Cover Image: None of this is Serious

None of this is Serious

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Member Reviews

When I read books, I feel things. When I read this book, I only read words. I couldn’t sympathize or empathize with any of the characters and couldn’t engage with the plot. It feels like she’s just narrating her train of thoughts on her daily activities.
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This was an amazing story about Sophie and what it feels like to be in your early twenties. I binge read the book in a single day and I have a list of things that I enjoyed about it:
- a slice of life story that I didn't know I needed
- social media and internet culture was on point
- that feeling of being lost in our early twenties, just figuring out life
- friendship is important
- messy friend groups and relationships in general
- also depicted a toxic family in a perfect way
- climate change was a major part of the story and very relevant
- perfectly captures how lonely and vulnerable you feel in your early twenties
- one very specific thing about how you feel that you're not the important one in your friend group or that you don't belong here

I didn't know that "sad woman in her twenties" was a book category in itself and now I would have to look for more books with these vibes

tw: fat shaming, body dysmorphia, sexual assault, cyber bullying
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I requested this book as the premise sounded intriguing, but unfortunately it failed to capture my attention and I only managed to read the first few chapters.
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It seems to me that the author was trying to do something similar to Bastille's song "Doom Days", although I admire the effort, this book failed to deliver on all fronts possible. Truth be told, I could only force myself to read until chapter five, so maybe it gets better at the end, but I truly don't think that's the case. 

This is a story about a twenty-something that is insecure about every single aspect of her life. She's anxious due to climate change, the housing crisis, her (lack of) love life, her weight, her friends, her social interactions, her family, and the crack in the sky that mysteriously appears one day and it's supposed to emulate Covid-19. Although I can relate to most of her insecurities, the author made the character's life seem so miserable that reading it feels like a punishment. The protagonist seems to hate everything, actually, she's too apathetic to even hate things, she's just unhappy. She doesn't seem to particularly like her friends, or anyone for that matter, and is always commiserating about how they treat her and how disconnected she feels.

The author was so focused on making the Main Character relatable by giving her every insecurity known to men that she forgot to make her likable. The MC does not have any redeeming qualities, she isn't interesting, she isn't funny, she isn't kind (no, being a pushover does not count as being kind), supposedly she is smart, but the reader doesn't get a chance to see that. I felt bad for her during the first chapter, after that, I was just annoyed with how apathetic she was.

This was truly one of the worst things I have ever read and I cannot in good conscience recommend it to anyone. But alas, if you decide to try, I'd like to point out that the MC's eating disorder and body image issues are very prominent, so be mindful of these trigger warnings.
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This was a brilliant reflection of the "in-between" stage of life: after finishing university but before gaining employment. Stuck in the middle of an existential crisis caused by a huge crack appearing in the sky, Sophie tries to find her place in the real life but gets stuck doomscrolling her time away. I very much enjoyed Prasifka's relatable writing and look forward to seeing what she writes next.
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I enjoyed reading this book as it made me reflect on how we approach social media and someone being an individual. It was written well, with a fresh style about it.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Canongate Publishing for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review 

In a world saturated with “the next book about the internet,” NONE OF THIS IS SERIOUS is a surprising and honest story about social media, the end of the world, and the absurdity of personhood. Sophie and her friends’ lives at university are ending and they all start to go their separate ways when a purple crack appears in the sky, turning the world as we know it on edge. Sophie is compelled by scrolling, by social media, and by being inundated by the opinions of others because she feels an inability to formulate her own, a concept that unravels her and gets to the true reality of living in the online age. Throughout the course of this novel, Prasifka delicately weaves a story about the complexities of online spaces, physical relationships, adulthood, and womanhood with the realities we’re confronted with at the end of the world. 

It’s shocking to see a novel so precisely pin-point the moment of time we’re living through, which speaks to Prasifka’s ability to analyze the current historical moment with absolute clarity. This is a rare quality in a book, and leads me to believe that this book will one day be used to gain insight into the 2020s for years to come. While at times the prose felt heavy-handed and overly grandiose, this in-itself is a product of sensationalized media and the feeling of coming of age right now. Similarly, while parts of the novel felt repetitive, they mirrored the act of scrolling through social media, the repetitiveness of the action but the inability to stay away. In these respects, the structure of the story was an expert pairing for its topic, which brought the story to a whole new level of insight. Prasifka does similar mirroring with perspective and narrative, which is incredibly interesting to take part in as the story unfolds. The act of reading this book was compelling and enthralling. It was heartbreaking and wildly truthful- the way Prasifka writes about young adulthood is so effortless she makes it look easy, when the reality of navigating changing dynamics is anything but. In all, the act of reading this book felt almost interactive as a result of its positioning in the current cultural zeitgeist of the internet. I absolutely loved it. 

