Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Unwifeable [review]


Unwifeable by Mandy Stadtmiller
Published by Gallery Books on April 3, 2018
my rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Goodreads avg:
3.78 (as of 2018-05-29)
cw: alcoholism, drug use, sex, kink, statutory rape, incest, animal death

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

From the popular, “candid and bold, tender and tough” (Cheryl Strayed) dating columnist for New York magazine and the New York Post comes a whirlwind and “gutsy” (Courtney Love) memoir recounting countless failed romances and blackout nights, told with Mandy Stadtmiller’s unflinching candor and brilliant wit.

My story is not unique. Single girl comes to New York; New York eats her alive. But what does stand out is my discovery that you can essentially live a life that appears to be a textbook manual for everything one can do wrong to find love—and still find Mr. Right.

Mandy Stadtmiller came to Manhattan in 2005, newly divorced, thirty years old, with a job at the New York Post, ready to conquer the city and the industry in one fell swoop. Like a “real-life Carrie Bradshaw” (so called by Jenny McCarthy), she proceeded to chronicle her fearless attempts for nearly a decade in the Post, New York magazine, and xoJane.

But underneath the glitz and glamour of her new life, there is a darker side threatening to surface. She goes through countless failed high-profile hookups in the New York comedy and writing scene. There are soon too many nights she can’t remember, and the blind spots start to add up. She begins to realize that falling in love won’t fix her—she needs to fix herself first.

Unwifeable is a New York fairytale brought to life—Sex and the City on acid. With hysterical insight, unabashed sexuality, and unprecedented levels of raw, honest pain, Unwifeable is a “blisteringly candid” (Sarah Hepola, New York Times bestselling author of Blackout) book that you can’t help but respond and relate to—perfect for fans of Amy Schumer and Chelsea Handler.

This was a really difficult read for me. It felt like rubbernecking, like witnessing someone else’s painful life-changing crash and not looking away even though you know you should. This memoir was unbelievably candidly honest, peeling back the layers none of us want to see. It was awkward and filled with secondhand embarrassment, it was graphic and showy, I had no idea how to feel about it and I honestly still don’t.

I never played games at all with men. Ever. Unless the game was to act like the kind of nightmare who hysterically cries at the drop of a hat and replies on a man for all manner of self-validation, self-worth, and approval to fill that giant gaping hole inside.

This memoir details Mandy’s life in New York City and her experiences with alcoholism — and addiction of all kinds. It details her relationships with men, most of which crash and burn. It’s hard for me to evaluate how to feel about this, because I know in general people tend to be much harder on women when it comes to being frank about raunchy behavior. The thing is, I just don’t love reading about raunchy behavior.

As an adult, I can have all the alcohol I want, anytime I want. Which, when you have no boundaries, is a dangerous combination.

It would feel more like someone’s life journey if it weren’t for the incessant name dropping. She lists maybe every celebrity she’s ever had an encounter with, and makes sure to emphasize the particularly unsavory encounters. This makes it feel more showy than anything else and it’s hard to take her accounts more seriously than a continued cry for attention. I don’t know Mandy and I’m not going to pretend to know anything about Mandy, but she talks a lot about how oversharing in her writing has done her so much harm in her past, and I guess it’s hard for me to understand how this isn’t just a continuation of that.

Is it fun? I don’t know. Is self-harm fun? You be the judge.

Regardless, this is a pretty worthwhile read. Mandy is an incredibly good writer, and it’s easy to cruise through this book — if you don’t have to keep putting it down every time a particularly embarrassing scene pops up. I think a lot of good topics are discussed, I just wish there had been more of an emphasis on recovery than detailing every dirty encounter she ever had.

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(Blurb courtesy of Goodreads.)

4 thoughts on “Unwifeable [review]”

  1. i don’t usually read memoirs and this doesn’t exactly look like a great place to start :<<<< dark books are hard enough, but dark books that are about someone's ACTUAL LIFE…………

    Liked by 1 person

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