Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar by Kelly Oxford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"GIRLS SUCK! THEY THINK THEY'RE SO GREAT!" Karen flung a single finger at her son, like a switchblade aimed at Damon's fat peanut-buttery face. "You keep saying things like that and one day you will wake up and YOU WILL BE A GIRL, Damon! YOU WILL WAKE UP WITH A VAGINA!" That was page 2. I was hooked.
When a book is loaded with pop culture references that would make 20-somethings ask, "WTF is 'The Wonder Years?'" I refuse to stop reading. (BTW, kids, it's a GREAT TV show about a boy, his family, his preteen/teen struggles in a time when the family TV was furniture and had no remote control - THE HORROR!)
This is definitely not a memoir for kids - unless you parents want someone else to blame for their potty mouths, knowledge of drugs, the truth about some after school activities ("That's what gymnastics prepares you for: stripping, not the Olympics.") and creepers at Disneyland. If you want an out, here it is.
Kelly is not perfect. If she was, this book would read like one of those super annoying holiday letters people send to make you lose what holiday spirit you have left by giving the finger to a piece of paper/website. What she is, though, is funny. The kind of funny that deserves the more than 140 characters allowed on Twitter. I didn't see Kelly as my friend. I saw her as the lady freaking out about the little things in public. And I'm totally OK with that.
Once I reached the home stretch of this book, I realized someone else understands one of my (many) fears. "I don't think I'm going to die soon, but I finally feel like I'm growing old. Like, I know there's a Lil Wayne and a T-Pain, but somehow I thought they were the same person. You can be sure you're getting older when your finger isn't in the pulse of pop culture but you're sure it is. Getting old is when your complaints are so genuine that a friend can't console you."
Ugh. I know that will happen. I just hope others who understand will keep writing about things like this so that I don't feel like that any time soon. Because it's fun and funny. Can't go wrong with that.
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