Title: Solutions and Other Problems
Author: Allie Brosh
Year of Publication: 2020
Genre: Memoir/Graphic Novel
Number of Pages: 518
Summary: From Goodreads: “For the first time in seven years, Allie Brosh—beloved author and artist of the extraordinary #1 New York Times bestseller Hyperbole and a Half—returns with a new collection of comedic, autobiographical, and illustrated essays.
Solutions and Other Problems includes humorous stories from Allie Brosh’s childhood; the adventures of her very bad animals; merciless dissection of her own character flaws; incisive essays on grief, loneliness, and powerlessness; as well as reflections on the absurdity of modern life.
This full-color, beautifully illustrated edition features all-new material with more than 1,600 pieces of art.”
Review: I’ve been a fan of Allie Brosh and Hyperbole and a Half since I discovered the alot in high school. I adored the Hyperbole and a Half book, and I waited seven years for Solutions and Other Problems to be released, and it was worth the wait.
If you aren’t familiar with Allie Brosh and Hyperbole and a Half, I recommend scrolling through her blog. She doesn’t use it anymore, but it will give you a sense of her style of art and sense of humour. I adore Allie Brosh’s artwork, and reading a book with more than 1600 more drawings in it was delightful.
My favourite thing about this book is how it was both laugh-out-loud funny and heartbreaking. Allie Brosh has a talent for mixing humour and heartache, and it makes things relatable. She deals with heavy topics like mental health, depression, illness, and suicide in a way that’s easy to digest and might even make you crack a smile.
I also like how this book contains a little bit of everything. It has dogs. It has depression. It has children duct-taped to chairs in driveways. It has death. It has overly persistent and demanding children. It has drug-fuelled adventures. It has strange birds. It has medical scares. It has it all.
One of the heavier comics in this book starts with a few delightful pages of illustrations of my favourite Bird of Paradise, the greater lophorina, a.k.a. that black and blue dancing bird with the strange mating dance on Planet Earth. These pictures made me laugh out loud, but the comic quickly took a heavier turn as it talked about depression and mental health. Combining something light and feathery with something so heavy is a real talent, and Allie Brosh has that talent.
Overall, this book was worth the wait. It was my first read of 2021, and I’ll probably flick through it many times when I need to smile. I hope that this time around, Allie Brosh doesn’t disappear for as long, and I hope that she continues to be okay.
Rating: 4 Stars!