Are you a barely functional adult? Do you hope it’ll all make sense eventually? Do you want to read, laugh, and relate to a fellow barely functional adult who is likewise holding out hope that it’ll all make sense eventually?
Then Meichi Ng has created a book perfect for you: Barely Functional Adult: It’ll All Make Sense Eventually.
Released this past November, Barely Functional Adult: It’ll All Make Sense Eventually is a graphic non-fiction work which features a series of stories narrated by Meichi through prose, pictures, and comic drawings. According to her book bio, Meichi originally began featuring her Barely Functional Adult comics online in 2015, the Tumblr for which I found here.
Near the end of March, I spotted this book at the library, excited to have recognized it from a previous Bookish Brains issue where it first piqued my interest, and so I borrowed the book with the intention of reading it in April. In fact, I even featured it in my YouTube channel’s April TBR video–yet in the last two days of March, I felt a gravitational pull towards it pages, and thus acquiesced. I wanted to read something fun yet heartwarming, which this book absolutely turned out to be.
I read the first story, entitled “My Pet Fish,” in my car in the parking lot of a Giant Eagle, and when I got to the ending, I was so caught off guard by the ridiculous turn of events that I was laughing outrageously for all to see through my car windows; yet, I couldn’t stop laughing. From there, the stories continued to exemplify the quirky, relatable, goofy, and sweet qualities which made reading it such a pleasure.
In this book, Meichi writes and draws about her life experiences, from past heartbreaks to aimless job searches, to her loathe of hiking and utter bafflement of making friends as an adult, to moving to a new city. While many of her comic depictions are whimsical and quippy, the heart of her message is quite pure and honest, a message which I am sure will speak to countless readers who are adults, but perhaps quite new to adulthood, or still getting used to their strangely inevitable aging process. (“Is that a wrinkle???”) After all, getting older really does seem to sneak up on us.
Although this book does contain comics and drawings, I believe it will be perfectly accessible to readers who don’t often consume comics. The prose is mostly contained in paragraph form, and the images appear in large, single boxes which never accumulate more than three to a page. (If you’ve ever read Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh, it’s a bit like that in form.) This book is a fairly quick read–heck, I read it in two days–and the format is really enjoyable.
Even the ending was perfect, and as I flipped to the final image, I placed my hand to my heart with bittersweet tenderness, sad that it was over and greedy for more, but feeling as though it ended beautifully.
Unfortunately, I must return this book to the library, but I will comfort myself with the knowledge that at least then it will be available for another reader to check out. I wholeheartedly recommend Barely Functional Adult to practically anyone, for a charming and honest read.
I sincerely hope Meichi has more Barely Functional Adult books in store for us!!
To read more book reviews by Slanted Spines, check out this page.