Cover Image: None of this is Serious

None of this is Serious

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Member Reviews

LOVED this book! I finished it a few days ago and have been dreading writing the review mostly because I don't know what to say, I don't know how to describe what it made me feel... 

Although it is exactly as its blurb describes it, it wasn't the commentary about the balance (or lack thereof) between online and offline lives that caught my attention, it was the main character and her struggles, her views, her behaviour. Maybe because I identified so much with her which is probably one of the reasons I loved this book so much.

It is absolutely fabulous! All of it! I don't know for sure if the crack in the sky was meant to be an analogy for Covid but I can't see it not being that... and the description of people's and government's reactions to it were spot on.

The cover is great and I loved the writing as well. I read a review on Goodreads complaining about the lack of dialogue per se, but I really liked the way conversations were laid out. I much prefer when things are not so obvious.

Definitely looking out for Catherine's next book!
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My first thought was 'Don't Look Up wishes it was this book !' My second thought was 'oh dont look up definitely wishes it was this book!'.

Prasifka will definitely get comparisons made to Rooney in the way that every (Irish) writer writing about the lives of struggling students will get that comparison. But to make that comparison is to let people underestimate Prasifka's writing as it is a force onto itself. 

The premise was really interesting and this is a pandemic book that feels accurate in its handling. I am a sucker for a good book about social media so that also ticked the boxes for me (although some of the twitter stuff with virality felt a little bit high school/unlikely I didn't know how popular the characters were on twitter) . I loved Grace / I felt bad for Grace and the protagonist was just the right side of flawed for me to still like her.

Although at the end I felt a lot was unresolved; not just the obvious crack but also the protagonists relationships with her sister (and really I felt like the sister we did not learn enough about... I KNOW the protagonist would hate me saying that!) and her family felt really unexplored and unresolved at the end. Which all left me a bit unsatisfied.

It was a really good book but I could have done with more answers and less romance(?) .
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This is a tough one because it's simulataneously good and I'm also feeling a fatigue with Irish books like it. Not to make the Sally Rooney or Naoise Dolan comparison but it seems like every Irish book I pick up at the moment is a similar type of social observation without a ton of characterisation behind it. I found myself often thinking about whether anyone actually speaks like this to each other. That's not to say the commentary isn't accurate, it's actually a fair depiction of what it's like to live in Dublin right now. But I found reading another book that sits purely in the misery a challenge. Some of this is my own reading trends at the moment though. 

The author has a lot to say on a myriad of subjects and her voice is strong. As I say, it rang true for a lot of the young Irish experience I see around me. It also deals with that early life crisis many of us experience with now, heightened by a mysterious crack in the sky. As a society going through multiple events that cause mass existential dread, this felt like an honest and interesting way to go with an unusual twist to it. 

All told, I think I need to sit with this one for a while. I can't quite say I enjoyed it because it actively made me feel exhausted. But I do think the author is a talent and it's an interesting read for anyone still loving this specific style of social commentary fiction. I would just love to see more versions of Irish social commentary that have more plot and strong character arcs behind them.
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This book has a gripping storyline that will keep you hooked until the end. The characters are relatable and it captures the frustration of being a young Irish person quite well.

At times it felt like the novel tried to do too many things and cover too many themes at once. It did them all ok but it felt like there were a lot of topics introduced that never really went anywhere?

There is also a lot of really intense references to body dysmorphia and a vague reference to disordered eating.

There’s obviously comparisons to Rooney and Dolan with this book but I am excited to see what comes from the author in the coming years

