bo burnham, book review, fan, fanboy, fangirl, grace helbig, graces guidebook, hannah hart, holy trinity, internet, itsgrace, mamrie hart, michelle phan, millennials, review, the art of pretending to be a grown-up, tyler oakley, vlog, youtube
This is new isn’t it? I’m sure you are all taken aback by the fact that I am not giving you a buzzfeed-esque list this week. Well, the seasons are changing and so am I….for now.
This is a review of Grace’s Guide by Grace Helbig. First, some background:
Grace Helbig is an extremely popular YouTube personality. With almost two million subscribers on her channel ItsGrace, she has created hundreds of video blogs over the course of six years (otherwise known as vlogs) about life, relationships, jobs, food, fashion, beauty and sometimes nothing at all. She has been praised for her light humor, quirky yet somehow merited advice and her cheery and bright personality. Her book was released this fall and has instantly become a bestseller. This can not only be attributed to her overall greatness, but the rising Internet generation.
Kids (including myself and let’s say ages 13-21) love seeing the people they follow on the Internet in real-life, even if that means in the pages of a book. It becomes a more personal way to fangirl/boy over someone that doesn’t tour the country (i.e. One Direction). YouTube celebrities have taken pop culture by storm. Look at Tyler Oakley, who now appears on television and is a well known advocate for LGBT youth. Or Bo Burnham (definitely my favorite), who became a comedy star with two successful albums, created a television show on MTV and wrote a book of poetry that became a best seller. And Michelle Phan, a beauty guru who is now the spokesperson for Lancôme. YouTube itself is changing the game. And Grace Helbig is just one of many players.
Now onto Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up
This book is great. Greater than great even. It speaks to me. It says, “Zoe, you’re not the only person out there who dreads certain social situations and likes to wear comfy clothes at maximum comfort levels even in fancy meetings and events.” And that’s the theme of the whole book really. It’s saying us weirdos aren’t alone, and here are some tips on how to make our weird behavior more acceptable.
Grace does really well in downplaying her YouTube celebrity status. She talks about how her job essentially is to speak to a camera from the comfort of her own home with or without pants on. She talks about her college years and days working various restaurant jobs. She brings herself down to our level, and it makes her seem so much more familiar to me. This is a woman I have been watching on YouTube and following on social media for at least three years. And this book basically strips away any pedestal I had her standing on, not in a bad way. It makes me feel like I could be just as successful, smart and hilariously charming one day. And it brings me hope that I will find a job that will be something I actually want to do for the rest of my life.
This is no biography. Although I would put it on the same humor level as Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants, it is in no way similar to it. Grace does tell various entertaining stories from her childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. But with these stories comes advice (lists AND acronyms to remember them what more could you ask for) for us, the readers, and it is safe to assume Grace has taken each of these tips herself.
However funny this book may be, I have found myself learning how to deal with certain situations I was otherwise unsure or afraid of. For example, job interviews, anxiety-inducing circumstances, etiquette in certain awkward situations, and travel tips.
I have always considered Grace to be comedy gold. But after reading this book, I see her as more of a role model. It is all summed up in this bit from her introduction: “I’m here to support you. I’m here to help you grow and remind you that stupid is fun and failure is rewarding.”
Go buy Grace’s Guide. It is witty, charming and comforting. I give it two thumbs up and an approving, yet awkward smile.