Bad Vibes Only: (and Other Things I Bring to the Table)

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If you find yourself inundated in Good Vibes Only culture but aren’t quite buying it, neither is Nora McInerny in Bad Vibes Only (And Other Things I Bring to the Table) a collection of personal essays that critique society’s current obsession with positivity.

Bad Vibes Only is all-too-relatable and therein lies its charm. McInerny asks what it means to be authentic in an age where we curate our online presence and where we judge and are judged in near absolutes because that’s easier than looking at things and people complexly. She does so by examining her own life and not shying away from episodes of grief, parental mistakes, or cringe-worthy moments but also taking us on nostalgic trips through childhood adventures that would probably end with the police involved today.

Well-paced and delicately balanced, I’d find myself laughing out loud at one sentence only for the story to take a more somber turn a paragraph or two later. As someone who came of age in the late 90s, Bad Vibes Only had an added layer of nostalgia that brought me back to the days of AOL or further back still to growing up in an age without constant screens and social media.

Most of all the book is a reminder that we’re all human, we’re all struggling with different things, and we all make mistakes and are left to wrestle with the consequences. McInerny preaches authenticity, and then she dares to give it to us. For me, Bad Vibes Only was an unexpectedly powerful read.

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Author Nora McInerny
Star Count 5/5
Format Hardcover
Page Count 224 pages
Publisher Atria/One Signal Publishers
Publish Date October 11, 2022
ISBN 9781982186715 Buy this Book
Category Humor-Nonfiction