Book Review / Don't Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood
Alida Nugent

Alida Nugent, of The Frenemy blog fame, has brought her witty snark to the book world with her debut. The book—a collection of short essays on twenty-something life—has fine writing and some genuinely funny lines, but I was initially put off by the subject matter. Nugent spends much of the book bragging about failed attempts at maturity, seems to revel in her emotional and financial instability, and spends too much time discussing how best to drink in front of your parents—all with a self-awareness that seems like an insincere exaggeration of her flaws. It Gets Worse isn’t all cutesy catastrophe, though. Towards the end of the book, Nugent lessens the tongue-in-cheek act and seems to grow up in front of our eyes. She starts to write about panic attacks and weight issues, more sensitive topics than I had expected from those earlier, more hyper essays, and she handles them with a certain amount of honesty and level-headedness. There’s also an essay on feeling both lost and at home in New York City which, while not terribly original, is touching and relatable. It is in these subjects where the author sheds that aren’t I an adorable mess? kind of attitude, and where the book becomes most affecting. Perhaps Nugent’s collection should be called Stick with It, It Gets Better—her life might not, but the book definitely does.