It's not the best idea to read while you walk through downtown Manhattan at rush hour, but Melissa Broder's new book, So Sad Today , is so good that I literally couldn't put it down. This is the kind of book in which you'll dog-ear and highlight every page. I already know I'm going to go back to it again and again.
You may know Broder from her Twitter account @SoSadToday. So Sad Today began when Broder, as an outlet for her depression, began anonymously tweeting her feelings. Sometimes the tweets are funny, sometimes they're dark, often times they're both. Much to her surprise, so many people identified with Broder, that she gathered an enormous following (currently, @sosadtoday has 325K followers).
Now, Broder has written a book of essays that, as Roxane Gay says in her blurb, "reveal so much about what it is to live in this world right now." This book is filled with essays with titles like, "Hello 911, I Can't Stop Time," "Never Getting Over the Fantasy of You is Going Okay," and "Honk If There's a Committee Inside Your Head Trying to Kill You." So Sad Today tackles a wide range of topics: anxiety, depression, self-esteem, love, romance, the internet, feminism, and more.
This is a book that will speak to you in all the best ways. Here are a few of the many reasons why everyone should give it a read.
1. Broder makes you feel like you are not alone.
Really, you don't have to be a woman to identify with So Sad Today. No matter who you are, you'll find something to relate to in this book. There are tons of moments where I felt like Broder had plucked out the deepest parts of my self-esteem and put them right on the page. It feels amazing to realize that you are not the only person struggling.
2. She gives clear and realistic depictions of what it's like to live with anxiety and depression.
So much about this book is about Broder's experience with depression and anxiety. From the daily ways in which depression affects her to her intense periods of struggle, she is astoundingly articulate about her experience. People who have depression/anxiety will certainly relate, and people who don't will get a great look into Broder's mind.
3. You'll be laughing the whole way through.
Broder takes you in as a confidant, and she'll have you laughing the whole way through. Broder's observations are smart, frank, and hilariously on-point. Like a good stand-up routine, this book has you laughing about things that are familiar from your own life.
4. She doesn't shy away from tough questions.
Broder is fantastic at walking that line between humor and poignancy. From her anxiety to her struggles with medication to her husband's chronic illness, nothing is off the table.
5. From sexting to her open marriage, her sex-positive lifestyle is refreshing to explore.
As Broder pulls back the curtains on her love life, you'll be cheering right along with her. She tells you about sexting. She tells you about her vomit fetish. She's great at discussing things that many people experience but don't usually talk about. Plus, with the literary canon severely lacking in bisexual and poly voices, it's great to hear Broder write candidly about her identity.
6. She brings a voice to the cognitive dissonance of today's world.
So many times, Broder admits to knowing that she shouldn't do something — either because it's not feminist or not good for her or not morally right — but she does it anyway. (I think we can all relate to that.) For example, she stills sexts with people whose name she has changed in her contacts to a toilet emoji.
7. Her writing is wonderfully unique.
Broder is a poet, so it's hardly surprising that she possesses magnificent control of language. (Check out her collections Meat Heart, SCARECRONE, and When You Say One Thing But Mean Your Mother , among others.) Broder's prose has a style completely her own. She uses colloquialisms brilliantly. She constantly plays with form and communication; for instance, she gives you the transcript of a Google Hangout with her higher self. Fun fact: At her NYC book launch, Broder revealed that she started writing the book by dictating it while she drove.
Images: Giphy.com (7); Melissa Ragsdale