This hilarious, honest, and charming essay collection by comedian Ali Wong takes the form of letters to her daughters, who she warns against reading it until at least the age of twenty one I adore Ali Wong, and this book perfectly captures her sense of humor and ability to make light of the heaviest parts of life Stories of her wild youth had me crying with laughter, and tender passages about her husband and daughters made me just straight up cry Comedian, actress, screenwriter, producer, and now nonfiction author she s unbelievably talented, and I m so glad she chose to share Dear Girls with us Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. How dare this book not be in my hands immediatelyUPDATE The arc goddess is good to me. Ali Wong S Heartfelt And Hilarious Letters To Her Daughters The Two She Put To Work While They Were Still In Utero , Covering Everything They Need To Know In Life, Like The Unpleasant Details Of Dating, How To Be A Working Mom In A Male Dominated Profession, And How She Trapped Their DadIn Her Hit Netflix Comedy Special Baby Cobra, An Eight Month Pregnant Ali Wong Resonated So Heavily That She Became A Popular Halloween Costume Wong Told The World Her Remarkably Unfiltered Thoughts On Marriage, Sex, Asian Culture, Working Women, And Why You Never See New Mom Comics On Stage But You Sure See Plenty Of New DadsThe Sharp Insights And Humor Are Even Personal In This Completely Original Collection She Shares The Wisdom She S Learned From A Life In Comedy And Reveals Stories From Her Life Off Stage, Including The Brutal Singles Life In New York Ie The Inevitable Confrontation With Erectile Dysfunction , Reconnecting With Her Roots And Drinking Snake Blood In Vietnam, Tales Of Being A Wild Child Growing Up In San Francisco, And Parenting War Stories Though Addressed To Her Daughters, Ali Wong S Letters Are Absurdly Funny, Surprisingly Moving, And Enlightening And Disgusting For All I truly feared this book would be fluff Instead it is fearless and real Ali Wong says how we all feelI m not fineYet in her resilience and grit she is able to turn childhood resentment, male rejection, discrimination, getting boo d offstage, the fear of a prenup, and a bushy pussy into the best things that could have happened to her I laughed out loud as I imagined Ali s exaggerated comedy voice confessing life moments like this one when she was pregnant After a while, I couldn t see my vagina when I looked down, because all I could see was my belly But when I stared at myself in the mirror, my vagina just looked like an ancient wise Chinese man from a fairy tale that got stuck in a cave and survived off yams The hair was so damn long and neglected My nipples became progressively bigger and darker One day I noticed the tips were starting to look a little scaly and naturally rubbed them Some bits started to flake off like tiny brown boogers And I just sat on the bathroom floor completely naked, with a garbage can between my thighs, picking at my nipples Daddy walked in on me while I was completely focused on this important activity and asked , Are you harvesting your nipples I didn t even look at him and just responded, Well, obviously So many times I said YES I totally get that It wasn t just because we shared a common Asian experience but often because we shared a common human experience I applaud her courage in sharing so nakedly sometimes literally nakedly so be prepared for some frank language Asian women live forever and having kids is like a 401 k for companionship YES If a man rejects you once you ve physically made a move on him, he s not going to change his mind The dick don t lie. YES What I have in common with stay at home moms We are all just doing our best. YES I ve felt an increasing amount of jealousy and resentment from certain white male comics I hear that line a lot Me, I m just another white guy Here s a solution Try being a funnier white guy. YES It broke my heart I said, This is torture I can t handle this anyYES The most important part of parenting, relationships, pretty much anything is just actually being there. YESA friend and I worried because in the intro Ali tries to set our expectations low about her writing But while her prose isn t exquisite in that way where you can rhapsodize over gloriously minute details, it is weighted with truth which far exceeded my expectations 5 stars P.S I have a secret hope that Ali and I are meant to be good friends, for her sister is also named Mimi and her best friend has half my name Miya But wait would that make me superfluous I am not too proud to be a 3rd Mimi My honest review was made possible by an Advanced Reader Copy thanks to Random House. I got my hot little hands on an ARC from secret sources I really liked the book except for the last chapter from the author s husband, which ended up making me like the whole book less.First, the chapter was insipidly self congratulatory and he is boring so I do not care what he has to say Congratulations on being okay with being rich Second, the rest of the book is so funny and vulgar a lot like Ali Wong s standup and suffused with so much love for the titular girls There are so many extremely gross and hilarious stories about giving birth and babies and childcareand then in the husband s chapter there s a brief throwaway mention of the girls Ukrainian nanny who is not mentioned even once in the rest of the book and I was just like hmm Okay So I get that if you are Ali Wong, discussing your nanny who you were able to hire because, again, you re rich disrupts the narrative that you re just like the rest of us with career insecurities and family struggles and whatever And I understand that it s difficult to walk the line of maintaining the authentic, crassly down to earth voice that s made you famous but also now you re famous Still, it really made me re think the whole book, and the clearly strategic choice to leave out discussion of the nanny Somewhere during the many paragraphs where she s lauding her husband for somehow managing to co parent their children despite having a job, she couldn t have thrown in a little bit of gratitude for the woman whose job it is to care for their children It left a bad taste in my mouth and I knocked off a star because of it. Dear Ali Wong,I want to be your best friend.You made me