She’s Nice Though: Essays on Being Bad at Being Good

HarperAudio. Aug. 2022. 6:06 hrs. ISBN 9780063098534. $21.99. MEMOIR
Mercado (Weird but Normal: Essays) has proffered a collection of essays and short stories that are both hilarious and heartwarming. From identifying kind people (hint: check for smiles and whether they are Tom Hanks) to the “politicization of human decency,” Mercado analyzes every facet of niceness. What are the implications of presumed and performative niceness as a woman, a Midwesterner, a Filipina? Where would a person fit in with the cast of Mean Girls? How many screams are shy people allotted in their lifetime? These answers and more are found within the thought-provoking and witty assortment of stories. Narrator Natalie Naudus is the perfect complement to this candid narrative. She fully embraces Mercado’s self-deprecating style and nails the comedic timing to produce a stirring, and, at times, sidesplitting performance. While Mercado promises “Buy the audiobook to hear me sing,” it is Naudus who picks up the torch and delivers.
VERDICT This engaging audio will appeal to listeners looking for laugh-out-loud life stories about the curse of good girl energy in an era of bad bitch vibes. Recommended for fans of Lindy West and Samantha Irby.
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