This is an impressive debut from an author whose work will almost certainly command and engage with the next age of the internet story. Be sure to pick it up on April 7th.
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This was a simple, easy and quick read. The perfect type of book for your holiday, beach, pool kind of read. This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.
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I know the characters are supposed to be 22-year-old college graduates but they read like a bunch of high schoolers to me.
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Whilst I can appreciate what Catherine Prasifka is doing within None Of This Is Serious, her debut novel, I have to say it just was not for me. That is of course not to say that it will not be enjoyed more greatly by others, rather it was just not to my own tastes.

None Of This Is Serious centres itself around Sophie, who is coming to the end of student life in Dublin. Whilst her friends seem to have everything figured out, Sophie is feeling left behind. She’s forever feeling overshadowed by her sister Hannah and best friend Grace. She’s been in love with Finn for forever, but is also just about to meet Rory online. Whilst attending a party a worldwide even occurs that send Sophie into a tailspin of seeking answers on social media wishing for something to happen.

One of the central elements to None if This Is Serious is the way in which Sophie struggles to balance her competing lives, that of her ‘real’ life and the one that she presents online. Prasifka makes some really astute points on the difficulties of coming of age in a world where social media is so pervasive. There is also a lot of discussion on the issues of determining what is real and what is fake news in relation to the crack. Prasifka deftly explores this toxic side of social media and the dangers of one’s dependence on it. 

Despite the books title, None of This is Serious actually deals with some very serious issues, some of which may be triggering for some people. There is Sophie’s apparent body dysmorphia and disordered eating. She also drinks to excess, with several references to her vomiting and not remember events of the previous night. There are significant issues relating to consent and misogyny. There are also references to a character’s abortion. Additionally there is bullying and manipulative behaviour between characters. Finally of course there is the issue of the more toxic sides of social media. Whilst these are all significant issues, combined it made for a very heavy read. 

I found the dialogue in None Of This Is Serious to be pretty jarring. The book is written from Sophie’s perspective throughout, yet when she speaks to others it is only their responses that are in quotation marks. Sophie’s own interactions need to be teased out from what at times comes across more like inner monologue but is in fact her in conservation with others. This took some getting used to and occasionally I had to re read paragraphs to tease out what Sophie was actually saying. Whilst I appreciate what Prasifka was doing stylistically, it didn’t make for an easy read.

I have no doubt this book will strike a cord with many, it’s just a shame it didn’t for me. But I thank Netgally and Canongate for the opportunity to read an advance copy.
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This book vows to show the uncertainty and absurdity of being alive today, as well as draw the line between real world and online. In addition, it's about relationships of all kinds, body image, and the inevitable doom that we will soon face. 

The main character, Sophie, had just got her degree but felt like she was being left behind by her peers. She is rejected by companies, overshadowed by her twin sister, bossed around (or at least she thinks so) by her best friend, and in a serious dilemma between a man she had been in love with and another she only connected with online. One of the main points of the book is "the crack" that could be a symbolism of more than one thing. It could be a symbol of the crack in Sophie's life as it all comes crumbling down or it could be literal, symbolizing these "apocalyptic" events that happens in our today's life.

I know, I know. It sounds like something we have heard before but this book offers so much more. The writing is so intimate from the first line to the very last. The book will dive the reader right into Sophie's mind, only seeing everything she is seeing and feeling everything she is feeling. We are not just seeing through her perspective, we are in her perspective. I have some criticisms about this book, but ultimately every single one of them can be rebuffed by the fact that we are seeing through this young woman's eyes. The decisions she made, the actions she took, the dread she felt—all of it just made her more real than many characters you will come across.

I started reading this book thinking that it would be like a Sally Rooney novel (as many others suggested), but it is different! Sure, it has social commentary, the existential dread of a young woman, the frustration about societal problems and the lack of power to do more, the communication or the lack thereof between human beings, and these young Irish people who are so much richer and smarter than I am. And yet, this book offers a closer look at the themes it chose to portray. It didn't just take an idea and called it a day. It dwelled deep into each of them in the best way it could.

I would recommend this book to everyone, but especially to those who enjoy these Irish Millennial Fiction we have seen so far and to those who love books that take a closer, intimate look to a character and their perspectives and how that affects everyone around them. No, but seriously: Just pre-order this book.

Sending my huge thanks to Canongate Books and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review, and to the author for writing this gem of a book that I will reference and cherish for a long time!

cw // food purging, talks of body image and appearance, sexual assault, victim blaming 

(I have already added a link, but I will be posting a much detailed review of this book on my blog and on Goodreads on March 23!)
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None of this is Serious by Catherine Prasifka.