laugh so hard and cry unexpectedly, separately and also simultaneously and here is where I should insert the cry laugh emoji And you know why I felt what I felt Because your voice really pierced through the pages It was like watching you on stage in one of your Netflix stand up specials, and sometimes even like you were addressing me personally The content was similar to some of the themes of your specials but you poured your thoughts and emotions in this a lot , since you were really addressing your girls and not me.You made me even prouder of my Asian heritage To hear an empowered Asian person talk about her own experiences in our shared culture and tradition but also in the context of your unique life, provided me with so much appreciation and insight into my own Beyond the Asian experience, it applies to many of us all relationships, sexuality, marriage, family, workplace And this is why representation matters Because so many others of the same culture can relate to, but also these relatable human experiences are universal.Love you,Your new BFF It s like reading one of her stand up specials You can hear her expressions and tone of voice while reading A lot funny, with plenty of wisdom, and heart warming moments thrown in the mix I also especially loved the afterward from her husband Ali has truly had an incredible life, I can t wait to read about it. Asian cultures often teach us to be silent about our sexuality and filled with shame Your mother breaks that up and transmutes pain and shame into power, like a mystical priestess Justin Hakuta, Ali Wong s husband biggest fan, describing Ali to their daughters in the Afterword.First of all, I want to give much thanks to Ali Wong Random House, I won an uncorrected proof copy of Dear Girls Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life through the publisher s contest I ve been a long time fan of Wong, and this book was going to be on My Most Anticipated Books of Fall 2019 list, so I m ahead of the game I had so much fun reading this book Wong is so crazy, real, wild, and funny, she doesn t hold anything back in the book Although the book is written as a collection of letters to her young daughters, offering advices sharing her own personal experiences, there s definitely something for everyone So don t let the title, Dear Girls deter you from reading it Wong s had quite the interesting life experiences, which she GENEROUSLY OPENLY share many of them in the book Of course it s absurdly funny, but it s also surprisingly moving inspirational She not only covers her life experiences, but many topics, such as family, dating, marriage, sex, Asian culture, working women, ridiculously competitive, challenging, and difficult comedic career, Hollywood industry, and life on the road, and trying to balance it allI don t want to divide the comedy into men vs women, white vs POC, and such, but I also want to shine light where it s due I always thought being comedian is one of the toughest jobs in Hollywood, not only because being funny bringing laughter to people is a very subjective matter, but there s just no shortcut to making it, especially being a woman woman of color I ve seen few live comedy shows, and the life of a comedian trying to make it is long, tough, unglamorous, and years of hard, underpaid work I always had a good laugh during the show, but when the show is over, I had times when I straight up just felt bad for them spending hours on their crafts, hustling so hard, driving to countless venues, and sleeping at the cheapest motels they can find And usually, the money doesn t correlate to the amount of effort work they put in and fame fortune only come to select few There are many funny Asian comedians out there, but for the longest time, Margaret Choi was the only Asian comedian I ve seen on TV big stages Shout out to Margaret Choi Wong doesn t forget to express appreciation for gratitude to her fellow comedians who ve paved the way helped her along the way, which I thought was super sweet respectful of her I hope to see comedians of color getting the attention respect they deserve Comedians are some of the hardest smartest people in entertainment business, there s no denying that I admire her have so much respect for her She s worked so hard for everything, been in the game for a long time, and truly deserve all her success continual successes to comeIn this book, she opens up about her life from childhood to where she is today and many adventures experiences she s had in between Some of the stories she share are heartbreaking, downright crazy, and ridiculously hilarious This book feels like you re just having a conversation with her or watching her stand up comedy show It s not written in a chronological order, each chapter covers a specific topic tying it into her own personal stories It may have been that I read the uncorrected proof copy, but there were parts where the writing didn t flow well But you re not really reading it for good writing per say, but for the content of her story It s funny, brutally honest, explicit, and genuine, her personality voice really shines throughout the book Wong is unapologetically herself, real, and so Asian, I love it I do recommend that you don t read this while eating, you ll know why when you read it And she doesn t hold back with language content, so just be aware that may or may not be shocked at her openness But if you ve seen her stage ups, it shouldn t come as a surprise, LOL It s so awesome her husband wrote the Afterword, also as a letter form to their daughters I thought that was a very good idea to incorporate his voice to the book, giving him an opportunity to share his side of the story and professing his appreciation, love, and respect for his wife, her work, and mother of his children Highly recommend it, you ll be in for a crazy ride in the world of Ali Wong..Expected release date October 15, 2019 Ali Wong makes me laugh she is not only hilariously funnybut underneath her raunchy humor, she s a down to earth sweetie pie luv bug Dear Girls is her memoir non fiction book for her fans I m one of them , and anyone curious about her It s written as a letter to her two young little girls.with instructions NOT TOBE READ UNTIL AGE 21 I loved this book I loved reading about Ali everything Ali We learn about Ali s upbringing