Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered

Finished Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark.

Summary (from Goodreads):

The highly anticipated first book by Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, the voices behind the #1 hit podcast My Favorite Murder!

Sharing never-before-heard stories ranging from their struggles with depression, eating disorders, and addiction, Karen and Georgia irreverently recount their biggest mistakes and deepest fears, reflecting on the formative life events that shaped them into two of the most followed voices in the nation.

In Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered, Karen and Georgia focus on the importance of self-advocating and valuing personal safety over being ‘nice’ or ‘helpful.’ They delve into their own pasts, true crime stories, and beyond to discuss meaningful cultural and societal issues with fierce empathy and unapologetic frankness.”

This doesn’t really deal with true crime (there is very little discussion of murder and crime). Instead, it’s a collection of essays from Karen and Georgia. They discuss their lives and experiences (good and bad). It’s incredibly funny and completely heartbreaking. Karen’s chapter on her mom’s Alzheimer’s is especially devastating; so is Georgia’s chapter that details her experience with a photographer. (She discussed it a little bit on their podcast; this is in greater detail.)

The thing with this book (and their podcast) is that it fosters such a sense of community. We may have gone through the exact same thing, or something similar; we may just relate to the underlying feeling. But either way, this feels like a series of conversations with our best, oldest friend, the one we don’t talk to as much as we’d like to because we’re all so busy, where they say something that’s exactly how we’d been feeling but we didn’t have the words for it, and all you can say back is, “YES. Me, too. That’s exactly how it is for me.”

When I went to the live show in Baltimore, Karen read part of one of the chapters (“Karen’s Lecture on Self-Care”) and said, “You deserve to be happy, no matter what your brain tells you.” It felt like the entire theater audibly gasped but that reading is in the Audible version of this, and I didn’t hear the gasp there. (It still feels true.) I think we should all get that tattooed somewhere.

I love Karen and Georgia and their podcast and this book is the perfect example of why. It’s OK to not have it all together, so long as you’re trying to reach the point where you do. And it’s OK to follow your instincts, if your instincts are saying, “This is not safe. You need to go.”

And it’s OK to stay sexy and not get murdered.

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