Are You There, Vodka?  It's Me, Chelsea

Author:  Chelsea Handler

Published By: Simon Spotlight Entertainment

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            My friends are crazy…well, I’m sure they say the same about me.  We’ve had quite a few interesting adventures together and they know I love to laugh.  So, when I received Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler from one of my friends for my birthday, I just had to laugh…and then I had to read it.

            Chelsea Handler is a stand-up comic who eventually became a talk show host, a star of her own show on E! and a bestselling authorAre You There Vodka? is her second foray into writing and I love the title of this book.  When I was younger, I read the Judy Blume book, Are You There, God? It’s Me Margaret.  Being from the same era, I imagine that this book was just what Handler was thinking of when coming up with a spoof title for her new project.  In the Judy Blume book, Margaret is a teenage girl struggling with the path to womanhood and her religious identity.  She would appeal to God for answers to really tough teenage questions about life.  In Chelsea Handler’s book, those tough questions of life are answered by appealing to Chelsea’s higher power - vodka.

            I couldn’t help but laugh out loud while reading this book.  It begins with Chelsea trying to appear cool to the other kids in her school.  Peer pressure can be tough in third grade, so Chelsea decides to convince people in her class that she has been selected to portray Goldie Hawn’s daughter in the non-existent sequel to Private Benjamin.  Apparently, Chelsea is really good at stretching the truth and her talent gets better with age.  By the age of twelve, she is convincing people that she is a teenager, old enough to babysit other kids.  She soon finds herself babysitting kids who are older than she is…and a bit more insane.

            And that’s not the only trouble her stretching of the truth gets her in.  A routine traffic stop leads to a DUI charge and an arrest for identity theft (she had been using her sister’s ID to get into local bars).  Her stint in the clink is absolutely hilarious as she attempts to interact with the inmates and then decides this may not be a good idea.  Later, a dog-sitting stint leads to some surprising revelations about her boyfriend and his affinity for Peekapoos.  And going anywhere with Chelsea’s father is bound to get Chelsea into some very awkward situations.

            Now, I should warn folks that this book is not without some profanity or extremely adult situations.  If you can handle that…or are actively seeking this sort of thing…this book is a lot of fun.  I laughed my way through every chapter and was actually surprised when I got to the end.  I had a great time reading Are You There, Vodka?  It’s Me, Chelsea, a book that was just what the doctor ordered to make me laugh on my birthday.


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