Review: Things I Can’t Explain


Book Info:

A complete re-imagining of the 1990s television hit Clarissa Explains it All as 20-something Clarissa tries to navigate the unemployment line, mompreneurs and the collision of two people in love.

She was a smart, snappy, light-hearted girl who knew it all at fourteen and let television audiences everywhere know it. Now a woman in her late twenties, her searching blue eyes are more serious, but mostly amused by the people around her. The gap-toothed smile that made her seem younger than she really was is gone, but she still lightens up the room. Her unpredictable wardrobe rocks just like when she was a kid, but her fashion sense has evolved and it makes men and women turn their heads.

After leaving high school early, Clarissa interned at the Daily Post while attending night school. At the ripe old age of twenty- two she had it made – her own journalism beat (fashion, gender politics and crime), an affordable apartment in FiDi and a livable wage. She was so totally ahead of the game. Ah, those were the days! All three of them. Remember the Stock Market Crash of 08? Remember when people actually bought newspapers?

All of Clarissa’s charming obsessions, charts, graphs, and superstitions have survived into adulthood, but they’ve evolved into an ever-greater need to claw the world back under control. Her mid-twenties crisis has left her with a whole set of things she can’t explain: an ex-boyfriend turned stalker, her parents’ divorce, a micro relationship with the cute coffee guy, java addiction, “To-Flue Glue,” and then there’s Sam. Where’s Sam anyway?

Things I Can’t Explain is about knowing it all in your teens and then feeling like you know nothing in your twenties. It is an entertaining and must-read sequel to all fans of Mitchell Kriegman’s Nickelodeon TV show, Clarissa Explains It All.

My Thoughts:

   When I initially heard about Things I Can’t Explain, I was crazily intrigued. Now 26, I was obsessed with Clarissa Explains it All as a kid. I was probably a bit younger than the intended audience, but I still loved it just the same.

    Fast forward to now and I found myself with an ARC of Things I Can’t Explain on Netgalley…yes, please! I enjoyed getting caught up with Clarissa and seeing where she ended up in life.

    Honestly? Her life is kind of a bit of a hot mess. Then again, I didn’t expect her to have it all together either. I’m not sure that I would’ve liked it as much if she had grown up to have a cookie cutter life in her 20’s. I loved the re-emergence of old characters from the tv show, all of whom even had the same vibe from the their teen years. I think the characters even still work for readers who may not have watched the show because they do have a short introduction to serve as a history lesson as far as who they are and what happened back in the younger days.

    EASILY, my favorite part of the book is the fact that there are charts and graphs throughout for different things. That was always a HUGE part of the show, so I”m glad that the book stayed true to that tone. Really- I’m not even sure that it could be considered Clarissa without charts and graphs making an appearance.

     Now, my one complaint…sometimes I couldn’t picture it as Clarissa, but I think that’s just because of the age difference. She was great, but it was just weird to me for her to be my age. Don’t take that to mean that it doesn’t work though, because it does!

    I highly suggest this one for anyone who was a fan of the show!



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