Saturday, May 14, 2016

Reviewing Books by YouTubers: Grace & Style by Grace Helbig

A few weeks ago I announced that I was going to be reading books written by professional YouTubers and reviewing them on A Splash of Ink. I'm interested to see if these books have merit outside of their built in audience (and thus, built in paycheck). If you want to read the first review on Tyler Oakley's Binge and hear a little bit more about my summer project, you can read it here.

Today's book is Grace and Style: The Art of Pretending You Have it by Grace Helbig. The order of the reviews in this series is mostly based on how quickly my holds at the library come in, so unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to read Grace Helbig's first book Grace's Guide. However, these are separate books, so it shouldn't matter. Onto the review!
My familiarity with the Youtuber: Not subscribed, but have seen a lot of her videos
Form: 
This book definetly has a lot going on in this category. It's set up like a regular lifestyle book with three categories: Clothing, Hair/Makeup/Accesories, and "Life...style". Under each section is a bunch of individual sections that read very much like blog posts. It felt a little cluttered to me, and at times random (which maybe was the point, but it didn't really click with me). One of the reoccurring segments was "The Sweatpants Diaries," which where written from the POV of you guessed it, sweatpants. It had the potential to be funny, but they were long and not really my kind of humour. I ended up skipping over them. There were other elements that I did enjoy, such as the photos throughout the book, and the "Vintage Grace" sections that were anecdotes about her experiences with fashion. If there had been more anecdotes, and less stuff like "Sweatpants Diaries," it would have been a much stronger read.

Content:
I hate to say it, but this book doesn't have much substance. It's supposed to be a satire of fashion books, which has a ton of potential, but like I noted in the last section, it fell short. It could just be that my sense of humor doesn't align with this book, but I found the segments more random and disjointed. For example, in the section of what not to wear to work, Helbig lists things like a cardboard box, glue, meat, and spices. The same randomness runs throughout many similar sections. When it isn't quite so off the wall, it can be quite funny. When Helbig talks about what your denim says about you, the humor that made her popular shines through as she notes that someone who wears flared jeans would be buying "wind chimes and crystals" before they bought her book. The small (and I mean very small) bits about Grace's personal style are also interesting and accompanied by an enjoyable self-depreciating humor.

Voice: 
Helbig's voice is definetly strong throughout this book, which is a strength, but also a weakness. When I was scrolling Goodreads for reviews, many people noted that the jokes didn't always translate from video to print, and I have to agree. Grace has a sense of humor and a voice that I like in her videos, but it isn't a universal type of humor.

Overall Impressions:
Although this book has some good moments, I really didn't care for it. I felt that a lot of it seemed to be filler material put together to make a book. I really really wanted to like this one, because I like Grace Helbig, and I like the idea behind this book, but unfortunately, it felt a bit lazy in some places. I just didn't get it a lot of the time. That being said, from the bits that I did enjoy, it makes me want to read her first book, which seems a lot more put together. I'd have a really hard time telling someone to pay $27 for this, but if you're a fan of Grace and her humor, it might be worth a checkout from the library.

Rating 2.5 of 5

Have you read any of Grace's books? Do you have any YouTube books you'd like me to read? Have you had any experiences where the comedy just didn't click with you? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Reading: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Listening: Lukas Graham
Watching: The 100

8 comments:

  1. Cool idea! I hope you do more of these. Also, I wanted to let you know that I tagged you on my latest blog post. Have an awesome day and thanks for keeping up your awesome blog!

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    1. Thanks, and thank you for tagging me! You're too kind!

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  2. I heard about this book on Twitter but knew that I wouldn't get it because fashion books are not my style. I'm glad that you made this review, it was interesting!

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    1. I'm glad that you found the review interesting. I'm okay with fashion books, but this falls into a weird humour/fashion book.

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  3. See, this is why reviews are useful. It can prevent the wasting of precious time! On everyone's part but the reviewer's. ;) Hehe great review! Looking forward to the next one. ^.^

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    1. Exactly! I'm happy to waste me time reviewing books for you, haha. Glad to see that you're enjoying the series!

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  4. Hm, that's too bad! I don't think I'd try this one out anyway because lifestyle anything isn't really my cup of tea, but you know. At least you gave it a try!

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    1. That's what these reviews are for, to give you a sense of if it's something you'd like or not:)

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