By Courtney Fowler, President
Okay, I’ll be honest here: I’m already deceiving you with this title. For most, writing a book review would require curling up with a great novel, probably with the smell of dusty pages filling the air around them, as they contemplate the deep life lessons and analyze the complex characters that fill the pages. Don’t get me wrong, that sounds lovely, but sadly, who has time for that anymore? So let’s start off by renaming the title to more accurately describe what I did here – “Kindle Single Review: Crazy Stupid Money.”
For those who don’t know, a Kindle Single is probably the best thing ever created – a short, quick read that serves as the perfect excuse to take a break from studying for your test. They’re even better for those of you who like to read but can hardly commit to finding the time to read a 500+ page book. I’m right there with you, don’t worry. Most of the Kindle Singles are free if you have Amazon Prime or Amazon Student, so even if you’re not loving “Crazy Stupid Money,” one of them surely will catch your attention. So, with my spiel on Kindle Single complete, let’s jump into what I am actually supposed to be doing here: reviewing a fabulous short story by Rachel Shukert.
How do you define yourself in this crazy world? Hopefully not by your appearance or the material items that have piled up in your dorm room or apartment over the years. Maybe you view and judge yourself based upon your education level or occupation, feeling most successful when you land an interview at your dream workplace or most likely, on your college graduation day.
These characteristics are certainly notable, but what about money? Are you more likable, more successful, or happier if you have more money? At the center of her book, Shukert discussed the one thing we avoid in most conversations: the importance of money not only as we struggle to survive, but in the process of navigating relationships with those around us.
In one highly applicable tale, particularly for my fellow classmates who, like me, are swimming in mounds of debt that we owe for our college education, Shukert speaks to her struggle of barely having enough money to pay her monthly rent of $3,400. Let’s all take a minute to appreciate the comparatively low rents in Farmington, but the significance still applies.
What stood out was not her struggle to earn money through her freelance writing career, but how such a lack of money made her feel: insignificant, worthless, and desperate. Though Shukert apparently had enough money to continue to order food each night for dinner (I’m a horrible cook too, so this is mildly understandable), her lack of substantial money tore apart her relationship, causing anxiety and a constant sense of frustration. Money certainly cannot buy happiness, but can it make our lives just a little more carefree?
Throughout her short story, Shukert grasps reader’s attention with her wit and humor, while managing to discuss the tricky “adult” topic of how to navigate the world with little income. It is the honesty and bravery of her work that is truly compelling, as she shares deep emotions that many of us fear to examine ourselves. Though masked with a comical storyline that will keep you laughing and engaged, Shukert addresses topics that many of us lack the confidence to face on our own.
This read will be a quick one for you (see: Kindle Single definition, above), but one that you certainly should not pass up. I can always appreciate a book that will make me literally laugh out loud, but more than this, one where I respect the author for her bold and raw emotional tales. Shukert not only exposes herself through her examination of money, power, and love, but will make you ponder the ever-persisting question – “Will I be a better, happier person when I earn more money in the future?”