How to Murder your Life is, without a doubt, my favourite book of 2016. Released in February 2017, this book is the autobiography of Cat Marnell’s life so far. Don’t worry, I hadn’t hear of her either but jeez, her life is SO INTERESTING.
Synopsis from Goodreads:
At the age of 15, Cat Marnell unknowingly set out to murder her life. After a privileged yet emotionally-starved childhood in Washington, she became hooked on ADHD medication provided by her psychiatrist father. This led to a dependence on Xanax and other prescription drugs at boarding school, and she experimented with cocaine, ecstasy… whatever came her way. By 26 she was a talented ‘doctor shopper’ who manipulated Upper East Side psychiatrists into giving her never-ending prescriptions; her life had become a twisted merry-go-round of parties and pills at night, and trying to hold down a high profile job at Condé Naste during the day.
With a complete lack of self-pity and an honesty that is almost painful, Cat describes the crazed euphoria, terrifying comedowns and the horrendous guilt she feels lying to those who try to help her. Writing in a voice that is utterly magnetic – prompting comparisons to Brett Easton Ellis and Charles Bukowski – she captures something essential both about her generation and our times. Profoundly divisive and controversial, How to Murder Your Life is a unforgettable, charged account of a young female addict, so close to throwing her entire life away.
Wowza. As soon as I saw this on Netgalley I knew I needed it in my life. I absolutely love fashion magazines and just find the whole fashion industry intriguing (and often ridiculous). If you loved The Devil Wears Prada you will adore this real life version. I recently read Inside Vogue by Alexandra Shulman (UK Vogue Editor-in-Chief) and I thought that was juicy! How to Murder your Life is something else entirely; it’s totally off the charts.
The book charts Marnell’s journey from growing up with a dysfunctional family, tricking her psychiatrist father into giving her a ton of prescription drugs. She becomes an (almost) functional drug addict, working her way up to Beauty Editor at Lucky Magazine.
I absolutely flew through this book as it was like living in an alternative universe. My life could not be more different than this and couldn’t believe some of these things actually happen in real life! Not to make light of Marnell’s troubled life, this has everything from psychotic best friends, drug-fuelled celeb parties and eating disorders to weird sex and teen pregnancy.
I found it interesting that despite all the issues her drug use has caused (not including the impact on her health), Marnell continues to use drugs albeit in a much more liberal way.
For me, books are there to experience things that you wouldn’t otherwise; learn from other people’s experiences and mistakes. I am so grateful to Cat Marnell for sharing her story as it took me on a whirlwind adventure I will never forget. It sounds like she’s a lot more settled now and I hope she continues to have a calm but never-boring life.
Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for giving me an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.