[Book Review] Hyperbole and A Half by Allie Brosh

Back in 2010, I stumbled upon Allie Brosh’s blog Hyperbole and a Half, a blog with few words and a whole lot of pictures. These pictures were drawn by Allie herself with the use of paintbrush on her mac computer. Her essays/artwork often depicted hilarious antidotes from her childhood and showcased her two dogs, “simple dog” and “helper dog” getting into crazy scenarios. My favourite picture is probably this one:

Allie Brosh CakeThen things went silent for quite a long time. I had Allie’s website saved to my bookmarks and at least once a week, I’d find my way to her site only to see that there was nothing new happening. I’d read in articles that she takes a lot of time to create one post/essay so as a loyal reader, I was being patient and waiting for the hilarity to ensue each week. But then in 2011, things took a different turn on her blog. Things weren’t so funny as her loyal readers learned that she’d been battling depression. In two heartfelt and hauntingly real posts over the span of two years, she depicted what dealing with depression feels and looks like.

Post 1: Adventures in Depression

Post 2: Depression Part Two

These posts (the first one in particular) gained lots of attention. Many saying that it created an accurate depiction of what it’s like to deal with this condition. Now I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve never struggled with depression, but I have friends and family that have battled with it, so it was eye-opening to see what people with this condition struggle with each day. Allie clearly depicts through her pictures that it’s not something that you can just snap out off and each day is an uphill battle.

hyperbole_and_a_half_book_1As I mentioned, these posts continued to rocket Allie Brosh’s website and her experiences, humour and struggles landed her a book deal. Her book, Hyperbole and A Half: Unfortunate situations, flawed coping mechanisms, mayhem, and other things that happened is a collection of some her funniest posts and some new stories that have never been shared on her blog.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with it this past weekend and I devoured it in one sitting. As a loyal fangirl to all things Allie Bosh it was exciting to see some of my favourite posts bound together in a book. I know we’re not friends and we’ve never spoken via social media (what with her 400,000 Facebook fans and her 100,000 Twitter followers) but I feel like I’ve gotten to know her throughout the years. This is why I’m such a huge fan of blogs in general, because even though you don’t know the person typing out (or in this case, drawing) their experiences, you’re invited into their lives and you somehow begin to feel like you know them. You celebrate in their accomplishments and you feel for them when they face hardship.

If you’re like me and you’re familiar with Allie’s story, pick up this book for a walk down memory lane and discover some of her new and hilarious stories.

If you’re unfamiliar with Allie Brosh’s story, start with this book and then head over to her hilarious website for more laugh out loud moments.

Thanks to Sarah from Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with a copy of Hyperbole and A Half.

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One comment

  1. I used to LOVE Allie Brosh’s blog and, like you, kept checking back to see if she had returned. I’m on the wait list at my library for this book–your review made me even more anxious to get my hands on a copy!

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