Friday, September 3, 2010

Book 59 of '10 Everything Is Going to Be Great by Rachel Shukert

Dust Jacket Description:

"When she lands a coveted nonpaying, nonspeaking role in a play going on a European tour, Rachel Shukert—with a brand-new degree in acting from NYU and no money—finally scores her big break. And, after a fluke at customs in Vienna, she gets her golden ticket: an unstamped passport, giving her free rein to “find herself” on a grand tour of Europe. Traveling from Vienna to Zurich to Amsterdam, Rachel bounces through complicated relationships, drunken mishaps, miscommunication, and the reality-adjusting culture shock that every twentysomething faces when sent off to negotiate "the real world"—whatever that may be."

Characters: I don't like Rachel Shukert. This is probably a hopelessly idiotic thing to say about a book you got from a publisher. Yet I don't. I don't like her actions or even some of her opinions. But you know what? I haven't related to a protagonist in such a way for a hell of a long time. Rachel is as hilarious, honest and narcissistic as any average teenager or slightly immature twenty-something. Every other sentence seemed to personally relate to my own personal monologue. I was laughing so hard during the duration of this book that strangers on the train would stare at me. In fact, at one point I literally said to my father "I love this woman" because I had to tell SOMEONE about what I was reading. Yes, I wanted to smack her through out the book. But somehow I wanted to see her happy when I closed the book. I might not like Rachel, but I certainly flailed happily when I realized I found someone who thought the same things I did. As for the other characters she introduced in the book, I found them all hilarious and fascinating. I can't say I genuinely liked anyone in this memoir besides Rachel's two gay Dutch best friends and her preachy, direct mother but I certainly enjoyed every one of them. 5 flowers.

After the very first chapter I knew I was in for a treat because Shukert can write. Her writing style is hilarious and descriptive with lots of internal monologue. I inhaled every word and loved every minute of it. 5 flowers.

The description made me think that Rachel would be hopping around from country to country for the majority of the novel. Instead she spent her time in Holland for the meat of the novel, which was fine by me. The actual story mostly consists of her sexual escapades, cultural musings and job opportunities-or more fittingly lack thereof-which one tends to assume you're going to find in travel memoirs. There were also great bits in the book where Rachel would give mini guides on everything relevant to your world traveling needs. 4 and a half flowers.

The ending was a bit like the beginning of this book in the respect that it affirmed how beautifully Shukert can write, and how what she writes makes me understand feelings I didn't know I had. 5 flowers.

I ADORE this cover. It's rather beautiful. When I got it in the mail I bounced with joy. 4 and a half flowers.

Dust Jacket Description:
Slightly deceiving for reasons mentioned in the plot section of this review, but still relevant to the beginning of the novel. 3 and a half flowers.

If you want to read a memoir about traveling, Shukert is your writer. Everything Is Going to Be Great is delicious and hilarious. In my eyes, a guaranteed satisfying read. 4 and a half flowers.

Emma Out!


  1. Don't worry. I don't usually like me much either. Thank you so much!!