I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are
by Rachel Bloom
In the vein of Mindy Kaling, Ali Wong, and Amy Poehler, a collection of hilarious personal essays, poems and even amusement park maps on the subjects of insecurity, fame, anxiety, and much more from the charming and wickedly funny creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.
Rachel Bloom has felt abnormal and out of place her whole life. In this exploration of what she thinks makes her “different,” she’s come to realize that a lot of people also feel this way; even people who she otherwise thought were “normal.”
In a collection of laugh-out-loud funny essays, all told in the unique voice (sometimes singing voice) that made her a star; Rachel writes about everything from her love of Disney, OCD and depression, weirdness, and female friendships to the story of how she didn’t poop in the toilet until she was four years old; Rachel’s pieces are hilarious, smart, and infinitely relatable (except for the pooping thing).
I looooove ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ and also the show’s creator Rachel Bloom, so I was really excited to read her book, especially the self-narrated audiobook. I went in with high expectations and was really looking forward to hearing some funny behind the scenes stories!
Rachel’s book discusses her experience from childhood to present day, feeling as if she doesn’t fit in. It’s a collection of essays that form a kind of comedic memoir and does dip into the beginnings of ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ but not as much as I was expecting.
Rachel is very honest in her words and she delves into some difficult topics, including bullying and mental illness, so there are elements of the book that are quite deep, but there’s also intertwined chaos throughout, for example a whole chapter of Harry Potter fan fiction. There are anecdotes, diary excerpts, fairy tales and poems and in general I found this made for an engaging read even if it’s a little all over the place. There were, however, a couple of chapters that just didn’t interest me and I found myself drifting off whilst listening (there’s only so many times you want to hear a poop story…)
My expectations weren’t really met with this read and I have to say that for that I was a little disappointed about that. I’d have loved more ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ anecdotes, or perhaps some detail about the story writing process. I would say that this in no way changes my love of Rachel Bloom or the series. I liked the book, it just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be!
Overall rating: “I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are” is full of funny and relatable moments but not all the chapters were to my tastes. I’ll give this one 3 stars!