Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig
Published: October 21st, 2014 by Touchstone
Genre(s): Self-help, memoir, non-fiction
Pages: 224 pgs.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
“One of the sharpest, funniest voices on YouTube” (Forbes), comedian Grace Helbig offers an irreverent and illustrated guide to life for anyone faced with the challenge of growing up.
Face it—being a young adult in the digital era is one of the hardest things to be. Well, maybe there are harder things in life…but being an adult is difficult! So Grace Helbig has written a guide that’s perfect for anyone who is faced with the daunting task of becoming an adult.
Infused with her trademark saucy, sweet, and funny voice, Grace’s Guide is a tongue-in-cheek handbook for millennials, encompassing everything a young or new (or regular or old) adult needs to know, from surviving a breakup to recovering from a hangover. Beautifully illustrated and full-color, Grace’s Guide features interactive elements and exclusive stories from Grace’s own misadventures—like losing her virginity solely because her date took her to a Macaroni Grill—and many other hilarious lessons she learned the hard way.
Amusing and unexpectedly educational, this refreshing and colorful guide proves that becoming an adult doesn’t necessarily mean you have to grow up.
If I’m going to be completely honest here, I’m not really hip to this whole “YouTube celebrity” jive. After I stopped finding interest in Vlogbrothers, I fell out of the loop when it came to dorky Internet personalities. I’ve seen a few episodes of Grace Helbig’s web series over the years and found them funny, but I definitely wouldn’t say that I’m a devoted follower of Helbigism. However, if there’s one thing that I know that I’m definitely into, it’s reading the memoirs of people that I find to be somewhat interesting; Grace, for sure, falls under that umbrella of fascinating people. Seriously, there has to be an intriguing story behind her rise through digital fame to now having her own podcast and E! channel show on top of her successful YouTube channel.
Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up pulled me due to its outward appearance of a memoir. I was kind of picturing a YouTuber’s version of Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling, but found myself surprised to see that the recollections of past life experiences were mostly relegated by guides on how to stumble one’s way through adulthood. In this instance, I don’t mean “stumble” to in a “ok yes be drunk 24/7” way — although Helbig and her friends do happen to enjoy the drink — but rather in that people new to adulthood don’t really know How To Adult. (I definitely fall into this category and I’m not afraid to admit it.) But, Grace says, it’s totally okay, because she wasn’t entirely sure on how to navigate certain situations, either. Each chapter covers a different aspect of adulthood that that has proven to be difficult, including but not limited to: navigating the workplace, exploring one’s love life and spicing up one’s apartment.
Throughout this book, she aims to be like your quirky older sister who also isn’t afraid to make poop jokes all the time. Like, literally all the time. There are a lot of poop jokes in this book. However, if there’s one thing Grace Helbig proves through this book, it’s that she’s completely true to her brand and unique voice. To help readers remember the many tricks she offers on successfully navigating these arenas of adulthood, each chapter comes complete with a handy mnemonic acronym that’s completely in-line with Helbig’s brand. For example, the How to Decorate Like an Adult chapter has FISHY GROPE: Flea markets, Ikea, Scents, Hang it, You could make that, Green things, Rugs, Over time, Paint, and Experiment. FISHY GROPE. So simple! Futhermore, you’ll find quips from Helbig’s mother to give advice from an even “adultier adult,” to borrow a common phrase among people my age. There are even some worksheets to help readers track their progress in their adulting process. Furthermore, the introduction to every chapter includes a story on how Helbig failed at that particular life element sometime during her adolescence; the opener to the Lifestyle chapter recounts her bumbling participation through a Miss New Jersey pageant, complete with Snooki hair and all.
Overall, I do think that Grace’s Guide was a cute, entertaining peek into one — successful, might I add — way someone’s convinced other people that they’ve done a pretty alright job at transitioning from young adult to Actual Adult. Her take on a self-help book is refreshing compared to the other “What To Do Post-College Graduation” type books that my mother gave me a few years ago. Do I wish that we got some more insight onto how applying these tricks to her actual life worked for her? Absolutely. Do I wish that this was kind of more of an actual memoir format? For sure. But Grace is still early on in her career and has many more things to experience, so I’m sure I’ll eventually get what I want.
Amazing Pug Scale: