Sunday, May 5, 2013
Guest Book Review: White Girl Problems
Remember Cher Horowitz, from Clueless?
Cher, meet Babe Walker. This is you in ten years. Only
In 2010, a trio of writers (Tanner Cohen, David Oliver Cohen and Lara Schoenhals) collaborated on a fictional character they aptly named Babe Walker. Babe opened up a twitter feed, raking in over 600,000 hits and counting. With her smarmy punch you out demeanor, and devil may care with a high limit credit card persona, the trio wrote a book under Babe's pen name.
Cue White Girl Problems. I’ll admit, when I opened the book and discovered the "F bomb" dropped on the very first page, I was intrigued. I don’t shy away from expletives and gritty humor, and I wasn’t sure what to expect from a character that is so completely and utterly unlike me. I don’t know the first thing about fashion, or being famous, or having gobs of money. I had no clue in the beginning that Babe is a fictitious person!
Now that I do know, it’s probably a good thing. I have a feeling Babe would get jumped while walking in broad daylight, and no one would try to rescue her. Could she be any more callous? Horrifically rude and idiotic? Like your favorite childhood Barbie doll, Babe seems to exist on air and not much else. She won't eat. She won't sleep. She'll consume mass quantities of alcohol and drugs if anyone’s offering, and her idea of a sweet treat is mixing water with Splenda, sticking the liquid in ice trays, and eating one frozen cube a day.
She is abrasive, existing in her Babe Walker reality and if anyone has a problem with it, DEAL. The biggest issue with this book is the train wreck rubbernecker quality it unleashes. I would get extremely annoyed at what I was reading, yet I couldn’t turn away. My eyes were glued to see what Babe would do or say next. Whether flitting from college to college on daddy’s money, having sex with random strangers, avoiding work like it’s the Bubonic plague, or spending close to $300,000 on a shopping spree gone wrong, she is the girl you love to hate, and hate to love. She does not apologize for who she is.
Let’s face it: deep down within all of us, we've got Babe lurking. It’s the part of our psyche we never want to admit to, the selfish side, the sado-masochistic crazy side. It’s the part of us that makes us pick up a copy of the latest celebrity gossip magazine to see what catastrophe has happened to someone famous, shaking our heads in disbelief (and relief) that it's not us being raked over the coals. I don’t have anything in common with Babe, but maybe a small part of me wishes I did. A very, very small part.
If you are looking for perfection, look elsewhere. If you are searching for an escape from the every day, and can see this book for what it is and not for what you think it should be, give White Girl Problems a chance. Let your inner Babe come out to play.
Thanks to Hyperion for the book in exchange for an honest review.
Sara Steven is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two rambunctious boys in Bellevue, NE. When she’s not running marathons, getting certified in group fitness instruction, or working on her novel, she takes a break and opens up a good book (or turns on her Nook). Find her at her blog.