and her personal life with love for her handsome Asian husband , and her two daughtersthe heart of what matters most A few excerpts below One of the worst places I performed regularly at was Our Little Theater It literally seated eight people and was located in the heart of the Tenderloin district That neighborhood was home to Southeast Asian refugees, a million drug addicts, and a truly remarkable amount of human feces on the street There was no time to think about my set when walking to Our Little Theater because I was too busy trying not to get robbed and jumping over doo doo and syringes on the sidewalk That s a game of hopscotch you need to win Because if you lose, your consolation prize is ebola WORDS of WISDOM fromAli to her daughters At some point you gotta go Mama loves you but it s so important to get out of your hometown and get the fuck away from your family As the youngest of four kids, I was always being observed by my siblings, who would judge my every decision They had a set idea of who I was and it affected me It was limiting Everything I said generally had no credence because I was at least ten years younger than every single person in my family, so what did I know When I got away from them, I finally felt like I could be the person I was meant to be, which just happened to be a person who talked about her wish to put nail polish remover in men s buttholes so she could accomplish two things at once Chances are that neither of you is also that person My family had always told me how to speak and how to feel about things Part of what was so liberating about being on stage was that I could say whatever I wanted without having loved ones comment on it Regardless of how the strangers would respond, at least they were strangers who didn t know me or have any real authority over who I was I loved the anonymity of my conversations with an audience Deciding to move to NYC after four years of doing stand up in San Francisco was hard for Ali She was 26 at the time, and there were girls just out of college ordering her around who had nicer bags and shoes and she did Every day in NYC was about spending as little money as possible I didn t see any movies or eat out unless they went out on a date, or it was pizza or falafel Ninety percent of the time I cooked at the SoHo loft I d buy lentils from a bulk bin at the East Village co op and boil them to eat with salt, like a medieval peasant And then I d steam some vegetables from Chinatown For three dollars and fifty cents, I found a place that sold half of a cooked chicken that was probably loaded with enough antibiotics to turn my blood into Purell Pretty much the worst thing about being a woman in stand up is that you are always forced to socialize with male stand up comics girlfriends Comedy requires taking risks, and Ali takes them She s had nights of people yelling boo She learned from those devastating nights She s a comic that seriously works hard at her craft She learned early to diversify her crowds She said yes to every opportunity to do a set in other cities, even if it meant losing money Ali gives advice to her daughters about stand up don t do it about men, dating, men should pay on a first date , sex, pregnancy, family, things she learned from her Vietnamese immigrant mother, siblings, etc , shoes, wear flats , about making mistakes make them , and about the many choices they will make in their lifetime Ali also shared with her daughters and us , shameful things she did in her youthsmoked her first cigarette at age 11shoplifted lipstick One New Years Eve when I was seventeen, I made out with thirteen boys and three girls That s basically an entire high school production of Oliver etc she promised her daughters that things get way better after their teen years.How anyone can t see Ali Wong s greatness her warm hearted honest goodness her gift to the world as an unguarded human being is beyond me Yep I love Ali s stand upAnd reading this book was a deeply pleasurable The last chapter, the Afterword, is written by Ali s husband, Justin HakutaHe writes a letter to his girls Dear Mari and Nikki..Justin is mensch of a husband and father Looking forward to listening to the Audiobook I can already imagine how enjoyable it will be to hear Ali read it Thank you Random House, Netgalley, and Ali Wong Let me tell you, it is such a relief to have a funny, well written book from a comedian that I admire Man, I ve been burned so many times before with mediocre books from comedians, I barely dared to hope with this one But Ali Wong really delivered If you are a fan of Ali Wong, you will like this book I pinky swear promise The beginning of the book is pure Ali Wong humor, and if you think think that means vagina and pubic hair jokes, you would be 100% CORRECT.Ali Wong is purely who she is, and I love that about her I think people underestimate her though not so much any, thank you Always Be My Maybe , but she is one of the most honest, crassly amazing comedians out there I love that she is a parent now, and I related to her stories a ton, even though our upbringing was completely different I ate up the stories about how she met her husband and how he compared to the multitude of men she had dated in the past She gave me the intimate content I was craving, and, no, I don t mean of her sex life get your mind out of the gutter.The second half of the book was a bit less funny and of an exploration of her ethnic background, which I also enjoyed Ali Wong showed me a lot about who she is and where she is going, both in her own journey to learn about herself and with her comedy Sometimes, I think it s too early for a comedian to write a book, but with Ali Wong, it was just right Both funny and poignant, Ali Wong really nailed it with Dear Girls Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life Copy provided in exchange for an honest review goodreads instagram twitter blog
Alexandra Ali Wong is an American actress, stand up comedian, and writer She is noted for her Netflix stand up specials Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife, as well as her television appearances in American Housewife, Are You There, Chelsea , Inside Amy Schumer, and Black Box.
- 224 pages
- Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life
- Ali Wong
- 23 October 2018 Ali Wong