Release Date: 11th October 2012
Edition: e-book, purchased
Well hello to you dear browser. Now I have your attention it would be rude if I didn’t tell you a little about my literary feast. So, here is the thing: is it just me or does anybody else find that adulthood offers no refuge from the unexpected horrors, peculiar lack of physical coordination and sometimes unexplained nudity that accompanies childhood and adolescence?
Does everybody struggle with the hazards that accompany, say, sitting elegantly on a bar stool; using chopsticks; pretending to understand the bank crisis; pedicures – surely it’s plain wrong for strangers to fondle your feet? Or is it just me?
I am proud to say that I have a wealth of awkward experiences – from school days to life as an office temp – and her I offer my 18-year-old self (and I hope you too dear reader) some much needed guidance and caution on how to navigate life’s rocky path.
Because frankly, where is the manual? The much needed manual to life. Well, fret not, for this is my attempt at one and let’s call it, because it’s fun, a Miran-ual. I thank you.
Now, I don’t read non-fiction, but throw in a reading slump I was finding impossible to escape, a cheap e-book and the lure of the hilarious Miranda Hart and I decided to give Is It Just Me? a go. Boy am I glad I did!
Miranda Hart’s first book shines with the warmth, humour and style that have made Miranda so loved. She writes in direct address and regales her audience with hilarious anecdotes just as she does in her show and I could practically hear her voice as I read. Her quirks and characteristics of speech came through in her narration and she frequently had me laughing out loud to myself. Miranda also interspersed conversations with her eighteen-year-old self, lists, occasional illustrations and checklists which I really loved; you don’t get them often in the books I read!
When someone’s in the public eye, especially as a comedian, and see them regularly laughing at themselves and using their experiences to make you laugh, you often forget that they are a person who feels, thinks and had to get to the position they are in. It must have been quite difficult for Miranda at times being an individual, which I know is a cliché, but it’s true. The fact that she came out the other end confident, happy with herself and completely comfortable with her choices gave me hope for myself!
This message of accepting yourself for who you are wasn’t something I was expecting from Is It Just Me? but I loved the life lessons Miranda gave her eighteen-year-old self. I especially appreciated the chapters on relationships, beauty and social expectations. It’s nice to feel that if someone as awesome as Miranda came out the other end of these pressures still believing they’re stupid then again, there’s hope for me. I was also very pleased to see that she has the same views on sexism and double standards as I do and chose to speak up about them! The chapter on technology was also quite eye-opening. Talking to a teenager from 1991 it quickly became obvious how ridiculous the extent of our technology reliance and use is. Although I wasn’t yet born in 1991, I still remember before the internet and mobile phones so I could still relate easily, though you take my phone or laptop away from me and I’ll beat you down!
I finished Is It Just Me? with a grin on my face, a defeated reading slump and the beginnings of a belief that it’s okay to be exactly who you are.