Book Title:
This is Really Happening
Book Author:
Erin Chack
Page Count:
Publishing Date:
April 25th, 2017
Date Read:
April 13th, 2017
ARC from publisher - Thank you!


BuzzFeed senior writer Erin Chack provides a collection of personal essays for the Snapchat generation.

Erin recounts everything from meeting her soulmate at age 14 to her first chemotherapy session at age 19 to what really goes on behind the scenes at a major Internet media company.

She authentically captures the agony and the ecstasy of the millennial experience, whether it's her first kiss ("Sean's tongue! In my mouth! Slippery and wet like a slug in the rain.") or her struggles with anxiety ("When people throw caution to the wind, I am stuck imagining the poor soul who has to break his back sweeping caution into a dustpan").

Yet Erin also offers a fresh perspective on universal themes of resilience and love as she writes about surviving cancer, including learning of her mother's own cancer diagnosis within the same year, and her attempts to hide the diagnosis from friends to avoid "un-normaling" everything.

My Review

This is Really Happening is a heartbreaking, witty, and fun collection of essays from Buzzfeed writer Erin Chack – stories that will both make you sad and brighten your day, both make you cry and make you laugh. 

There are quite a few stories in here that cover a broad range of events that have made up the author’s life over the years, from Erin meeting the love of her life as a fourteen year old girl (and dealing with some pretty awkward conversations), to her cancer diagnosis when she was only nineteen (and the difficult moments that she had to deal with while telling her friends), and the trip that she, her boyfriend, and their friend took across the country where they had an unfortunate encounter with a bear.  Throughout all of these stories, Erin retains her sense of humor and allows readers to come along for the ride.

Out of all the stories in this essay collection, I laughed the hardest in the story about Erin and her menstrual cup adventures, because honestly – that’s probably something that would happen to me and I feel like I could totally relate to it.  The way she writes made every single story in the collection engaging, enjoyable, and and quite cringe-worthy at times, and at other times simply heartbreaking.  I love how every story that she writes is warm in tone, making readers feel like they’re her friend and she’s just talking to them over a cup of coffee in a favorite diner. 

After reading this collection (which I flew through and couldn’t put down – I finished it in a single sitting one night – maybe I stayed up until 4 in the morning to read it – whoops), I honestly felt like I got to know Erin and her personality, and I have to say that after reading this book, I can tell that she’s a pretty nifty person.

I don’t read much in terms of essay collections, non-fiction, or memoirs, but this is one that I’m super glad I didn’t miss out on.  If you are like me and don’t read much in these categories either, still pick this one up and give it a read, especially if you need to read something that’s going to have you laughing.

The relationship between Erin and her boyfriend, which is discussed in one of the stories, which talks about how they met so many years ago, is sweet and inspiring, and I loved reading about how even though things were kind of awkward for her, the two of them managed to get together and stay together.

I honestly couldn’t imagine what it would have been like for Erin to have to tell her friends about her cancer diagnosis, which we learn about in the first essay in the book.  It was heartbreaking to see how she told some of her friends, and how they reacted to it, even when Erin chose to use humor to break the news.

This is Really Happening is a purely amazing book that gives us an up close and personal look at some of the things that we might not know about someone, and how they chose to handle it.  It’s definitely warm, funny, and inspiring, and will quickly become a favorite.

4.5 stars
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6 Responses to This is Really Happening by Erin Chack

  1. This is one of those books that is hard to put down! I am so glad that you enjoyed it as much as I did. Although it is such a heart-wrenching set of stories, the humour makes this book so relatable. I have a whole new perspective after reading this one, for sure. 🙂
    Olivia @ The Candid Cover recently posted…Book Giveaway Hop: May 2017 New ReleasesMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Wasn’t it just such a marvelous book? I’m not really one for reading non-fiction or essays, but I just couldn’t put this one down. I had so many emotions going on while I read this one!

  2. Brittany says:

    I’ve heard some great things about this book! So glad you enjoyed it so much 😀 Fabulous review, and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Brittany @ Brittany’s Book Rambles

    • Kelly says:

      Thanks so much! It was definitely something a lot different than my usual reading choices, but I’m so glad to have had the chance to pick it up! I highly recommend it!

  3. This sounds like a good one. It kind of reminds me a bit of a book I read recently called We are Never Meeting In Real Life, but more uplifting.
    I died when I read the menstrual cup thing. I just read a romance about doctors that had a menstrual cup incident that was horrible. I am staying away from those!!!
    Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse recently posted…WWW Wednesday: May 3, 2017My Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Oh geez, really? Yeah, I never even considered picking one of those up, haha. Nooo thank you, I can only imagine what the 3AM emergency room visit would be like for that one! I’m kind of curious about what book you read, now!

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