Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride by Lucy Knisley

5/5 Stars
Genre: Nonfiction/Graphic Memoir
Release Date: May, 2016
Source: BookCon2016 – Bought

This is a graphic memoir written about Knisley’s experiences with engagement and, ultimately, with what it was like to be a bride and plan a wedding in modern-day American society. She doesn’t hold back in telling her readers her mishaps, experiences, and exactly what she thought of the whole experience. This is a wonderfully honest memoir that is sure to be a hit with any memoir lover.

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First things first, I was slightly worried I wasn’t going to enjoy this book because I’m not big on weddings (or relationships in general) and honestly don’t really ever plan on getting married, but this was a charming book that I ended up absolutely loving.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to able to connect with the topics in this book, but I found myself eager to read more of what Knisley had to say. Not only is this a fun book about a cynic-turned-bride, it’s a fantastic feminist text that delves deeply into the standards and expectations of marriage and how to understand them and break free of them.

This is not one of those books that is “I’m going to shove my beliefs down your throat.” Instead, this a text where Knisley says I acknowledge and respect your choices and decisions, but here is what I’m choosing, and both of them are okay. (Which, is, you know, basically the definition of feminism. *Include fist air bump here*)

Now that I’ve said that, I so enjoyed reading about Knisley’s experience. As I said, as someone who never plans on being a bride (but then again, Knisley didn’t either…) I didn’t know if I’d be able to relate to the text. I was worried there would be a barrier. I’m incredibly happy there wasn’t because I was excited to read this, especially after meeting Knisley at BookCon2016 and getting this copy signed. (P.S. She was every bit as lovely in person as I imagined she would be!) (P.P.S. Meeting her has not swayed my opinion of this book. This is how I really did feel about the text.)

My favorite aspect of this text was Knisley talking about the patriarchal expectations of marriage, rejecting them, and then finding a way to rebuild them and make them something all her own. I was familiar with many of the traditions she mentioned, but was glad to learn more about them and how they arose. So, on top of being a super fun read, it’s also an educational one.

And, when I say fun read, I mean itThis book had so much humor in it! I laughed out loud so many times! Plus, Knisley has shown her readers a great deal of her nerdy side, which didn’t come across so much in her other books (in my opinion). My favorite 2 pages in the text were her illustrated theme weddings. There was an X Files one, and, well, that would have been a pretty rad wedding to be honest.

I also loved all the tips and tricks that Knisley included. So, on top of everything else, this text also functions as a guide for helping plan a wedding. I didn’t mind that these were included and found them fun and interesting to read about, regardless of my own life choices and views. I honestly think this could definitely help someone trying to plan a low budget, yet lovely wedding.

Ahhhh, there’s so much more I want to say about this text, but I don’t want this post to be forever long. Plus, it would just be more of me gushing over how lovely this author is.

There is one more thing I want to talk about before I wrap this review up. I read another review of this book and the writer said some cruel words that I wanted to address. I read a really good quote the other day, and I couldn’t help but think of it in relation to this situation.

“Whatever an author puts between the two covers of his book is public property; whatever of himself he does not put there is his private property, as much as if he had never written a word.”

This reviewer chose to attack Knisley for not laying bare her life between the pages, saying that Knisley skirted over issues of mental illness and potentially unhealthy relationships that should have been included. However, nothing should have been included unless Knisley wanted to write about it. This is a story about how happy her wedding made her, not about the trials and tribulations of her life and the lives of those around her. We are so used to having information fed to us so easily that I think we often forget nobody owes us anything. There are plenty of books about overcoming mental illness and similar struggles, but this is not one of them, and it is not fair for us to expect that of this book.

I am not attacking this fellow reviewer, I just feel like it’s good to often take moments and remind ourselves that it is not our place to expect things from nonfiction–especially memoirs–the same way we expect things from fiction. Let us work hard to not attack someone for not sharing what we think they should and instead enjoy what they are so kindly willing to share.

Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled programming then.

I just want to take a moment at the end of this review to say how ecstatic I am for Knisley. She seems to have found someone who makes her so happy, and that is rare. I wish them all the best, truly. (And I love keeping up with her new adventures on Instagram!)

Do you recommend this book? Of course I do! Even if weddings aren’t really your thing, I can assure you this is more of a fun memoir that happens to be about weddings. Honestly, if you’re nerdy, love a good laugh, and enjoy wonderful artwork, pick this up.

Book Depository – $12.19


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