Monday, March 27, 2017


The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo
By Amy Schumer
Published 2016

In this book Amy Schumer shows that she is more than a comedian who likes to talk about sex and degrade herself for a joke. She has lived a difficult life dealing with her parents’ divorces, her father's battle with the disease multiple sclerosis, helped mentally challenged people, has been in abusive relationships, and cares very deeply for her sister. These parts of the book are an insight into her personal life and how her experiences have shaped who she is and her strong opinions about people and life in general.

Characteristics of Nonfiction: Autobiography/Memoir

This book is less of an autobiography and more of a collection of memoirs with a few central themes.

There are chapter headings that explain the general overview of each chapter.  However, there are one or both overwhelming subjects that find their way into every chapter.  These subjects are family issues and sex.

The tone of this book various greatly.  At some points it is very sad and somber when Amy is recalling facts about her volunteering at a summer camp for mentally challenged adults and at other parts it is hilarious when she is reviewing old diary entries from her childhood.

The writing style varies.  It can be very straight forward when Amy is discussing her views on gun control.  This is done in lecture style writing.  In other parts of the book her style changes to a friendly banter between old friends; like when Amy is using abbreviations like J.K. for just kidding. The different writing style may bother certain readers, because it does not flow naturally from one topic to another.  However, the audio book read by the author does help this issue.

The pacing in the book has highs and lows. Some of the chapters about her family issues are slowed down to such a slow pace that it feels longer than it is.  Other times the pace is more upbeat, especially when recalling stories about good sexual experiences and fun outings with her sister.

This book does a great job of relaying to the reader how Amy feels about the different characters in the book.  She makes you feel sad for her broken relationship with her mother and angry at the boyfriend who physically abused her.


Publishers Weekly: “Her prose, like her popular comedy act, is plucky, forthright, hilariously raunchy—and honest.... Amid ill-fated dates, alcohol-induced blackouts, and late-night eating binges, Schumer, in these candid, well-crafted essays, wears her mistakes "like badges of honor."

Chicago Tribune: “What [Schumer] offers here is a better, more deeply felt life-so-far book than most I've read...Schumer weaves a brave, vulnerable tale without falling into the usual celebrity traps of neediness and defense.

Emily Yahr from the Washington Post writes: “This is not solely a breezy beach read. With little notice, the essays whiplash from hilarious to grim as Schumer lays bare some of the most traumatizing moments of her life.

Associated Press: “Readers will laugh and cry, and may put the book down from moments of honesty that result in uncomfortable realistic details from her life. More important, the essays challenge readers to harness their own stories and rest in the fact that they’re good enough. Experience the world. Be bold. Love your body. It’s OK to fail and make mistakes. And lower-back tattoos can only make you stronger.

Good Reads gives this book an overall rating of 3.38 out of 5 stars.

Kirkus Reviewer: “A hilarious and effective memoir from a woman with zero inhibitions.”


Yes Please by Amy Poehler. (2014).
Bossypants by Tina Fey. (2011).
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling. (2011).
Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler. (2007).
Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy by Ophira Eisenberg. (2013).


  1. I'm not typically a nonfiction reader, but I like to learn more about people's experiences and emotions. This sounds like it may be a good fit for me to jump into nonfiction. You said that there are chapter headings and that it is more a set of memoirs. Would you be able to jump around in this book or is it one that you need to read from beginning to end in order for everything to flow?

  2. I would recommend that you read it from beginning to end. In certain ways Amy refers to and builds on issues in her life. Other times it is more loosely structured. So, skipping around would loose some important details.

  3. I've been a fan of Amy Schumer as her stand-up comedy basically had me in tears as I was laughing so hard. This book has been on my Amazon list, and this annotation is very helpful in promoting this book. I also enjoy the authors of the read-a-likes because I enjoy their comedy as well.

  4. It is refreshing to learn about the lives of celebrities and how they arrived at a successful career. Comedians are known to have had a difficult childhood and they use humor as a coping measure. Amy Schumer often is brash and tacky and at the same time very funny. I think highly of anyone who takes the time to volunteer, especially at an adult camp for the mentally challenged. I am not drawn to memoirs and biographies so I am happy to have read your blog and learning about the softer side of Amy.

  5. I was pleasantly surprised with this book, I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. You did a great job summarizing the book and listing out appeals such as pacing and chapter themes. Great job and full points!