Solutions and Other Problems

Solutions And Other Problems
Brosh, Allie
4 stars = Really Good

My first introduction to Allie Brosh's work—as I'm sure is the case for many—was the "all the things" meme. For those looking for more depth from these drawings, look no further than the humorous illustrated memoir, Solutions and Other Problems. I have never quite read a book like this. When I picked it up off the shelf, I was expecting a graphic novel, only to be surprised with big chunks of text between illustrations. Clearly, the best of both worlds here. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll be glad you read this book.

While it might be easy to discount the simple drawing style at first glance, many illustrations in this book prove to be quite exquisite. The stories themselves, which are not all silly or humorous, aid this distinction. Solutions and Other Problems subverted my expectations by being both hilarious and deeply profound. I've never read a book that had both a story about an obsessed kid stealing things from a neighbor's house and an examination of loss and depression. And yet, they both work in this context.

As these essays are deeply personal, I can say I don't particularly agree with some of the choices presented here. And that's fine. Everyone is different, and these are definitely the stories the author wanted to convey. I just don't want to endorse this book without providing the caveat that I probably wouldn't do things the way the author did them. Still, if you're going through some tough times, then perhaps this book will help break through to you with its humor while also comforting you with the idea that your feelings are valid and shared by other people.

The best half-graphic novel/half-memoir I've ever read, I give Solutions and Other Problems 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name
Benjamin W.