Rating: 1.5 stars (1/2 for pure entertainment, like a train wreck)
As a female entrepreneur, I initially liked the idea of a book about a #GirlBoss even if I wasn't sold on the title. Unfamiliar with the Nasty Gal brand, I had seen the hype around the book and am always on board for strong females discussing their success.
The first part of the book drew me in, and was relatively entertaining. I was surprised to learn that the first thing Sophia Amoruso sold online was stolen (she used to steal a lot), and that she was once a dumpster diving freegan. She also believes in magic and planting wishes in her life via sigils and passwords.
It didn’t take long to realize this was not going to be the kind of book with any strong takeaways. The writing style heralds Mad Libs for blockbuster books, and the “advice” irritatingly basic and inane (geared for millennial girls): “Be a nice person at work . . . If you are a total terror to work with, no one will want to keep you around,” “Life is short. Don’t be lazy,” “Being a girl is fun,” etc. Any time the word “ain’t” is used particularly makes my skin crawl, it seemed like she was talking to tween airheads, or was perpetuating one herself (“And the top of the chain ain’t gonna like it.”). The ditsy, magically successful fashion lady.
After she passed the “rags” portion of her story and got started on the “riches,” Amoruso started to come off, as a friend put it: "sounding like a condescending know-it-all.” This portion was difficult to get through, but was peppered with other female success snippets that broke up the pomposity.
Yes, it is a Cinderella story with social media, fashion, and monetary success—but at the end of the day, it’s just a marginally interesting, braggadocious tale. Post #GirlBoss (2014), Nasty Gal suffered layoffs, lawsuits, disgruntled employees, and Amoruso stepped down from CEO in 2015. She also was dropped from Forbes' Richest Self-Made Women when Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy in 2016. It's not all bad news however, Amoruso is producing an adaptation of #GirlBoss for Netflix in 2017.
Reading this, I felt at times I was being Punk’d. My favorite part was the end, and I would never recommend this book to anyone.
* Still, props to Amoruso for being a successful (no matter for how long) female entrepreneur. It was a bold move to write this book, and if you want to be rich, you've got to be a bitch.
“Bad bitches are taking over the world.” — #GirlBoss