Sophie has just finished college. All her friends seem to know what is next for them, they have plans. Sophie does not. She feels like she is being left behind. She spends days endlessly scrolling social media. She feels overshadowed by her friend  and unnoticed by the people she wishes would notice here. Everything feels uncertain and Sophie doesn't know what is ahead. Then a large crack appears in the sky bathing Dublin and the rest of the world in a purple glow and Sophie's scrolling and anxiety increases.

There was a lot I liked about this book. Prasifka captured the uncertainty of finishing university and that feeling of a safety net being torn away, perfectly. It brought back buried  memories and I didn't graduate in a time of excessive social media or global uncertainty, inducing a gnawing pang of worry about what's potentially ahead for my children and made me take off my rose tinted glasses thinking about that time in my own life. I also thought it was one of the better books I've read about the insidious , consuming effects of social media. I also thought the crack in the sky was a really clever way of addressing living in ( I'm sorry, I'm going to say it) unprecedented times.

However , I  didn't  like Sophie as a character, despite identifying with her and having some sympathy for her, she frustrated me. A sign of good writing though I think when a character gets under in your skin in such a way. I thought after a very strong start there was just a little too much going on , so many different themes and issues which detracted from the story, for me. 

There will undoubtedly be comparisons made to other Irish female authors who write literary fiction when this book is published ( Prasifka is Sally Rooney's sister in law) . My main thought on this is isn't it wonderful we have so many strong  and emerging female Irish authors.

A  well written   debut and which provoked several emotions in me ,predominantly unease.  I will absolutely read whatever this author writes next. 

3.5***
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None of This is Serious is a wonderfully written debut novel. It tells the story of young people in Dublin trying to make new lives for themselves in a city that is becoming unaffordable to live in. The characters are very well written, especially Sophie. The good and evil of social media is also handled very well.
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A scarily accurate portrayal of the influence of the internet and social media. Sophie and her insecurities and need for the ‘comfort’ and ‘company’ of the internet are things that I’m sure many readers will identify with.

I’ve given this three stars because although it’s got great character development and an interesting premise, the plot didn’t grab me at all and I struggled to stay engaged to the end.
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I found the protagonist, and the plot, of this book a little sour. I also didn't particularly enjoy how the crack is never really explained. I think Grace was the saving character of the novel, as without that, every other character around Sophie seems to be interchangeable.
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This is a book about the life and the world of a young adult that is lost in her direction. Sophie, much like most people, spends too much time on the internet. At least half of this book is abut the internet. But the way it has been written didn't make it feel annoying. Sophie is lost and can't find a job, is stuck living at her parents' home, stuck in complicated romantic relationships on top of her lack of confidence and existentialism.
Many sections of this book brought up many thought provoking things for discussion that I enjoyed. But towards the end it became too much about trying to talk about something.
I enjoyed the writing at times and the way some things are addressed. I also enjoyed how we don't necessarily always get direct speech from Sophie, instead it's a paragraph paraphrasing what's she said. This echoes a comment she makes about making her own thoughts and opinions based on what she's read from others.
It's probably one of the better books I've read around social media and the effects it has on people. I just think it was trying to do a lot, when it could have gone smaller to hit a bigger punch.
3.5/3.75
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I love this book- it would sit well with books like Olive (the benefit being that there was a few last year that were very similar and became samey but the rave around those have passed). Not so sure I’m the colour of the cover- not too striking so people may look past it; a red or a yellow would work better for me.
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I wanted to like this, I really did. It started off strong with the party, the friendship dynamics and plenty of Sally Rooney-esque vibes after then it just kind of petered out.

Everything felt melodramatic and overdone, the main character was so unlikable I eventually became indifferent toward her, and the plot never really went anywhere. I thought the crack was an excellent addition and nothing much happened. 

A quick read, but not really worth the time.
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I unfortunately did not finish this book. I got around 20% of the way through and I was struggling to immerse myself in the story. I haven't felt this was testament to the writing or the story, and more to do with being a mood-reader!

I have thought about it since however so I will be giving it another go and have recommended to those who enjoy fantasy-esque writing. Have given 3 stars owing to the fact that I've thought about this book since putting it down and am keen to give it another chance.
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I was pleasantly surprised by this insightful exploration of becoming an adult in the age of social media.  Sophie provides a realistic view of what it is like to attempt to get to know yourself while juggling online identities.  In spite of the fact that I am quite a bit older than Sophie, I found her to be a very relatable character, and found myself eagerly following her exploits.  Prasifka's writing is strong.  She is definitely a writer to watch!
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