Book Review: Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

Allie Brosh started a blog called Hyperbole and  a Half, and she illustrated her stories.  The result was a wildly popular website and legions of fans.  In this full-color book-version, Brosh brings her trademark wit and unique illustrations to a new set of readers.  Combining new essays with fan favorites, Brosh tackles all sorts of topics, ranging from the hilarious (her dogs) to the hard (suffering from crippling depression).

This graphic-novel-hybrid is sure to attract Brosh’s established fans as well as new ones.  With an authentic, unique voice and one-of-a-kind illustrations, Brosh’s hilarious, frank observations about her life are not to be missed.  This is a laugh-out-loud, nod-your-head-in-agreement kind of book, and it’s got massive appeal for readers young and old.

There’s something to be said about someone who has achieved fame on the internet and attempts to write a book.  No easy feat by any means, it’s also something that has been met with a bit of mixed success.  Luckily, Brosh is a good writer, although this only illustrates how much stronger some of her essays are than others.  Apart from a few cohesion issues, this is a solid collection of essays, and it’s impossible not to enjoy how funny and self-aware Brosh is.

Brosh mixes personal stories with her colorful illustrations, and she tackles subjects ranging from how crazy her dogs are to her fears about life and her crippling depression.  The mix of new and old material should hook her new fans as well as keep the old ones satisfied.  There’s appeal here for fans of other cartoon-based blogs like The Oatmeal.

Thoroughly enjoyable.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things that Happened by Allie Brosh. Touchstone: 2013. Library copy.

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