I don't even remember how I came across this book, but somehow it made its way to my Amazon Wish List and when the Kindle version went on sale last month, I took a chance on it.
I'm so glad that I did.
Kelly Oxford is absolutely hilarious. I hadn't heard of her prior to this book, which naturally means that I reside under a rock. I looked her up and she has a huge twitter and blog following. I joined her minions to get a daily dose of funny while awaiting the follow-up to her first book, Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar.
Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar is Oxford's compilation of non-fiction shorts spanning her childhood in Canada to her present, as married woman with three children. I connected with Oxford immediately, with her first story, Queen of the World or Something. In this first story Oxford recalls her attempt to put on a theatrical version of Star Wars (Stage adaptation written by Oxford) with the kids at her elementary school. Her story was as painfully awkward as it was hilarious.
In that first story of her book, I realized that Oxford was writing about my childhood too. I was that kid who had big aspirations, boundless creative energy and a need to boss everyone around. It was my way or the highway and things often did not work out as I had planned. If we had attended the same school, Oxford and I would have either joined forces and ruled the playground or we would have imploded. There would have been no middle ground.
Though reading Oxford stories, I went on my own trip down memory lane, thinking of my own uncomfortable childhood moments. Time has given me the perspective necessary to laugh at the child that I was and to see how it has shaped me into the adult that I am. It's all good! I liked this quality in Oxford's writing, her ability to reach out to me as a reader and to make that connection. Her book has more substance than just a humourous set of stories for pure entertainment value. On a fun note, Oxford gave me a feeling of nostalgia for products and pop culture from the 80's/90's that she peppers throughout her stories.
Readers of my blog will find it funny that she wrote a whole chapter about a trip to Vegas that she took as a guest of magician David Copperfield, who is a fan of hers. I read this book just a week too late. I can't escape Copperfield!!!! I still don't know what to think of him.
I enjoyed this book so much, that I finished it during a day trip to Santa Barbara. I ignored the beautiful views of the ocean and ignored my family while having drinks at a wine bar. I couldn't put it down.
Outrageous, funny and often poignant, Everything is Perfect When You're a Liar is a must-read and Oxford is an author to put on your radar.