Book 11: You Don’t Have to Like Me by Alida Nugent

Can I just say, I haven’t been this excited for a book in QUITE some time! Nugent has a knack for titles, choosing cover images that wow, and making people laugh. You Don’t Have to Like Me is her second book, and though I haven’t read the first it’s certainly on my list. From what I’ve heard, it’s pretty damn good too.

Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book, and on Valentine’s day I got to pick it up off of the shelf from my local Books A Million (shoutout to my mother for keeping me in books and dark chocolate these days).

I knew I’d picked up the right book when the intro was hilarious (and contained a nice little Hannibal Lector reference). In the first essay, I was pretty pumped at her use of “fuck donut,” as an insult. It just got better from there… I expected more in the first chapter about raising kids with the freedom to choose their gender instead of just teaching girls that they don’t have to be beautiful and removing gender from toy concepts, but I wasn’t entirely disappointed. She comes back to the topic of gender and sex in her chapter on Sex Ed and does a nice job at approaching the concept.

I fell in love with Nugent when she dove into self love; she has the attitude about it that I revel in. I love her unapologetic love of her face, her mention of wearing way more makeup than people advise and NOT CARING what they think. That’s my view of it all, and as an avid lover of all things cosmetic and dramatic, I really enjoyed seeing her mention it in her book. Makeup can be a controversial topic in feminist circles, and Nugent’s advice to do what you like was exactly what I want to see more of. Her bits about buying and loving makeup for herself made me happy.

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Nugent doesn’t spare herself or her readers; she delves into dark moments in her life, discusses her flawed and problematic behavior before feminism, and takes her readers on a walk through her eating disorder. Coincidentally enough, Nugent briefly mentions Beloved, the last book I reviewed. I enjoyed her musical references and the frequent pop-culture references. I’m madly in love with her comment on Robin Thicke. She also commented on the Kardashian/Rose issue, and sides with the author of the next book I’ll be review, I guess she’s just a bad bitch like that!

“They will never buy the cow if they can get the milk for free.
Never once do they consider that I might not want to be bought, and that I am not a cow at all.”

A few more things; This book cover is amazing; orchids are sexy flowers, it’s not everyday that nature blooms and looks like female genitals. The world is full of phallic symbols dating back to ancient times, so the floral symbolism on this book isn’t lost on me. I love it, and I love Nugent’s title – it’s so true, such an honest way of letting the world know that her main concern isn’t pleasing everyone around her.

Nugent’s blog seems pretty damn awesome, and I’d definitely recommend giving her a follow. Her personality translates well through her posts, and I’d say that her content is what you’d expect from reading her book; hilarious and pointed.

I did have an issue with an instance of implied fat shaming on page 151 (“down his fat throat,”), though I didn’t have much else to critique.

I give this book an 8/10.

You Don’t Have to Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism


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