I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman // Book Review

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman // Book Review

I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I really liked Nina Hill and expected a similar story for this one, but a mother/daughter growth story worked and really made me happy to read.

Here’s more about I Was Told It Would Get Easier

Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever.

My Thoughts

Jessica is an overworked single mother who’s been balancing her daughter and her job but letting her job win. Emily reminded me a lot of myself; an in-between person who isn’t fully sure what she’s capable of doing but also wants the space to figure it out for herself. Jessica is involved in Emily’s life despite Emily’s want for her to move away from that space and the tension between them and their relationship is palatable from the beginning.

As they journey to different colleges on this weekend tour of the East Coast, not only do Jessica and Emily find out more about themselves, but they find out more about each other. It’s obvious that Jessica and Emily didn’t have that Lorelai/Rory bond. In fact, it seemed on the verge of blowing up with every snarky comment or eye roll.

But I loved the gradual growth between them. Frankly, I was expecting there to be some bigger adventure that would take Jessica and Emily’s experiences to get out of, but it didn’t turn out this way. It was a breezy and funny coming-of-age story (and I’m talking about coming-of-age for everyone) and Jessica and Emily do end up with a better relationship at the end.

I was a little annoyed that Jessica and Emily had this rapport that seemed on the brink of tearing, but then you would read their inner thoughts (because the book is written in dual POV) and want for them to just say what they’re feeling. However, having been a teenager with a tough relationship with their mom, I understood why there were less said than felt.

I wasn’t a fan of all the stuff happening around Jessica and Emily. For example, a school admissions scandal. I’m assuming Abbi Waxman is bringing this up because of the scandals that happened in 2019 with a very prominent school in LA and Abbi being from LA probably wanted to talk about it. The way it was set up felt a bit abrupt and pulled from nowhere. I wished there was a bit more context at the beginning of the novel (and perhaps something Emily is hiding more from Jessica) to bring that scandal into full view by the end. However, there was some interesting things that came out of that part of the book, which I really liked especially the parts discussing how important college is to kids and their parents.

Overall, this was a fun read and reading it on audiobook with the two POVs was excellent. There was a lot of emotions that the narrator put into her characters and it showed when you listen, so highly recommend it if you can get a copy of the audiobook somewhere.

I received a copy of this book from Berkley. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

My Favorite Genres of All Time

My Favorite Genres of All Time

I think I might have written a post like this in the past, but I’ve been thinking a lot about books and genres. It’s probably because I’m in the process of moving across the country and that means whittling my book piles down to the ones that I truly want to read.

I rummaged through all my books, made lists, and figured out that the top billings for genres that I love to read. Here’s what I got:


General Fiction

My general fiction contains everything from literary greats to the beach read. I love fiction in general, but there’s a time and place for all of it. I like to keep a mix of books available so that I can pick and choose depending on my mood. Most times, I’ll read a fun summer read because I’m always in the mood for those. I didn’t think that my general fiction pile would be so big, but I guess that’s because it’s got some literary fiction, womens’ fiction, some romance novels, and my diverse books.

Most literary fiction I read is from an author of color. I just love the stories that they tell and they always make me think a little harder and understand a little deeper.

The sad thing about this list is that there’s not a lot of literary fiction here. Most of these books are fun reads or “womens’ fiction.” I think the reason for that is because I’ve read so many stories about the young woman moving to New York in pursuit of something. Or that couple that’s on the verge of breaking up and they’re doing what they can to stay together. As I get older, I’m noticing that my tastes are changing and I’m moving away from books by the Jonathans (Safran Foer, Franzen, etc) and more into books that let me escape a little from my life.


Science Fiction/Fantasy

Sci-fi and Fantasy is my next biggest genre. If anything, sci-fi/fantasy is my favorite genre. The list here is small, but I also have all my bigger fantasy reads on my Kindle.

When I was growing up, I was in love with science fiction and fantasy. I even ran the sci-fi/fantasy literary magazine at my high school! However, I didn’t read a lot when I was a kid and therefore don’t have a lot of the classic sci-fi/fantasy novels under my belt. While I don’t have many of those classics in my TBR pile, I do have aspirations to read them all. Hello, I haven’t even read Hitchhiker’s Guide yet…



My non-fiction pile is strangely tall. I also included my poetry books in here as well. I think the reason for that is because I haven’t read them. I love reading non-fiction essays and memoirs, but fiction just always happens to take over when I’m reading books. I think I’ll change it this summer and at least read one non-fiction book per month. This way, I’ll get some non-fiction in my life!

Sometimes I like to throw in some thriller, some romance and some YA to mix things up. I always thought I was a YA reader, but I guess most of the YA I’m reading is also Science Fiction and Fantasy. When I think back to my reading life, I think of the Twilight series and Harry Potter and The Hunger Games being big in my life. Isn’t it funny how sometimes your favorite genres are just sitting right in front of your face?