How much ridiculousness can you handle? That is what is going to determine your enjoyment of Selp-Helf by Miranda Sings. Miranda Sings is a character and YouTube channel created by Colleen Ballinger. Miranda is a tone-deaf narcissist who spends most of her time singing comically awful songs, mispronouncing just about everything, and addressing both her “Mirfandas” and “haters.” Miranda thinks she is spectacularly famous and talented so of course it makes perfect sense that she has written a self-help book. Selp-Helf reads like a bizarro world Grace’s Guide. There are chapters on cooking, dating, and using social media but all of the advice is hysterically bad and Miranda’s mispronunciations are spelled out in all of their crayon-drawn glory. If you are curious about “First Date Eddikate” or doing “Strenches” so you don’t “pull a musle” then Miranda has you covered.
While ostensibly a self-help book, it is really an excuse for Miranda to talk about how great she is, draw stick figures, and expound upon every topic possible. There are pictures, including actual photographs in addition to the drawings. There are lists and sidebars and bits of advice from Miranda’s creepy uncle and her oblivious mother. There are even pages dedicated to crafts that encourage you to cut things out (save that for your purchased copy, please). Miranda gets nothing right and you will at turns be laughing out loud, looking away in disgust, or feeling utterly disturbed. You do not need to be a full-fledged MirFANda to enjoy this book. This (like the other books I’ve reviewed this week) is aimed at college-aged women. I am neither college-aged nor a woman and I found plenty to enjoy. When my copy came in to the library, a coworker, who had no idea who Miranda is, looked through several pages and once she stopped laughing had to read aloud some of the more insane passages she found.
If you like, Selp-Helf you might like other parody self-help guides, Feel This Book by Janeane Garofalo, I Like You by Amy Sedaris or an actual memoir by an internet-fueled celebrity, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day. Pick up any of them at the Virginia Beach Public Library.