At first, I wasn’t sure if I should review Life Will Be the Death of Me… And You Too! because I didn’t exactly “read” it. I listened to it. Chelsea Handler’s newest book is, in fact, the first audiobook I ever listened to. I’ve always thought listening to an audiobook was a lazy way to go through books. And I kind of still think it is (sorry if you love them). But I think an exception could be made for memoirs. When I saw that the book was narrated by Chelsea herself, I instantly knew I had to listen to it in order to live the full experience. I just adore Chelsea Handler. I loved her Netflix shows and I enjoy her Instagram stories way too much… I mean, how cute are Bert and Bernice? (If you know, you know.) But, and I didn’t think this was possible, after reading – sorry, listening – to this autobiography, I love her even more.
In this book, Chelsea lets the reader in and catalogues her therapy sessions. With the help of her therapist, she tries to understand where her anger stems from and what events could have made her into the woman she is. Chelsea goes deeper than I ever thought she would. She goes way back, to her childhood, and relives her older brother’s death. With the help of her therapist, she acknowledges how her life has shifted after this event and how it has shaped her in ways she wasn’t aware of. She also talks about her parents’ deaths, her privilege’s impact on her career, her devotion to her rescued chow chows and her relationship with her sisters and brothers.
What I loved the most about this memoir was how raw and honest it was. This is even truer when you listen to it, because you can hear the emotion in Chelsea’s voice whenever she talks about her family. Many times, you can hear her voice shake as she tries to hold back tears. Often, I found myself getting teary while listening to her. She even made me full on cry in the bus on my way to work! It’s not that the book is sad, if you know Chelsea Handler, you know it’s also incredibly funny. One second you’re bursting into tears and the next you can’t help but laugh. There’s no in-between. This book is just full of raw emotions.
Everything with me had always been black and white. Life or death, I wanted more gray. I wanted to learn how to forgive.”
Chelsea’s open about therapy and doesn’t try to sugar coat the process or make herself look good. If anything, some passages can feel a bit self-deprecating. But it makes her very relatable, even though at first glance she shouldn’t be. After all, the book starts with how she has to ask her assistants to turn on her TV for her… Not very down-to-earth, I know. This is what makes her process so interesting though. She is aware of her privilege and wants to change. She plans on learning more about herself but, most of all, she wants to develop empathy and learn about others, too. I think it’s important for celebrities whom people look up to to be open about therapy. Mental health is so important, but it’s still a subject people tend to avoid. I hope more and more authors are open about it as I think it could help a lot of people.
For the record, I would like to state that never in the history of humankind has a woman been told to calm down and then calmed down. We don’t like that”
In all, I can’t recommend this book enough. If you love memoirs, sarcasm, and dogs, you’ll absolutely love this! Although I still prefer reading tangible books, I suggest you listen to Chelsea’s audiobook. It’s even more touching when you hear her voice. I can’t wait to see what the new Chelsea has in store for us next. (And I kind of think I need to see a therapist now… Oh, well.)