I’m terrible. I read this weeks ago and meant to review it right away, but then I had to read a bunch of other library books before they were overdue, otherwise they send the library secret police after you or the books turn into pumpkins or something. Apologies to Why Moms are Weird, because I have a feeling this review isn’t going to do it justice.
Why Moms are Weird is by internet sensation Pamela Ribon. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Ribon, she is a blogger who used to work for Television Without Pity, which I discovered through Damn Hell Ass Kings, which was home to the first bloggers I ever read, of which Ribon is one. I apologize for that sentence. I suppose I could go back and edit it but NOPE moving on. Pamela Ribon, along with being a famous blogger and one of the founding members of TWoP and DHAK, is a television writer and novelist and, you know, more importantly she also created one of my favorite terms of all time, “wonder killer.”
I read her first novel, Why Girls are Weird, back when it first came out (TEN YEARS AGO FUCK I’M OLD) and, though I haven’t read it in years, it has stuck in my brain in a way that so many other novels just don’t do. I’m sure part of this is because I read it so many times, another part of it is because John Cusack plays an important role, but the most important part is that it’s fucking awesome.
I was sure that I wasn’t going to like Why Moms are Weird as much as I liked Why Girls are Weird (I say liked because, while I want to reread it, I’m a bit afraid to in case my advanced age means I’ll now hate it, see also: Garden State) and I was right, but I still really enjoyed it. Why Moms are Weird is a different animal than Why Girls are Weird. It focuses on a woman named Benny who has purposefully moved far, far away from her overbearing mother and irresponsible sister, not because she doesn’t love them, but because did you not see the overbearing and the irresponsible?
However, when her mother is in an accident, Benny travels across the country to be with her family. She finds the house in disarray and, in the process of organizing and cleaning it, she not only learns to better understand her mother and sister, she learns to better understand herself. I realize that I typed the most cliche sentence ever just now but don’t hold it against this book, OK?
The thing that struck me about this novel is that it could very easily be labeled chick lit (though…just don’t or I’ll kick you), but the most important relationships in it are not the ones Benny has with any of her man friends. That’s not to say those relationships aren’t important, but the real love story here is between Benny and her family. Her wonderful, infuriating, weird family. And there just aren’t enough novels like that.
Next up: Going in Circles, also by Ribon (I pretty much checked out all the Pamela Ribon books the library had, FYI).