You know those books that you know you're going to read by the cover alone? Yeah, ONE IN A MILLENNIAL: ON FRIENDSHIPS, FEELINGS, FANGIRLS, AND FITTING IN by Kate Kennedy was one of those books for me. It's primarily pink, with a CD-R that looks like every mix CD I've ever made: all the flowers, squiggles, and hearts around the books' subtitle (and the mix CD's "title"). The handwriting on the CD is even that trademark early 2000s girl handwriting that we all would've died to perfect ourselves.
Kate Kennedy is the host of the Be There In Five podcast, which came about hilariously after Kate's success making doormats of all things. (Kate is all of us with her hair straightener, and made herself a "did you turn off your hair straightener?" rug for her front door, went viral, and turned it into a thriving business.) In her latest book, ONE IN A MILLENNIAL: ON FRIENDSHIPS, FEELINGS, FANGIRLS, AND FITTING IN, Kate walks us through the 90s and early aughts through the lens of a millennial fangirl--so, of course, it's one of the most relatable experiences for all millennial fangirls. Alongside Kate, we walk through the eras of boy bands and the Spice Girls, the trauma of growing up in the age of purity culture, the pressure that came with AIM (you had to have the perfect away message to get that boy's attention, DUH!), American Girl dolls, how our ideas of, and about, feminism have changed as we've grown, and so much more. At one point, she talks about 90s girl sleepovers and the nostalgia and deep desire to get just one more of those hit me like a train.
I enjoyed this book overall. There were so many points that were so relatable that I felt like Kate had somehow found, and (*gasp*) unlocked my Password Journal (IYKYK) because the experiences that she shares are so universal for women who grew up in the 90s and early aughts. There were points that had me in tears over the way that millennials have also been failed by generations before us: how we were drilled nearly from birth that college was the only way to pave the way to a successful future, only to be left with tens (and sometimes hundreds) of thousands of dollars in debt to show for it.
Kate writes in a way that feels conversational: you feel like your high school best friend is just telling you a story. She talks fast, both in the physical and audio versions) and from a nearly life-long Gilmore Girls lover, I was totally here for it. For the audio version, it felt almost like listening to a podcast, which I'm sure was Kate's plan. Each chapter is broken down into what could be a scripted podcast episode, with fun asides and side notes that derail things in the most fun way.
The only downside was that sometimes, Kate's verbiage got a bit repetitive. I jokingly thought that if I heard her say "zeitgeist" one more time, I was going to start a drinking game...then before I could finish the thought, she'd say "zeitgeist" again. She also occasionally got a bit long-winded, at times making her essays feel more like essays and less like the fun trip down memory lane/evaluation of the average millennial woman's experience. I also read that Kate doesn't consider this a memoir, but I would absolutely classify it as a memoir--not that that genuinely matters.
Overall, I really enjoyed ONE IN A MILLENNIAL: ON FRIENDSHIPS, FEELINGS, FANGIRLS, AND FITTING IN and urge all millennial women to read it. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to plan a sleepover with all your besties.
Love and the cross contamination of Kid Cuisine corn touching Kid Cuisine pudding,
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book, as well as a copy of the audiobook, from the publisher via NetGalley and have voluntarily written this review with my honest feedback. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop.org affiliate link above, I will receive a small commission and you'll support local indies! If you purchase a copy using my Amazon affiliate link above, I will receive a small commission which I will use to justify my literary addictions and to spoil my dogs (probably).