NOVEL APPROACH: Failing ‘Adulthood’

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First Posted: 5/13/2013

Sometimes our laughter cannot be contained, especially when it seems wildly inappropriate. Like that time at the mall when a stranger fell down the escalator or the time you realized Grandma’s blush was two shades too ridiculous at her vigil. Now, imagine a book encompassing a mixture of that woe and comedy together and you would find yourself reading newcomer Alida Nugent’s memoir, “Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood”.

For those unacquainted with Nugent, she first came into the spotlight with her widely popular online blog, The Frenemy, which soon led to her work with “Huffington Post” and “Gothamist.”

In Nugent’s book, she explores her venture into her unfortunate, but funny, past, as we follow her throughout post-graduate life. Generally, this is a time young adults believe they have every advantage. They are optimistic, hungry, and driven. They are unstoppable – or so they thought.

Here, Nugent gives us the reality of it all, delving into her many failed attempts to follow the road to adulthood. Her forays into unemployment and relationships display the often-dismal truth that life presents to us. However, even in that, Nugent rejoices in her ability to maintain positive or at least revel in catastrophe.

Nugent seems to gather that, try as we might, none of us have it all together 100 percent of the time. As John Hughes has taught us, “some of us are just better at hiding it” or in Nugent’s case, making fun of it.

Just in case you are unsure if the book is right for you, Nugent offers readers a quick and simple survey. It begins: “Does your college degree hang over your head like a rain cloud made of student loans, false hopes, and rapidly fading dreams? Would you rather eat hummus or cheese than have sex with somebody who doesn’t read books, drinks protein shakes, or has a goatee?” If you answered yes, keep reading, because this book is for you.

The memoir reads more like a conversational blog or set of brief essays that discusses topics ranging from obtaining your first apartment to body image. While some topics are tongue-in-cheek, Nugent also presents a very strong and serious voice of empowerment for women.

No matter what age or stage in your life, “Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse” is a wonderful gift that keeps readers laughing the entire way. Full of reality, Nugent seems to make the best of every terrible situation, emphasizing that sometimes there is no greater remedy than laughter.