

Soon, perhaps. But not now.

Honestly, though? If you're looking for a light, fun read written by a snarky and intelligent lady, I would recommend I WAS TOLD THERE'D BE CAKE. It accompanied me to work and various other appointments, and since the essays are only a few pages long, it made it easy to read them in quick, short bursts without having to stop in the middle of a segment (I hate that!).

3 out of 5 stars.

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