ARC Review Book Review

ARC Book Review | I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom

Title: I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are
Author: Rachel Bloom 
Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir, Humor
Published On: November 17, 2020
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: digital
Pages: 256


In the vein of Mindy Kaling, Ali Wong, and Amy Poehler, a collection of hilarious personal essays, poems and even amusement park maps on the subjects of insecurity, fame, anxiety, and much more from the charming and wickedly funny creator of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. 

Rachel Bloom has felt abnormal and out of place her whole life. In this exploration of what she thinks makes her “different,” she’s come to realize that a lot of people also feel this way; even people who she otherwise thought were “normal.”

In a collection of laugh-out-loud funny essays, all told in the unique voice (sometimes singing voice) that made her a star; Rachel writes about everything from her love of Disney, OCD and depression, weirdness, and female friendships to the story of how she didn’t poop in the toilet until she was four years old; Rachel’s pieces are hilarious, smart, and infinitely relatable (except for the pooping thing).

My thoughts

I have to admit that it was only the title and cover that led me to request I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are. It was a few days after the most traumatic presidential election I’d ever experienced, and I thought: Yes, I, too, want to be where normal people are. Where is that? Does this Rachel Bloom have the answer? I must read it immediately and find out. I needed to laugh, and Rachel Bloom supplied that in plenty.

“If only I could say that my personality in hindsight was awesome and no one ‘got me,’ but this is disproved by the seventy-two DVDs’ worth of home movies that my mother gifted me on my thirtieth birthday. Thanks to these DVDs, I have concrete proof my personality was pretty insufferable.”

Rachel Bloom, I Wanna Be Where the Normal People Are

I wasn’t sure who Rachel Bloom even was when I requested this book, but I was pretty sure I’d seen the pilot episode of My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the musical dramedy she co-created and starred in. I remembered thinking it was funny, and now I’m not sure why I didn’t watch more episodes. I’ll be remedying that soon!

The first half of the book is my favorite. It’s organized in a somewhat chronological order, so it starts with Rachel’s childhood and goes forward. I could identify with her stories of being bullied, feeling awkward, and coming to accept who she really is—and what that even means. It’s rewarding (and funny) to read how she learns to be happy with herself, and how she ultimately decides “normal” is overrated.

If you’re a ‘theater/theatre’ person, you’ll appreciate her essays on that, as well. She writes about being a woman in the theater, as well as being the only woman in a television writing room.

A bit of a mixed media book, it contains diary excerpts, drawings, and poems. This is a quick and utterly satisfying read!

Thank you to the publisher Grand Central Publishing and Netgalley for providing me with an advance copy.

(All quotes are taken from the advance copy and are subject to change in final print.)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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About the Author

Rachel Bloom
Rachel Bloom

Rachel Bloom is best known as the star and co-creator of the CW musical dramedy, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, for which she earned a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award for her performance as “Rebecca Bunch” as well as an Emmy Award for the show’s songwriting. As a live performer, she has sold out Radio City Music Hall and The London Palladium and recently had a residency at the Just for Laughs comedy festival. In April, she starred in the movie Trolls World Tour as “Barb.” She will be writing the music and lyrics for The Nanny on Broadway.

A Song For A Book

On Bookstagram I created a hashtag for when I include a song that reminds me of the book I’m sharing, #ASongForABook, I thought I’d make it a regular feature on my reviews, too.

It seems like the only obvious song to share is one of Rachel Bloom’s originals from My Crazy-Ex Girlfriend. I have NOT watched the series, but I’m intrigued. Let me know if you’re a fan of the show!

Have you read I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are? Did you add it to your tbr? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

8 thoughts on “ARC Book Review | I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are by Rachel Bloom”

  1. Wow, I don’t know if it’s just me but this cover (the text and image) throws me back to the OG Babysitters Clubs style of books from when I was a kid 😂 I love it! I haven’t watched My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend either but I’ve heard really good things about it. Sounds like this was a fun read and perfect for those post-election feels! Glad you enjoyed it, Dedra 😉

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