I also like the background storyline of the ‘crack’. It felt like a way of writing about a global disaster (like the pandemic) without actually writing about the pandemic. Would’ve loved if it had leant into the slightly sci Fi nature of this a bit more.
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I could have been the target audience of this book being a 20 year old college student in debt but this just fell flat for me. Not even bad, just disappointing. How can a book be neither plot nor character driven... I respect the intentions but would rather you do something simple sincerely than do something complex in a way that never crescends and stays coinciding exactly with the x axis (except I LOVED how [SPOILER!] the mc didn’t end up with any of the men because it really IS IT!! Sick of pretending that most men are not terrible & contemporary stories functioning as a mirror to society or whatever where the women just end up dealing with the /best option available/ need to retire. The last chapter with the realization of holding on to the goodness was also very nice!!! [END SPOILER!]. The short sentences fitting into very neat structures, without exceptions, come across as so lazy... for a book that has a main character named Grace how did this end up with none of it—Where is the articulation! The ELEGANCE! The integration?? The artistic vision??! All of which is in a mad way also a disservice to the author because I like her regardless :/ Catherine I believe in you & will read your next book because at least in my opinion you're just a tad back from being an author whose work I could grow to love.
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"It's like watching the world slip away between my fingers, too subtle to fully grasp. This crack is just one more thing on the list."

This story follows Sophie, a 22-year-old college student who is addicted to social media and self-doubt. While everyone around her is figuring life and careers out, Sohpie feels stuck. With the end of the world seeming near, the main character is still trying to figure out a balance between the real-world and social media. 

I never wanted to delete all social media more than when reading this book. It was constantly making my stomach drop multiple times throughout. You can't help but feel physical anger towards the treatment Sophie faces from her family, friends, and especially the men's audacity in this story. I also felt uneasy while reading since the inner dialogue of the main character was so relatable. She often detailed feeling lonely, unliked, pathetic, and not good enough for anyone. As a 22-year-old, Sophie worrying about not doing anything with her life was unnerving and fitting. 

I also thought the discussions surrounding feminism, climate change, consent, and double standards to be very beneficial. While the dialogue was at times confusing, the story itself is an important one to be published into the world. Reading about the impending doom of Earth and depictions of social media ruining our lives isn't light and fun, but I definitely enjoyed this book regardless. Anyone who is a fan of Sally Rooney's writing and books that focus on sad women, politics, and men making your blood boil then I highly recommend it.
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A short, fun read from debut Irish author Catherine Prasifka. None of This is Serious follows Sophie, a 21-year old recent graduate in Dublin who feels lost, lonely, and driftless. Her friends seem to be moving on without her, while she’s still in unrequited love with her friend Finn. Then one day a giant purple crack appears in the sky and no one knows why. The crack serves as a funny social commentary as the internet explodes with theories about what could be causing the crack. Some groups say the crack is human-made, others say it is God smiting us. Some say it’s changing shape, others start selling blackout-curtains to block the purple light so that life can return to “normal.” 

As with multiple other 2022-releases, the book is perfectly situated for the pandemic-moment, and I anticipate that many other new releases will have similar allegories related to the current era of climate change, economic despair, disease, etc. 

None of This is Serious is also an introduction to Gen-Z authors and their perspectives. “I'm not sure there's a way to articulate this kind of dread,” one friend writes to Sophie, who replies, “it's just the sound of every young person screaming.” 

Prasifka offers insight into the feeling of surrendering your whole life to social media, and presents the daily minutiae of online interaction through the intense filter of a 21-year old facing the apocalypse. “I can't count the hours I've spent scrolling on Instagram just waiting for someone to post something,” Sophie says. “I'm inhabited by a desperate fear that I'll miss something, to the point that I’m willing to waste my life waiting.” 

This was a strong debut about friendship, social media, and finding one’s identity when external factors seem insurmountable. I’m excited to see what Prasifka does next. 

None of This is Serious is out on April 6. Thank you @netgalley and @canongatebooks for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

3.75 out of 5.

@raquelisreading, January 31
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None of this is serious follows Sophie, A 22 year old recent graduate who’s unsure of what her next steps will be. 

This book delves into themes such as anxiety, complicated relationships between family, friends and romantic relations as well as the complex relationship individuals have with social media (trigger warning: sexual assault also takes place within this novel) 

Everyone around Sophie seems to have their plans figured out making her feel left behind. Sophie finds herself wondering whether her friends still like her? Will she ever be able to get a house in this falling economy and will she eventually get that interview? 

