Doodles, essays, poetry, short stories and 1990’s girl magazine reminiscent quizzes – all this comes packaged together in a delightful, hilarious and brilliant book by comedian Monica Heisey. I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better is rightfully hailed as A Woman’s Guide To Life since it’s packed with wisdom about the typical things we all struggle with, such as when to switch to water, how to survive a holiday party with your family, what your bras diary might look like and how to break up like an adult. The book, although mainly funny, does touch on some realer life situations like abortion and what to do if you puke while on an airplane. I tore through the book in 2 short days and enjoyed it so much I’ve gone back and re-read my favorite stories when I’ve found myself in need of a good laugh.
I first learned of Monica when she was on CBC’s Q radio show discussing her book. As she talked about her life I knew I’d love her writing and it pretty much sealed the deal for me. At 26 Monica and I are the same age, and because of this a lot of her essays are really familiar to me. In her chapter Ways My Body is Being Sneaky Right Now she talks about the body changes that seem to happen the day after your 26th birthday: You wake up one morning and you have a chin hair that ripens like an avocado. As in, you wait and wait and suddenly, 2 inch chin hair! (I have car tweezers now – that’s what it’s come to).
The world we live in is confusing and filled with awkward and strange situations. We deal with roommates, body shaming, moderate to concerning pizza addictions, myriad fashion choices and of course the roller coaster of cat motherhood (Monica’s cat, Boots, is a barfer). This book takes these moments that we all experience, cracks them open and shows just how normal they are. Monica is able to take the bizarre twists and turns of life and say, ‘look, we all have weird, uncomfortable shit happen to us and that’s cool – here’s how that thing that also happened to you, happened to me.’
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better is relatable and sharable (lend it to your friends). It’s the type of book you’ll want to read when you have a fully stocked fridge. There are tips for eating in bed, texting back in the right amount of time, keeping it real with those sexy selfies and where to cry in public. This is the first book of its kind, a book that covers all the ground millennials need covered. Monica’s essays span a huge range of topics but do so in a very down to earth and friendly way. Read this book in the tub with some essential oils, while you’re riding the subway or in a castle made of macaroni glued together. You’ll laugh, maybe cry and will definitely will feel like Monica is the type of lady you can text up for a breakfast burrito jam session.