Well, This Is Exhausting: Essays

Gallery. Jul. 2021. 336p. ISBN 9781982151935. $26. LIT
Anyone who has ever felt like an outcast, like they missed the class where everyone else learned how to kiss, or how to behave in social settings, or how to respect yourself and others, will relate to GQ writer Benoit’s essay collection. In it, Benoit writes about growing up early and being hyper-responsible; in the next breath, she discusses unrequited crushes, body image issues, and her willingness to do anything to be accepted. This memoir epitomizes growing up as a Millennial–Gen Z cusper, with all of the accompanying fears and desires; doing whatever it takes to be liked and wanted; and the resulting fallout and restructuring of self. Benoit’s writing style is like a witty, long-form tweet—familiar, pithy, and off-the-cuff. Prepare to feel like you know Benoit personally, as some chapters are written with a level of intimacy uncommon in most memoirs.
VERDICT Benoit brings her A game in her first book, a new addition to the recent spate of brutally honest memoirs. Recommended for fans of Samantha Irby.
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