February: I Was Told There’d Be Cake, Sloane Crosley

Month two of the BIRL Book Club is now over! I read I Was Told There’d Be Cake by Sloane Crosley and I hate hate hate to admit this but I was… underwhelmed. I felt old and weathered reading it. I felt like a grumpy old lady, rolling her eyes, and thinking (against my very hip and aware will) “oh you just wait and see.” Oh my gosh I was so annoying, even to myself.

Here’s the thing. This book was published in 2008. Before the great recession. Before I graduated grad school only to flounder financially. Before entry level jobs were no longer falling from the sky in one’s chosen field. Before people lost their family home or had to go back to work at 70 because their retirement up and vanished.

This was also the height of the blog. The lifestyle blog was going strong. Everyone had quirky design tips. Everyone had slightly self-deprecating stories that made them feel unique and interesting. This was probably written before literally every single personal story archetype had been published on the internet.

I think I’m a solid 5 years too late reading this book to appreciate it.

I think I’m old and weathered and tired and when I spend my last moments of awake time reading about people in their early 20s it just annoys me that they are so self centered.

I did think some of the parts were funny though – and I did actually laugh out loud at a few. Especially the story about her first job. That was… ridiculous and horrifying and I enjoyed it immensely.

Have you read this book? Did you read it recently? Did you read it like 5 years ago? Am I just being a grumpy gus? What was your favorite part? Where did you eye roll so hard you thought maybe that was just your face now?

March is for America’s First Daughter and I am SOOOOOO excited for it!! I love historical fiction! Come read along with me!

8 thoughts on “February: I Was Told There’d Be Cake, Sloane Crosley”

  1. I felt the exact same way. And I didn’t finish it. The essay about locking herself out her apartment felt… well, like a mildly interesting blog post. I like personal essays, but I do need them to be pretty personal. Even after reading this I felt like she’d still be that too-cool at a party, and not a friend.

    1. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I felt like these were mediocre blog posts at best. Like… stuff I was writing (now?) at the beginning of my blog when no one read it. And for an unpublished, unedited blog I think that’s great! But for a published book, it doesn’t hold water for me.

      And I definitely got big whiffs of ugh privilege. Girls, affluent white girls in New York who have a support system privilege.

  2. I recommended this book, and was ashamed when I reread it for this! LOL! I originally read it when it first came out. I was 20 then, and just ate up the self deprecating humor. But it is crazy what perspective will do. And now I’m wondering how many books on my favorites list would I hate if I reread them now?!

    1. Do not be ashamed!! hahahaha. It is kind of the worst to re read books I LOVED only to be bored or realize they kind of suck. Same with beloved movies. I can’t believe I missed the boat on this when it first came out. I would have sworn up and down that I was going to be just like her. <3

    2. There are certain books I just can’t bring myself to re-read because they meant to much to me once, and I’m concerned they won’t hold up 😛

  3. i got the book but have not been able to read it… Will read it anyway… the worst that could happen – I do not like it, but I will give it a try anyway! :). Will try to catch up with the next book.

  4. Ooooh that is SUCH a good point about when it was published. I didn’t even think about that. It all makes SO MUCH MORE SENSE NOW

    I’m so glad I wasn’t alone in my dislike of this one! There were some enjoyable moments, and for the first couple essays I thought I was going to enjoy myself…. but I didn’t end up finishing it. A little went a loooong way.

  5. So I read this a few years ago and I apparently thought it was pretty funny/good because I had purchased it (ah, disposable income, I miss you!) and held onto it for a few years (I rarely store books, and I remember recently donating it). I borrowed from the library last month to refresh my memory and I agree with your basic takeaway. It read like a mediocre blog. I did find a few points funny during this read of it, but not enough to check out other books by her or anything.
    What’s bothering me is that I specifically re-read it so I would have something to say and now I can’t remember anything. Guess I should’ve written it down because my memory is crap nowadays. But I think it had something to do with how when I read it the first time, my initial reaction was just about the humor of the stories, but this time for a few essays, I found myself thinking “oh, she’s sort of making a point here about…religion, or death, or XYZ.” I think I was just proving to myself that when I read it the first time, I probably blew through it for the witty jokes or whatever.

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