So many people including myself are going to be able to relate to Sophie in one way or another. She’s a complicated character who would rather be online using media as her distraction (I’m sure most of us are guilty of this) this novel explores the effects of social media in a very real and captivating way showing the difference between online and reality. 

Another aspect within this book is… the huge crack in the sky. I found this extremely intriguing for numerous reasons, the main one being the crack almost felt like a symbol of Sophie’s life in sense even though things are bad, we have to keep going. 

I absolutely loved this, Sophie’s character will stay with me for a long time as well as some amazing writing.
Fans of Sally Rooneys writing will also love this one!!
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I wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did! I loved this depiction of the very current  'what am I gonna do with the rest of my life' anxiety and 'how am I even going to be able to survive let alone thrive' that I think if very relatable for a lot of people. Usually, there is something about depictions of social media and the internet that is just SO jarring and uncomfortable for me, but I really loved this one. It felt very true, real, and gritty in the right way. This book is honest in a very particular way and I really enjoyed it.
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One for fans of Irish fiction. Generational novel touches on many topics - friendship, relationships, contemporary Irish issues. Not the most likeable character, but the book kept me entertained.
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Catherine Prasifka’s debut novel None of This is Serious perfectly sums up the sense of feeling frustrated by everything that’s going on in the world, and feeling hopeless because you have no control over anything. 

22-year-old Sophie has just finished her degree in politics, a field she doesn’t want to pursue a career in, and she is left feeling extremely burnt out and unsure about her future. When a crack suddenly opens up in the sky Sophie is faced with yet another unknown entity; a fracture in the world both figuratively and metaphorically speaking. And what if this crack in the sky also somehow represents the cracks and fractures in Sophie’s life? 

Sophie quickly became a character that I cared a lot for and also found very relatable. She was flawed and came across as such a realistic depiction of a young woman in her early 20s. She’s a main character you can do nothing but sympathise with and wish the best for, and throughout the entire book I wanted nothing more than for her to realise that she is in fact good enough. 

This book takes place in Ireland, and deals with themes such as identity, complex relationships, and the current state of the modern world. This is in my opinion the perfect contemporary fiction book, as it’s written in a way that stretches both your understanding, thinking, and empathy. It’s about finding safety online when everything around you has grown confusing and complicated. Along with this Catherine Prasifka has focused on the effects of social media and the internet in general. Often in books this can come across as alienating and simply as “hating everything digital” but that’s not the case here. It’s shown how everything we see online is about story and narrative, and if we let it, it might fragment our reality. The message isn’t necessarily to immediately turn off our phones and computers, but to be more aware of the effect that being online has on us, and how the internet and social media can come across as awfully toxic. 
 
This ARC was kindly provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger warnings:
- Disordered eating 
- Sexual assault
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Dublin student life is ending for Sophie and her friends. They’ve got everything figured out, and Sophie feels left behind as they all start to go their separate ways. She’s overshadowed by her best friend Grace. She’s been in love with Finn for as long as she’s known him. And she’s about to meet Rory, who's suddenly available to her online.

At a party, what was already unstable completely falls apart and Sophie finds herself obsessively scrolling social media, waiting for something (anything) to happen.

The storyline was brilliant and fascinating you won't want to miss this novel!
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I adored this book. Sophie is an utterly relatable protagonist for anyone who’s ever found themselves in the grip of existential crisis or overwhelmed with anxiety and powerlessness about the big issues of our time. It also covered our modern obsession with social media and the online world.

A very different sort of book than I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised by this sharp, funny story.
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This book reminded me of similar books written by other Irish fiction others and it definitely lived up to the strengths of Normal People one of my personal favourites. 

I really enjoyed Sophie's character and the way that the way that the book was written explored her feelings through her relationships and the societal pressures to hit certain milestones at certain times- I definitely found this element of the book really relatable. 

I loved the way that this book explored the impact of social media on our lives as well as our relationships and it certainly made me think about how much I am using my phone!

One thing that did annoy me about Sophie is at times she seemed a little bit unappreciative of what she has and a little 'glass half empty' in her outlook on things although in some ways I can understand this as it sort of fitted the message the book was there to give. 

