The Wreckage of My Presence by Casey Wilson
May 4, 2021, by Harper
Review by Melinda
I’m familiar with Casey Wilson because I’m an unapologetic Real Housewives watcher, which also makes me an unapologetic Bitch Sesh listener, Casey’s podcast, alongside co-host with Dana Schneider. I listened to an audio ARC of this one, and I would highly recommend listening to it, rather than reading it. Casey obviously is a talented actress and from her time doing the podcast is experienced with comedic timing and making audio work well. I don’t think this book of essays would have hit the mark nearly as well for me if I had read it digitally.
What I loved about this essay collection is that it runs the gamut from hilarious to touching to downright emotional. The thread that ties the entire thing together is how much Casey misses her mother, who passed away. She tells stories of her growing up with her, and of what she taught her as an activist, and of the deep depression she went through when she died. But she does so with humor. There are also stories of Hollywood and her time on the show Happy Endings, and how her depression led to her love of The Real Housewives franchise. My favorite story was the most unexpected one about her child, which honestly left me in tears.
I think anyone can get something from this book, even if you’re not a Bitch Sesh or Real Housewives fan – it’s just so funny and lovely.
CW: death, grief, depression, child illness
Anne of Manhattan by Brina Starler
June 1, 2021, by William Morrow
Review by Melinda
I was hopeful about this Anne of Green Gables update because I’m a sucker for pretty much any retelling of classics. However, I DNF this pretty early on unfortunately.Here Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe are modern-day twentysomethings in Manhattan heading off to college. We’re in Anne’s POV at the start in diary entries and in the audiobook she comes off incredibly whiny but she is an adolescent so I was assuming she would evolve.
We get into the ‘now’ portion and Anne and Gil end up in the same place and Anne is supremely unhappy about this. Somehow they end up making out – which I liked because this was clearly going to be enemies to lovers. However, while making out Gil makes the comment ‘see, I knew you liked me’ and Anne spins this out in her head into A. Thing. I could not follow her logic on why this was a thing? I completely understand overthinking but even being in her mind *while* she was having these thoughts I still could not tell you why she thought that Gil was trying to play her and make a game out of making out with her… Gil understandably gets upset when Anne yells at him and when they leave both are angry. This is where I DNF, because a miscommunication this large so early is not a great indicator for me.