*This is a book review of We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True by Gabrielle Union.
“The standard of beauty and intelligence that has historically been praised by the oppressor has been adopted by the oppressed.”– Gabrielle Union
Author: Gabrielle Union
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Number of Pages: 272
SJ Rating: 80%
If there’s one thing Gabrielle Union is known for, besides being an actress many young women admire and a passionate advocate/activist, it’s being completely straightforward and honest. That is very apparent in her collection of stories, We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True. Topics include sex, menstruation, assault, embracing one’s Blackness, and the obvious segregation in Hollywood.
I like the immediate explanation of the title in the introduction, especially since the title is what made me want to read this book in the first place.
There were several moments that struck a chord throughout the book. I understand her desire to escape her Blackness at a young age; it’s something I talked about on the podcast. Another example is when she said, “Everything you remember is what you remember.” I literally had to stop and let that sink in and process.
My favorite part, predictably, was the few pages about 10 Things I Hate About You, especially that first impression of Heath Ledger. I loved that she ended that section with “His loss was a death in the family that all of us felt equally” after describing how much of a family the cast was… until they wrapped.
For the physical book, I like that each chapter starts on an odd-numbered page. It’s one of those oddly satisfying things I silently cheer about.
Speaking of the physical book, I’m not a fan of the small font. I know it makes sense for the size of the book, but it’s still not my favorite. Seeing small font makes me dread picking up a book. I could tell from the first chapter it was going to be a book that took me a while to read (and I was right).
There were a couple of moments when I cringed, like when she said, “Oh, yeah, you should know that I cuss.” Something about announcing it felt very elementary.
Gabrielle said she was a middle child, and it all clicked into place. She definitely gives off middle child energy.
There’s an intense honesty and bluntness to Gabrielle’s stories. Sometimes it’s loved and appreciated, like when she discusses the whiteness of Friends, and sometimes it’s just very uncomfortable to the point where you’re searching around Starbucks for wine to get through the rest of the book.
Next book to be read and reviewed: Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood
“At the end, we are our stories, some shared and some lived alone.”– Gabrielle Union