Grace’s Guide. The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up

As I’ve said before, I’m on a memoir/ non-fiction kick right now, so the latest read in my stack selection was the aforementioned book by Grace Helbig. The Internet knows of her YouTube channel, it’s Grace, as do I.

The book is fun to look at. Even before you start reading, you leaf through it to see all the what you quickly realize to be quintessentially Grace photos and inserts. A bit of colour never hurt, and for someone who still loves holding an actual book copy, this one was enjoyable to pick up.

Grace’s personality and the characteristics that set her channel and her content in general apart reflect in the structure of the book – the self-proclaimed love for to-do lists is evident in every chapter. As a fellow list-maker I enjoyed this immensely, especially since her lists were in line with what (I think) she wanted to say in the book, thought through and clear. They were also summarized at the end with amusing acronyms that softened and further humorized the “self-help” part. “How to throw an adult party: Fist Biscuit.”

In fact, regarding the self-help genre/ category, Grace is frank and disarming in her foreward, making it clear that this is not another one of those books: “What you’re about to read is (hopefully) a fun and funny Millenial’s handbook… I’m going to try to help you with school, work, social activities and lifestyle stuff to the best of my dubious abilities. Trust me, I don’t have definitive answers, but I do have plenty of misadventures and lessons learned the hard way to share.”

Finally, not a book that promises (and then fails to deliver on) immediate success in something without practical tips, or rocketing to sky-high levels of whatever the author thinks you should aim at. Grace’s Guide is an honest, thoughtful, funny, individual, but very relatable look at being yourself while navigating life, and growing without compromising your core (though not grossing or freaking people out while doing that is also something she succesfully stresses).

It’s interesting to see what seems to be an increasing trend towards writing down life, including the neurotic moments, the worries, the awkwardness, the daily struggles and concerns modern society brings with it, while at the same time making clear that all this does not take away the possibility of enjoying yourself. Those I-know-this-too moments occur regularly while reading Grace’s Guide.

And iust like the rest of us, Grace also has screws left over when she finishes assembling a piece of furniture from IKEA.

“Being an adult is both super cool and super scary.”

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