Book Review: Something New by Lucy Knisley

Wednesday, June 22, 2016
I love reading. Books are amazing. They are a form of escapism, yes, but they are also inspiration, joy, and... well. Goodness. I think in some ways I have used my appetite for reading to define parts of my personality, so it made sense for me to review some of what I read! Here we go...

Title: Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride
Author: Lucy Knisley
Publication Date: May 3rd 2016 from First Second Books

Synopsis: "When Lucy Knisley and her boyfriend John broke up, Lucy wondered if she would ever find love again. Three years later, she did - when John returned to New York, walked back into Lucy's life, and proposed.

This is not that story. It is the story of the "happily ever aftermath" - the wedding.

In this hilarious and moving new memoir, Knisley - a working artist skeptical of the very institution of marriage - rolls up her sleeves and gets to work putting her personal artistic stamp on a tradition almost as old as humanity itself. From the venue (building a barn) to the reception (constructing a photo booth) to her wedding dress (sewing her own veil), Knisely channels her artist's ingenuity into every element of the wedding planning process, finally emerging from the creative chaos to stand, certain and joyful, at the altar with the man she loves."

My thoughts: I feel like I have repeated my love of Lucy Knisley over and over, and this review is probably not going to be any different. Flipping back through the book now - almost three weeks after I finished it - I find myself once again falling in love with Knisley's openness, her sense of humour, and her ability to really connect with her reader whilst also trying to express herself well. It really is quite a wonderful talent.

This book continues her 'series' of sorts where she writes about her life and each event in a kind of episodic way - her next book, which I am definitely super excited for whenever it comes out, is going to be about her experience being pregnant and then having a baby - this one is about her wedding.

For those of you that don't know, I actually got married myself back in March. The planning of that wedding was pretty heavy-going for me and I ended up pretty darn stressed. I think, with that personal experience firmly at the front of my mind, reading about Lucy's handmade touches really made me wistful for what else I would have liked to have done for my own wedding (not to say my wedding wasn't wonderful, just saying that I, too, am kind of skeptical about weddings and marriage, and I wanted to put my own personality into as much as I could). I am in awe of some of the things Lucy manages, and I think, had I read this book while planning my own wedding, I would have been equal parts impressed/inspired, and absolutely overwhelmed.

I loved that Lucy shows how weddings seems to impact everyone around you, and how some people really want to band together to make your wedding day the best one for you and your partner, and others really only have tradition and/or their own desires in mind when they offer their help. Knisley manages to show the wonderful bits and also the really tough bits (example: her journey to find a simple wedding dress is something to behold), without making it the book seem like a crusade against typical weddings - just a crusade for the one that is right for her.

As always, her art style is vibrant and wonderful, and she tells stories so beautifully. I loved everything about this book - I am even thinking about buying copies for some of my friends that are planning their own weddings now. I continue to fall deeper and deeper in love with Lucy Knisley's work.

[I received a review copy of this book from First Second Books. Thank you!!]

A favourite line from the book:
[scan found on Beth Fish Reads blog, all image rights belong to Lucy Knisley/First Second books.]

You would like this book if: you have liked Knisley's previous works; you enjoy reading about people planning weddings and trying to put their own touch on them.

Tea to drink while reading this book: something deeply calming - to avoid getting stressed, or perhaps something sweet like wedding cake. Perhaps Love tea from Lemon Canary?

Rating:  10/10

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