Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh

“Sometimes all you can really do is keep moving and hope you end up somewhere that makes sense.”

5/5 stars.
ebook, 384 pages.
Read from December 17, 2020 to December 18, 2020

Allie Brosh took the internet by storm with her blog and book Hyperbole and a Half in the mid-2000s. Her comics perfectly captured life’s random mishaps and the strange things we did in childhood, as well as accurately describing what life is like living with depression. Allie disappeared for almost seven years shortly after her fame. What happened to her? Solutions and Other Problems captures the difficult time that Allie went through in her silence along with hilarious insights and more intriguing and ridiculous things about childhood.

Allie had planned to release another book within a year or two after Hyperbole and a Half but then tragedy happened. Her sister died suddenly. This was then followed by the end of a long term relationship and with Allie having to contend with some serious health issues, all of which she includes and reflects on in this book. A triple whammy of difficulties and pain, so it’s no wonder she became reclusive. It didn’t help that her email and social media was also hacked into at one point. This book takes on these major transitions in her life. It includes comics about her childhood as she remembers her sister and how she managed to get through some of the most difficult years of her life. Her story is relatable, potent, hilarious, and grounding. I should also add that while there are some very sad parts in this book it is still very much a comedy and that Allie’s trademark humour is present throughout.

The best part about this book is that it is deeply insightful and offers an intimate glimpse into Allie’s experiences and the things that have shaped her as an artist while still being immensely engaging and entertaining. It’s a book that shows how Allie has grown as a person and an artist. Allie has also come to see how much of an impact her work has had on others and just how much other people care about her. I also think that this book was healing for Allie and was less about what her fans wanted and more about what she needed. Many fans did not connect with this book as much as her first for this reason but I feel that not only was this book necessary but an authentic effort from Allie that reached an even wider audience. 

This book was absolutely worth the wait and completely captures the growing pains of grief and coming into your own despite life’s intense difficulties at times.

Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

3/5 stars.
ebook, 288 pages.
Read from January 07 to 08, 2014.

Ahh how delightful! I can’t tell you how much joy it brings me to know how successful Ms. Allie Brosh has become with her work. I can’t imagine that Allie ever believed that her comedic posts about her obnoxious childhood or hilarious coping mechanisms would ever become the star of the blogging internet world but it’s because Allie truly does have a gift. Allie’s imagination and experiences are so immensely relatable and in combination with her writing/comic style that’s easy to read it’s hard not to become addicted to her posts. Allie seems to let you know that what you think and feel is not so abnormal. For example, I too have an issue with people who choose to ignore spelling and grammar and in her post titled, The Alot I found some relief from my grammar Nazi ways and I will now use the same method she endorses in that post to deal with those who have poor spelling and grammar.

If you are unfamiliar with Allie’s blog, I absolutely insist that you visit it. You won’t be sorry: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.ca/

Her book is a collaboration of some of her most popular blog posts as well as some new content and while I enjoyed the book the reason I did not give it a higher rating is that I’m not sure her content worked in book format.  What I enjoy about her blog is that the posts are concise and moderately short, just tid bits and bursts of awesome when you choose. When it’s all in a book I found that the style is overwhelming and can get redundant. I didn’t want to devour it all at once and maybe I shouldn’t have. While I understand that this book means profit for Allie and it’s a great way to commemorate her success it just felt like a weird medium to me while I was reading it.

So overall I’m glad this book was published and I want Allie to keep writing but I would like to see her success continue through her blog.