HCSC’S Weekly Read: Lauren Holme’s Barbara The Slut and Other People

At HCSC, we’re focusing a lot on reading. Yes, reading books, for fun. If you aren’t sure you’re into it, check out our first article in our "Weekly Reads" column, to see why reading is the key to succeeding in college, and in life.

Barbara the Slut and Other People is hands down one of the funniest, most relatable books I’ve read in awhile. Holmes skillfully transitions stories from the lives of 10 different people every chapter, making it impossible to put this fun read down.

With outstanding reviews from some of the top media sites, including NPR, Esquire, Elle, Marie Claire, and Bustle (just to name a few), Barbara the Slut and Other People is a must-read for any millennial woman or man.

The cover caught my attention at the local Barnes and Noble, convincing me to grab it without even reading the summary–the bright, graffiti letters that spelled out “SLUT” and alluring title just screamed, “Buy me, I’m awesome.”  A week later, I couldn’t help but wish there were more stories that followed after reading the last page.

Holmes’s blunt, conversational writing style allowed me to immerse myself in the plots of each character’s life, accompanying them through breakups, job searches, family drama and sexual tension.

The first story, “How am I supposed to talk to you” follows Lala, a young lesbian woman who makes the bold choice of finally coming out to her mother after 20 plus years. Filled with anecdotes like smuggling Victoria’s Secret underwear to Mexico to sell to locals, upon her mom’s request, to meeting her Mom’s new boyfriend, Lala’s story can’t help but make you laugh and roll your eyes. Because moms sometimes, you know?

That first story prepares you for what’s to come, like Natalie’s family vacation gone wrong in “I will crawl to Raleigh if I have to.” In this story, Natalie goes to a beach house with her brother, mom, mom’s boyfriend, and boyfriend’s brother’s family. Among the many setbacks she encounters, they end up leaving early after major drama between the two families.

And of course, the story of “Barbara the Slut” brings the book full circle as the last story. Barbara, who is called a slut relentlessly throughout high school reminds readers that people are more than what’s rumored. In fact, Barbara had straight A’s, a nearly perfect SAT score and was an all-star track athlete, ultimately landing her a well-deserved acceptance to Princeton.

Those stories are just some of many that follow the lives of a diverse group of people, allowing readers to either nod in unison as feelings of deja-vu emerge or re-read certain sections, after seeing life from a different perspective.

Barbara the Slut and Other People is the perfect read for a beach-getaway or even an afternoon at Starbucks or Drip. Not only will it have you laughing, but it will also get you thinking about your life and all of the other people in the world around us.

If you are looking for a read that will give you all of the feelsfrom love to happiness to sadness to even confusion, pick up Holmes's Barbara the Slut and Other People. If you are reading or have recently finished reading Holmes's book, then shoot us an email at [email protected] to tell us what you thought. You might be featured in our next column.