The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer --- Adult Non-Fiction Book Review

14/11/2016

            If you are looking for advice or a self-help book, this isn’t the book for you. However, if you are looking for a funny book that is real, raw, and relatable; THIS IS IT!!!

            In Amy Schumer’s first adult non-fiction book The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, she takes us down memory lane and shares stories from her life as a “daughter, sister, friend, comedian, actor, girlfriend, one0night stand, employee, employer, lover, fighter, hater, pasta eater, and wine drinker (Schumer: 1). Part autobiography, part memoir, Amy lets us in to her personal life and shares some pretty intimate details with her readers. Crude and rude language is often used throughout the book making this a product for mature audiences, while reader discretion is advised.

            I frequently laughed out loud while reading Amy’s book as I found I could relate too many of her horror/raunchy stories. Her clear, comical, and witty writing makes you keep flipping through the pages in order to find out more of her dirty secrets and crazy stories. This book is great for anyone who needs a good laugh and expresses a free-thinking viewpoint (especially for women over the age of 20). Amy shares excerpts from her past journals, talks about her one night stands with musicians and athletes, as well as providing some recommendations on how to make it as a stand up comedian. Amy also discuss’ some more serious topics such as her mother’s affair with her best friend’s father causing her parents to divorce, how she lost her virginity through non-consensual sex, how she was in an abusive relationship, her shoplifting record, her father living with multiple sclerosis, the numerous pressures that come with being a female comedian in a male dominated work environment, as well as gun control (her commitment to gun control occurred after two female fans, Mayci and Jillian, died from gun violence while at a theatre screening of her comedic film Trainwreck). The content within her book is both humours and powerful, but also thought provoking. This is a win-win situation for many readers including myself.

            The only section in her book that I didn’t completely agree with was her rational about being part of “New Money.” Amy describes New Money is as “it (money) is earned in some way or another” (Schumer: 25). Amy explains early on in her book that she comes from New Money. Nevertheless, she and her family grew up in a lavish standard of living until her preteen years, where her parents then lost their countless amounts of disposable income. Amy believes she is part of the New Money era as she earned her money and fame on her own in some shape or form (as a comedian). That notion I do completely agree with; Amy earned her New Money fortune as she worked for and attained it herself in the comedy industry. However, I grew up living in different rough and low income housing communities within Ottawa, Ontario and have experienced subsidized activities in order to participate in extracurricular events, making me to believe I qualify more as a New Money individual as I worked my way out of this environment and very little to none dispossible income. After Amy was born, she left the hospital with her parents in a limo to go to their huge New York City duplex apartment while I left the hospital in a used, old, beat-up station wagon and headed home to my parents tiny bachelor downtown apartment. Amy’s childhood doesn’t necessarily meet the criteria for someone to be seen entirely as New Money as she had and experienced money in the past. In my eyes, Trevor Noah can be seen more clearly as a New Money comedian. However, I must note this New Money ideology is just a small, minor, detail within this largely, relatable, memoir.

            Amy expresses and understands that there are numerous eyes and ears on her, which gives her a responsibility that she is honoured to have: “It’s an opportunity to do my best to help empower women in the only way I know how: by writing a story about a woman from the woman’s point of view” (Schumer: 266). I am truly grateful for this. Not only is Amy Schumer’s The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo book hilarious but it makes any female who may see themselves as “different” feel really good about themselves. I know I did! While reading this book I felt like I’m not the only trashy character around town and that not being included in the perfect societal norm is actually a good thing! This is one of the many positive messages that I took out of this book. :)

            I loved this book! I really can’t say this enough. I loved this book! I felt like numerous times I was reading my life across the pages. Amy’s writing is real, raw, and truly relatable for many female readers. I would rate this book 5 stars out of 5 stars. At first I rated it only 4.75 stars rather than the full 5 stars based solely on the New Money ideology but the final chapter sold me making it 5 out of 5 stars again! I value her message to women on working hard for what you dream about. I became a total fan girl while reading this book, where I binged watched all of Season 1 and Season 2 of Inside Amy Schumer in less than a week. I can’t wait for my hold to come in for Season 3! I was however completely devastated to hear that her tour date for Amy Schumer Live at the Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday November 10th 2016 was postponed due to illness. But I am glad it has been rescheduled for February 18th 2017. HOPE YOU FEEL BETTER SOON AMY! My hold for Season 3 will have to keep me occupied until I get to see her comedic relief live in 2017! This is an excellent book and I recommend it to anyone who needs a good, trashy, laugh. Enjoy! I certainly did!

Picture by Thom Carroll - PhillyVoice (August 2016)

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