This week was just the week where I felt incredibly conflicted about books. I read So Sad Today on my lunch breaks. I was so excited about it. A book about a woman navigating the world and dealing with depression and other anxiety issues? Yes please!
Sadly, what I encountered was a series of essays that felt to me like they were trying to shock me with their use of language. Almost every other sentence discussed some graphic sex things. It felt like Broder was constantly looking for ways to talk about sex in a crude manner, even when it didn’t move the story forward or add anything. I’m not a prude but most of it felt incredibly unnecessary. Instead of the feeling of solidarity I was expecting, i found myself feeling alienated.
I also had some problems with the writing and formatting of the book. Many of the essays talk about the same people (in particular one person) but without referencing that they have been talked about before, making the person in question seem mysterious even though we know everything about them. I understand that these essays were written separately but, once the book was put together, this should have been remedied.
All of this said, there were some really powerful essays. Both “I Took the Internet Addiction Quiz and I Won” and “Under the Anxiety Is Sadness but Who Would Go Under There” felt like essays from the book I was hoping to read. Border discussed feeling that I know I have dealt with myself and made me feel less alone. I just wish the whole book could have been more like these essays. I am thinking of these as separate from the book and, even though they were worth 5-sequinbeasts, my enjoyment of them doesn’t change my overall judgement of the book.
I also found that the book improved as it went on. My problem, though, it that she had mostly lost my trust as an audience and I had decided how I felt about the book after the first few essays and had a hard time adjusting these views. Once she alienated me, I had a hard time feeling comfortable reading (with the exception of the two essays I talked about before). I feel like I would have really enjoyed this if it were just released as individual essays instead of as a whole book.