Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig
~reviewed by Jan
Do you want to improve your life but are intimidated by some of those self-help titles that promise you to “dare greatly”? Look, it’s a good day when I decide to put on pants; let’s not fly too close to the sun, okay?
Grace Helbig does not presume that you have it all together. But she’s so good at pretending that she does –Helbig has nearly perfected the art of the top-half makeover: preparing the top half of her person to appear in frame for her various YouTube shows, while encasing the bottom half that does not appear on camera in a protective layer of sweatpants– and she’s here to help us pretend that we’re actual grown ups.
Helbig’s Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending To Be A Grown-Up offers tips and advice for various adult situations you may find yourself navigating: from job interviews to party hosting to doing the walk of shame to getting over a hangover. Helbig actually surprised me with real, practical advice: “There’s a YouTube tutorial for that” (seriously, nothing impresses people more than being able to find useful information and real world answers for yourself. Librarians are impressive examples of this–and they are smart). Helbig even packages her advice in neat memory-saving acronyms like, “WORK POOT” and “FIST BISCUIT.” Helpful! Much of her advice begins with, “Decide to do [The Thing],” which is what I, personally, always need encouragement on. And much of her advice ends with, “Dance,” which I need zero encouragement on, but will always take that suggestion anyway, thank you very much.
Even if you’ve never heard of Grace Helbig before–you’ll still want this book. She is one of the most influential people on YouTube: a member of what her fans call “YouTube’s Holy Trinity”–Helbig, Hannah Hart of My Drunk Kitchen and Mamrie Hart (no relation) of You Deserve A Drink (these gals are seriously funny). The first of Helbig’s videos I ever saw was “How To Survive the Apocalypse” (on DailyGrace, Helbig’s show featured on MyDamnChannel). In the video, Helbig stood in her nearly empty apartment (she was moving at the time) in a giant parka (they turned the heat off?) and asked her viewers, “Why the f*** do you wanna do that?” (Answer: it was a few days before December 21, 2012.) Now if you don’t want to read a self-help book from a woman who advises you to give up in the face of the Mayan apocalypse, I don’t know what to tell you.
Helbig has gone on to create her own channel, ItsGrace; to host several YouTube shows including Grace’s Faces (where she ambushes her friends with makeovers then goes through their stuff while they are preoccupied) and Hey USA (with co-host Mamrie Hart); to co-host the 2014 Streamys (with Hannah Hart), to appear on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls; star in a feature-length film Camp Takota and launch a podcast Not Too Deep (both available on iTunes); and publish this book! Wow! (Again, I’d like to remind readers about my unresolved issues with wearing pants).
Grace’s Guide reads just like Helbig’s YouTube videos: filled with not-too-hard, actually helpful advice, and with Helbig’s unique brand of self-deprecating humor–all of which has made her one of the most relatable people on the Internet today. She’s hit a magic formula that her nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers understand: Helbig is not inspirational, she isn’t glamorous, she isn’t here to change our lives. She’s probably here to drink and make fart jokes about every song on Miley Cyrus’s new album. She’s here to make us laugh, whether it’s at a shared joke, at ourselves, or, more likely, at her. Because laughter is one of the easiest ways to improve ourselves.
Makes a great gift for yourself (congratulations on putting on those pants!) or the person you’re trying to free from codependency–because now that you’re wearing those pants, you’ve got your own life to live!
Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-Up by Grace Helbig is now available on our shelves and via bookpeople.com!