Book Review: I Might Regret This by Abbi Jacobson

October 31, 2018

Edition: Grand Central Publishing Paperback
Release Date: October 30, 2018
Pages: 320
Genre: Memoir/Essays
Source: Received as an ARC from Hachette Australia
Links: Goodreads | Buy the book

From the co-creator and co-star of the hit series Broad City, a hilarious and poignant collection about love, loss, work, comedy, and figuring out who you really are when you thought you already knew.

When Abbi Jacobson announced to friends and acquaintances that she planned to drive across the country alone, she was met with lots of questions and opinions: Why wasn't she going with friends? Wouldn't it be incredibly lonely? The North route is better! Was it safe for a woman? The Southern route is the way to go! You should bring mace! And a common one... why? But Abbi had always found comfort in solitude, and needed space to step back and hit the reset button. As she spent time in each city and town on her way to Los Angeles, she mulled over the big questions-- What do I really want? What is the worst possible scenario in which I could run into my ex? How has the decision to wear my shirts tucked in been pivotal in my adulthood? In this collection of anecdotes, observations and reflections--all told in the sharp, wildly funny, and relatable voice that has endeared Abbi to critics and fans alike--readers will feel like they're in the passenger seat on a fun and, ultimately, inspiring journey. With some original illustrations by the author.
As an avid reader of celebrity memoirs and essays, I knew I had to get my hands on an early copy of ‘I Might Regret This’ by Abbi Jacobson. I definitely recognised her author photo on the back cover but I must shamefully confess that before reading her book two weeks ago, I had never watched a full episode of Broad City. I know, I know. Shame on me! Everybody loves Broad City and as I have discovered, with good reason. I’ve been intending to binge it for ages, knowing that it was totally up my alley, but for some reason or another it took reading the memoir of the show’s co-creator for me to finally get cracking! 

‘I Might Regret This’ was a lot different than I expected. I expected a post-breakup solo road trip around America to evoke far more epiphanies and confessions from Jacobson, but instead the reader is left with something seemingly more memorable – admirable vulnerability and surprising commonality with one of the wittiest and coolest female comedians of right now. Jacobson doesn’t set out to answer the world’s hardest questions, nor do her essays offer critiques or commentary on the world like one may expect. Instead, through varying mediums, Abbi Jacobson shares her small yet important realizations and cool memories from her time on the road. It’s an intimate look at her personal journey that you can’t help but feel a part of.  

In a totally not stalker-ey way, it’s kind of like you’re sitting in the backseat in solidarity, feeling the highs and lows of the trip with her. There are numerous times in the book where Abbi dedicates large portions discussing her anxieties and fears in an almost obsessive fashion. It went on for quite a while at some points and I was tempted to skim the pages but what these parts of the book make you realise is that even successful women who’ve seemingly already broken their own glass ceilings live in the same overwhelming and anxiety-inducing world that we do.  

Of course, Abbi Jacobson couldn’t write a book without talking about Broad City but the book is decidedly not about Broad City. I loved that she talks openly and bravely about first love and first heartache while finally coming into her sexuality. Having been so career focused, Jacobson like most single thirty-somethings told since birth that their value lies in their ability to get married, openly expresses her concerns over being ‘unlovable’ and potentially dying alone. I’m glad that she was so transparent about this because, in the age of the ‘girl-boss’, so many women are still told to choose between a successful career or a long-term relationship. It was sad that this is an issue in Abbi’s life but it was also empowering to see how she lives a fulfilling and rich life despite this. She proves that the work is to look inwards rather than outwards and to just enjoy the journey.  

Initially I was slightly disappointed by ‘I Might Regret This’ because I expected more. While it made for an easy read and will appeal to others, I was dissuaded at times by the lack of structure. It felt like a lot of things were jumping out at once only for the novel to end abruptly and without proving much. I liked it but I wasn't sure of the takeaway. In saying that, I have to admit that after watching Broad City and getting to know her character Abbi Abrams, I changed my mind a little bit. While it was different than I expected, seeing Abbi Jacobson act so extroverted and uninhibited on Broad City and then reflecting on how introverted and relatable she comes across in her book, gave me a greater appreciation for the candid look we get of her as an individual quite different from her on-screen persona. 

There are some really touching moments that readers will really respond to including when Abbi gets her aura read and like us expects some grand revelation (instead she gets more than she bargained for) or when she talks about her complicated relationship with her now deceased step-father. Those gems while fewer than I would have liked, are what keeps you engaged and rooting for her. By the end of the story you’ll feel inspired to jet off on your own cross-country self-discovery trip and if the Cheryl Strayed version seems far too demanding, then the Abbi Jacobson style will definitely be more appealing. 

WARNING: ‘I Might Regret This’ will only further the anguish you feel over not being friends with Abbi Abrams because now you’ll also want to be friends with the real Abbi Jacobson. Thankfully, for a moment it feels like you get to.  

‘I Might Regret This’ by Abbi Jacobson is out now.  

Disclaimer: Thank you Date A Book and Hachette Australia for my review copy! I received this novel from the publisher's for review, this has not affected or influenced my opinion in any way. Opinions are entirely my own.

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