Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review: Everything Is Going to Be Great by Rachel Shukert

Everything Is Going to Be Great
By Rachel Shukert
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Source: Library
Summary: 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.

Review: Since I'm studying abroad in London this summer, I have been obsessed with reading books about people traveling to Europe. When I saw this memoir on Goodreads, it sounded like something I would love to read, so I picked it up. Sadly to say, I wasn't all that of a fan of Rachel's story and how her "European Grand Tour" turned out. 

First off, Rachel's Grand Tour of Europe only really happens in Amsterdam. She spends a couple of pages in France and some in another country, but the rest takes place in America and Amsterdam. I was expecting a story of a girl who went on this great adventure in Europe, not a depressing tale of a girl who has absolutely no idea how she's going to live her life. Rachel went to acting school, and then moved place to place once she graduated. Reading her story was more depressing because there were times when her life absolutely sucked, but she did nothing to try and change it. I know that this is a memoir, so this actually happened in her life and I probably have no right judging her, but some decisions she made were just annoying and stupid. Sleeping around with random guys twice her age, almost getting raped by guys she knew were shady but could possibly give her free dental work, and having the crappiest jobs that make her completely miserable are just a couple of things that happen to her in this book. Maybe I just had different expectations, but I was not a fan of how her life turned out in Europe. 

I guess memoirs are a hit or miss for me, and this book was definitely a miss. Everything that happened just wasn't all that interesting to me. I was looking forward to the culture and experiences of going abroad, but I was given something that wasn't that at all. If you're looking for a memoir to read, I'd skip this one for now.



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