|Hollow future or vapid present?|
THE NEW ME is touted as darkly hilarious and devastating. Not particularly funny, although Halle Butler's voice carries a hint of humour. As if you're spending time with a friend possessed of a dry wit and a masterful eye-roll.
Trapped in the funhouse of American consumer culture? Didn't get that bit at all, at all. Who writes the cover copy? Did they even read the book?
As best as I cal determine, thirty-year-old Millie is one of the many millenials who went to university and obtained a worthless degree that leaves them as unmarketable as the average secondary school graduate. She works for a temp agency and feels as if she is entitled to live in an expensive city like Chicago even though she doesn't earn enough money to pay her own rent. The parents help her along, perhaps to keep her from moving back home and bringing her whingeing with her.
Most of the book is more of a "woe is me" sort of thing, the weight of the world on her shoulders and an absence of understanding in her skull. Millie is the girl you don't want to talk to at a party.
As for a realization that her vision for her future is hollow, let us say that her vision is more an unrealistic cloud of a dream.
Yet I do know people like Millie, the head-in-the-clouds dreamers who think that dreaming is enough to achieve the goal, like landing a lucrative job and sailing away on a solid career path. it's all the hard work and sacrifice that spoils the fun of living in the big city with a very high cost of living. There's a reason why we are advised to not envy our neighbors' goods. Just leads to depression, which Millie has in abundance.
I finished the book. It was only the author's voice that kept things interesting.