Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator and star Rachel Bloom delivers quirky wisdom and plentiful laughs via energetic, heartfelt entries about her show-business journey.
Bloom structures her book based on how she differs from "normal people." She was bullied for oversharing and for her "Chuck E. Cheese" fashion sense in school, and her OCD manifested when she tasted her poop at age 9. In relationships--recalled via a fairytale-style entry--she believed she deserved sexual harassment. A musical number, a Harry Potter fan fiction and a satirical casting call relay the high-octane craziness she found in drama club as well as her experiences with "asshole guys" in sketch comedy and the "pompous yet cripplingly insecure" straight men of musical theater. These agonies of love inspired the music video that laid the groundwork for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's creation. But the night before pitches, Bloom's obsessive thoughts resurfaced, triggering insomnia--a cycle that would repeat regularly over five years.
By deviating from a typical narrative--she includes childhood diary pages, erotic poems, an interview between her 13- and 23-year-old selves, a schedule detailing her bathroom breaks, and a fantasized travelogue about defeating Internet trolls--Bloom inserts readers directly into key life moments. As she discusses overcoming anxiety, imposter syndrome and misogyny, she balances serious topics with her signature twisted humor. Her story, infused with compassion and hilarious acidity, will resonate with fans and the unacquainted. I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are is a work of silly genius touting the upsides of eccentricity. --Samantha Zaboski, freelance editor and reviewer