I don’t often read books without reading the synopsis before hand, but that wasn’t the case with This is Really Happening.
I had just gotten the book in the mail from Penguin, and the combination of the adorably fun cover, plus the short length of the book itself meant I dove right in without a second thought.
Probably shouldn’t have done that.
This is Really Happening is a collection of essays / stories of Erin Chack’s life. She is a senior writer at Buzzfeed (awesomeness), is insanely weird (love it), and is also a cancer survivor (wasn’t expecting that).
The book opens with Erin discussing her cancer diagnosis which was the exact diagnosis I received myself almost four years ago. The first essay was a fun and playful take on an extremely nonplayful topic, and Erin discusses how awkward it was for her to share her diagnosis with her friends and extended family. I have consistently switched back and forth between the two extremes of being a cancer survivor: either the “I’M A SURVIVOR HEAR ME ROAR” or the “wow, I want to forget that ever happened to me“. So, when I picked up TiRH, I couldn’t immediately decide which of these mentalities I was going to embrace, and it put me into a mild panic.
BUT. I worked through the trigger, kept reading, and I am really glad I did.
I hard-core connected to Erin regarding our similar cancer experiences (and the morbid gallows sort of humor that goes along with that), and I laughed out loud on more than one occasion. While I did think that a couple of the stories didn’t really serve a point, and there were a few instances of redundancy that probably would have gone unnoticed if the book was a bit longer, overall I really enjoyed the read. Erin has a pretty distinct writing voice, and this was a great book to tackle while I was in the tub over a couple of days.
If you like essay style books but you are looking for something with a younger feel, I would definitely recommend picking up TiRH! Big thanks to Penguin Teen for sending this book my way, the cover is so adorable too!