Luvvie Ajayi is a go-to source for smart takes on pop culture, and I’m Judging You is her debut book of humorous essays that dissects our cultural obsessions and calls out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives. It passes on lessons and side-eyes on life, social media, culture, and fame, from addressing those terrible friends we all have to serious discussions of race and media representation to what to do about your fool cousin sharing casket pictures from Grandma’s wake on Facebook.
With a lighthearted, razor sharp wit and a unique perspective, I’m Judging You is the handbook the world needs, doling out the hard truths and a road map for bringing some “act right” into our lives, social media, and popular culture. It is the Do-Better Manual.
Someone recommended that I read I’m Judging You as an audiobook and I’m really glad I did. Ajayi, while not a trained narrator or actor, is engaging to listen to and provides a full experience. The shade that comes through the speakers is real, y’all.
I enjoyed most of the book but found it highly uneven. The sections on Life and Fame are okay, and the section covering Culture is excellent. The chapter The Privilege Principle is my personal favorite and should be required listening for people everywhere. Racism, rape culture, and homophobia are also covered. The best part about this culture section is that even if you know what Ajayi is going to talk about the essays are engaging and fun.
The social media section, on the other hand, covers entry-level digital etiquette (one chapter: #Hashtag # I #Hate #Your #Hashtag #Abuse) and is boring and obvious to anyone born after 1982. My listening slowed down at this point because yes, I get it, and no, it’s not funny listening about it.
The religion section struck me as a little contradictory. Ajayi says that she doesn’t push faith or religion or anyone, then segues into how to be a good Christian two sentences later. I’m agnostic so I found it annoying but (sadly) in line with my experience – people are usually understanding of other religions, but when you say you don’t have one it short circuits their brain. Ah, well.
All in all I’m Judging You is a good read but I’m hoping that Ajayi comes out with another book that’s more solid beginning to end.