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Well, I did it. I am so insanely proud of myself. I made it through this entire book. This is actually one of the few books that I don't think I would have regretted not finishing, but I have this irritating need to finish what I start.
This book hands-down wins the award of Absolutely Worst Book I Read in 2018. This is pretty impressive since I read over 180 books this year (humble brag intended).
Basically, the book is a science textbook written in the form of a woman's magazine. It includes quizzes and fashion advice meant to poke at your self-esteem. In this way, it did what it set out to do. However, it was so boring and really didn't have any science information. Most of the time Amram wrote a sentence about science (that was sometimes incorrect), then went off on a tangent of a joke that wasn't even funny or entertaining to read. I completely understand that this is meant to be a parody of a women's magazine, but the true marker of success for any parody is that it makes you think while keeping you entertained. This one just worked off blatant stereotypes and misconceptions to make sad, offensive jokes that weren't even funny. They weren't even the kind of jokes that you rationally know are offensive and bad but you can't help laughing at. They were stupid and boring and made my feel dumber of reading them.
This book is utterly horrible. I understand that it is meant to be sarcastic and offensive in order to be funny and make a point about the society were live in, but I think it kind of missed its own point. It. Is. Not. Funny. Yes, there are a few one liners that are a little funny like making the argument for why women shouldn't get jobs because, "It's Steve Jobs, not Eve Jobs." That was honestly probably the best joke in the book. But for the most part, the jokes don't even make you crack a smile or cock an eyebrow in amusement. You just continue to stare dull-eyed at the page waiting for it to get better.
For many of the sections, Amram would start off with a good idea, but then drill into into the ground, effectively killing the joke and burying it in its own failure. At one point, Amram gives a tutorial for How to Build a Biological Clock Out of a Potato. I thought the idea was funny and was excited to read on. But the tutorial turned into a long-winded, boring tirade about how horrible female drivers are and how they should just let men do everything. That's pretty much the whole book. She takes something a little clever or funny and then expands on it so much that it is no longer entertaining or insightful.
I'm giving the book the benefit of the doubt that everything is sarcastic and written in jest, but there are some things that are just never funny. At one point, Amram includes a "Sad Lib" in which you can write your own suicide note in mad-lib fashion. Are you kidding me? Suicide is not a joke. I don't want to be the person who knows-someone-who-completed-or-attempted-suicide-and-therefore-takes-it-really-seriously, but that's exactly who I am. It's just not funny.
This goes for most of the big topics like rape being the victim's fault, domestic abuse, and becoming a serial killer (? what the actual f??). There are also a ton of jokes about fat women being gross and unattractive. I understand it's supposed to be a joke derived from women's magazines, but it's not funny. Saying all fat women should join a fundamentalist religion so they cover up as much as possible is just mean and stupid. There is so much body shaming in this book (I get it, it's supposed to be satirical of a woman's magazine, but come on, give me some higher level humor here).
I am really glad I got this from the library instead of buying it. It took me 5 days to read this book, but honestly it felt like much longer. The whole thing really dragged on. Just weird, stupid, and offensive. I really liked the idea of a science book written to parody a women's magazine, but I was hoping for something actually science-y and empowering. Clearly my expectations were too high.
Do not recommend. Please, please, please, read anything else: the back of shampoo containers, the instructions of your space heater, clothing tags, anything but this. Don't be drawn in by the silly puns on the cover. The rest of the book is not as clever.