Overall i did really enjoy this one however it just felt as though it was trying to do too much, i felt that had less topics been explored these could have been explored more thoroughly rather than focussing a little bit on a lot of topics that felt incomplete. I would definitely recommend this book if you like coming of age fiction with a Sally Rooney feel to it.
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This was really impressive and I enjoyed it a lot. I think Sally Rooney fans will love this. It gave me huge Rooney vibes but with an interesting twist. 

I liked the concept of the crack - I thought it was a good parallel to the pandemic to capture people's attitude to it and how social media can influence so much about events. 

This book is very focused on social media in all aspects and especially on the impact it has on friendships and relationship. 

Sophie is a good character- she's not perfect and she has flaws. That really makes this book work. Things aren't perfect in life and it felt realistic. 

I enjoyed the writing style too and I think this is a really strong debut offering. It read well and quickly. It was refreshing but at the same time felt dark. 

Really good.
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This is a coming of age story, told from the perspective of Sophie, who has just finished university and is watching all her friends move on with various jobs, travel, relationships, while she has no idea what to do with her life. 

This was an easy enough book to read, with a simplistic and fairly engaging style which meant I finished it in one day, but I found myself feeling indifferent as I actually disliked all of the characters, and especially the main character. There are clearly important messages included about obsessive and destructive social media use which is destroying the options for real connection, and around physical and sexual violence towards women, but I didn't feel these were fully developed and left me feeling frustrated. 

The first chapter introduces the element of the Crack which feels like it should be a major event which should influence the behaviours and reactions of the characters, but again this feels underdeveloped. There is a nod towards elements of fake news, doomscrolling and conspiracy theorists, possibly influenced by the Covid pandemic, but these almost feel like they are thrown in and it is unclear whether this is a story around media representations and how this affects society, or around friendships and relationships and the issues of consent. 

It feels like the book tries to cover too many big topics and only ends up scratching the surface of each.
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What a stunning book! I loved the writing and there were so many moments where it broke my heart. I can't wait to read more by this author.
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None of this is Serious is an introspective book, peering into the life of a pretty regular gal. All of Sophie’s thoughts, insecurities, sorrows and fears are on full display and are deeply relatable to readers who might be or might have been in similar life situations as Sophie.

Her status quo of looking for a job in a hopeless economy, hanging out with friends who she is unsure really like her and wasting a lot of time online feels timely and I’m sure a lot of under-35s will relate to. She drifts through her own life, feeling like an outsider and a stranger. Oh, and also there’s a crack in the sky and the world might be ending. Sounds familiar? To me, Sophie’s “relationship” with the crack in the sky very much feels like how a lot of people might feel about the current pandemic. Sure, it’s the apocalypse - but you kind of also have to go on living.

I really appreciated a lot of the deeper themes and discussions in this novel, especially the ones about sexual assault (I will issue a Trigger Warning here for this!). Sophie aptly describes the silent horror of existing as a woman in society today.

This read a lot like if Lars von Trier had decided to make his “Melancholia” about a millennial Irish girl instead - in the best way possible. I really enjoyed Catherine Prasifka’s writing style which felt both detached and deeply personal and immediate.

I enjoyed this novel quite a lot; the only thing I was dissatisfied with is the ending. It felt too abrupt for me, and I don’t exactly believe the change Sophie went through at this time in her life. It feels to me she would have benefited from acknowledging her mental health issues and directly working on them (maybe in therapy).

That said, this book feels like an apt portrayal of a lost and drifting generation and will surely resonate with a lot of readers.

(Thank you to NetGalley, Catherine Prasifka and Canongate for providing me with an eARC for this book in exchange for my honest feedback. All opinions in this review are my own.)
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I really enjoyed this extremely timely novel which explores the uncertainties of our day to day lives and retreating into the online world when everything seems overwhelming. A very Gen Z novel which I would recommend to readers who love messy/unlikeable female protagonists and character based literature.
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Something a bit different. I really enjoyed it!

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the chance to read a digital arc in exchange for my feedback.
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