You Deserve a Drink: Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery by Mamrie Hart
Published Plume 2015
Genre: Nonfiction Memoir
Format: Kindle ebook
The riotously funny debut from the drinking star with a YouTube problem
Since launching her YouTube channel “You Deserve a Drink” in 2011, comedian Mamrie Hart has built an intensely devoted following of more than half a million viewers. Like her bawdy and bacchanalian show, Hart’s eponymous debut pays tribute to her boozy misadventures with an original cocktail recipe accompanying each hilarious tale. From the “Leaves of Three Martini,” commemorating the hookup to whom she accidentally gave poison ivy, to the “Bizzargarita,” in honor of the time she and a friend were approached by two uber-Republican couples who wanted to “swing” while on vacation in Mexico, You Deserve a Drink is as useful as it is entertaining.
This is an extremely odd book to review, mostly because I don’t really no where to begin with my feelings about it. I haven’t been watching Mamrie that long, mostly because I don’t drink, but I love watching her friends, Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart. I’ve only recently subscribed to Mamrie and her videos are funny, but I don’t exactly think that I am her target audience. Nonetheless, I value her work on YouTube and her membership in the ‘Holy Trinity.’
Anyway, this book was nothing like I expected it would be. You Deserve a Drink is a collection of stories from Mamrie’s life, most of them happening while she was drunk and in college at the University of North Carolina. It was totally different from Grace’s book, which focused more on her experience in New York after college and the hustle it took for her to get involved with the comedy world. In fact, Mamrie’s story puts us even before that point in time. There are only quick glimpses of her life on YouTube, including a paragraph about how she met Grace Helbig and another about moving to New York. However, there aren’t many references or stories about her time on YouTube, stories from her experiences in early comedy, or how she met Hannah. I was looking for that in the book, and while I didn’t get that, I did like seeing her life earlier and knowing her outside of the Internet.
When Mamrie says that these are “boozy misadventures and tales of debauchery,” please realize that she means it – literally. Her stories are crazy and all over the place, including many stories I would never even consider doing. She’s the kind of person I think we all hear about in television shows and then assume would never possibly exist. And when we know they exist, it’s kind of scary that we share the world with them and kind of enthralling that people are embracing life in that type of way. Those are the exact two feelings I felt while reading this book, which I think was Mamrie’s goal. So I guess – good job.
I also have to give this book major props for being well written. It’s funny, filled with stupid puns and references, and contains the same type of humor that Mamrie is known for. She shares her experiences with well formed writing, and although her stories are all over the place, her writing is not. I think that it’s probably the best written book I’ve read by a YouTuber so far. While I haven’t read many, I think it’s a bar that has been set very high for the ones I will pick up in the future. I’m still very split on how I feel about YouTubers writing books, but I think that if they continue to be like this one, I wouldn’t mind more.
Overall, I really enjoyed this. It was crazy to follow Mamrie throughout some of her most wild moments and get a feel for the lifestyle that someone who runs a show on the Internet called You Deserve a Drink really has. But, don’t be fooled by the title and the drunken happenings. It’s a well written story with a real meaning.