Review: Everything is Going to Be Great

Everything is Going to Be Great Book Cover

Everything is Going to Be Great
By Rachel Shukert
HarperCollins
July 2010
312pp

The Short of It:

This memoir will leave you laughing, but not before reading about a few cringe-worthy encounters involving sex, drugs and poor judgment.

The Rest of It:

Rachel, Rachel, Rachel… I’m not sure if I should love you, or hate you. Rachel Shukert’s account  of her time spent in Europe is both funny and sad at the same time. She’s a storyteller and can make any situation funny, but my problem with this particular memoir is that some things just aren’t funny. Like rape. Now, I love a good laugh. I’ve been known to laugh at little people in diapers, running down the street (ala the tv show Jackass) but rape? Not funny.

Basically, much of the book is spent with Shukert trying to find herself. She’s educated and has a supportive family but when things go south while trying to live on her own in Europe, she quickly resorts to juvenile, school-girl antics. These antics involve many sexual romps with various men, usually strangers and sometimes involving large amounts of drink and drug.

I stuck with the book because I wanted to see if Shukert matured by the book’s end but I think most readers will tire of the sexual escapades outlined in nearly every chapter. I will say this, if you go into it knowing that some things may be completely inappropriate, you might be able to push judgement aside and just enjoy the writing. Shukert’s writing is crisp and snappy and yes, very funny.

If you find yourself looking for a funny read and don’t mind sex, drugs or colorful language, then this would be a good choice for you. Plus, it’s a super-quick read. 

Source: This book was sent to me by the publisher.

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17 thoughts on “Review: Everything is Going to Be Great”

  1. This is a great, honest review. But, judging from the content you’ve outlined, I think Rachel’s behaviour would really bother me after a few chapters. I don’t have the patience for masochistic antics. And, from what you mentioned, it sounds like the subject of rape isn’t handled with a great deal of care. You are very right; rape is not funny. At . All.

    Thank you for an informative review!

    1. Some may argue that forced oral sex is not rape but I beg to differ! This was a tough one only because the book is funny in a lot of ways. I had a definite love/hate relationship with it.

  2. I’ve been waffling on this one for awhile – I hear good things about it, but I’m just uncertain about whether the subject matter is for me. I’ve found that some memoirs by twenty-somethings have made me feel particularly old and cranky, and I suspect this could turn out to be one of them, Thanks for the reservations-and-all review!

  3. I’m not repressed in the least, but reading about someone having sex with everybody, doing drugs and whatever, it would just get old. It’s not very interesting after awhile, just stupid and irresponsible. She better hope she didn’t catch something. Wouldn’t that be just hilarious.

  4. Hmm–well, a few stories about sexual romps might be one thing but I’m not sure I would find a whole book funny. A rape I would definitely not find funny in any way.

  5. i do love memoirs but for me writers have to nail down the right tone–self-deprecating, not cavalier, funny but not crude. and certain topics (rape–intercourse or otherwise) just doesn’t seem amusing or cute to me no matter how an author tries to dress it up.

  6. Oh no…I have a copy of this, but I’m a little afraid. I read a similar book a few years ago (Israeli author, but the title escapes me), and I’m not sure I want a repeat of all the rampant sex.

  7. This sounds like an honest account of the author’s life while she was trying to find herself and figure things out. Usually I like these kinds of memoirs. But it sounds like there are some cringe-worthy situations recounted specifically and maybe graphically in this book? I don’t have a problem reading things like that but knowing that I’ll encounter them if I read this memoir & that you found it almost tedious & over-done after a while makes me feel like I won’t be missing anything if I pass on this book. I feel a little badly rating things this way, but there are so many good & great books I want to read that, at some point, I have to say no.

    I always find your reviews very interesting & informative, Ti! Thanks!
    ~ Amy

  8. I love your “Rachel, Rachel, Rachel.” Perfect!!! I felt the same way … she seemed to reckless about her body. I felt like it was miracle that she wasn’t really injured in some way. I took it as a given that she might have been exaggerating some stuff for comic effect (I sure hope so). But she is funny and that saved the whole thing. Otherwise, I can’t imagine this story going over well without the humor.

  9. Any book that allows me to vicariously travel through Europe sounds like a win, though all the sexual antics give me pause! I’m not a prude, but everyone has their limits. Still, sounds funny and interesting (um, minus the whole rape thing — wow, not good). I’ll probably add this one to the ol’ wishlist!

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