Book Review: “Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered”

Book eighteen of my 2019 Reading Challenge.

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark’s Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered

If you are a fellow murderino and haven’t read this book yet, you need to go out right now, buy the book and dive into it. Right now. This is not a drill.

If you have no idea what a murderino is, then this book, and subsequent review, might not be for you. In that case, I suggest you go to wherever you listen to podcasts and start ‘My Favorite Murder‘ which is categorized as a True-Crime Comedy podcast that will forever change your perspective on murder. It’s a fantastic podcast that I discovered about a year ago and have become (minorly) obsessed with. This book is a dual autobiography from the podcast queens behind ‘My Favorite Murder’, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark.

I never thought I would be a fan of biographies but after reading two in the past seven months (the first was Anna Kendrick’s Scrappy Little Nobody) I can say that they are worth the read. A large portion of published biographies are from people that have become famous in one way or another and so my first impression was always that the stories they were going to tell were only going to be about how famous they were and how fame has been the best thing to happen to them, blah, blah, blah. So far though, I’ve been proven wrong.

I’d say that my favorite part about biographies and this dual one in particular are that they are so real and genuine in their stories and experiences and it’s refreshing. There is a lot of vulnerability when it comes to writing your own biography and usually the writer is selective in the stories they tell. If a writer decides to tell a story that is extremely personal they usually leave out a few details or make it a short story. Karen and Georgia didn’t follow this model. They let it all out and I loved it.

Their stories followed a less than traditional style because it was an autobiography for two people rather than one. Instead of starting at the beginning of their lives and following a timeline, they chose specific lessons that they had learned and both wrote about their experiences respectively. The chosen theme or lesson of the chapter was broken down with two different experiences (one from Karen and one from Georgia) that helped me realize that even if you don’t have the same background as someone else, it doesn’t mean that you haven’t had to learn the same things and usually the hard way. And that hard way can be unique to the individual. It truly melded together the two authors lives’ pre-podcast.

One thing that I expected was that there would be a lot of stories from the post-podcast conception year and how the podcast has changed their lives, but there were very few tidbits about that time. A lot of the stories came from growing up, becoming an adult and living as an adult who has no idea what they are doing in their lives. Those stories are what really drew me in and kept me reading.

Plus who doesn’t love honest, no bullshit chapter titles like “Buy Your Own Shit” and “Fuck Politeness”. All the chapter titles are quotes from their podcast and they truly encapsulate some wonderful life lessons while tying back into the podcast.

And truly all those life lessons ultimately tie back to ‘The Definitive How-To Guide‘ portion of the book title. Staying sexy is important because who doesn’t feel on top of the world when they feel sexy? And the not getting murdered part is simple: there are a lot of situations in life when you are getting murdered in a “not-actually-dying” way. I know I’ve definitely used the “that test murdered me” exaggeration a time or two. Life can be murderous and sometimes you just need a little insight from someone else to know that it’s not the real end.

Having people that have your back and can understand your mood swings and quirks can be so much more help than you realize. Kilgariff and Hardstark’s honestly about this and not being afraid to ask for help got me thinking a lot about how I can help myself. Their openness about seeing a therapist both in this book and on their podcast really shows that it’s okay to see someone and I think a lot of people need to see and hear about those experiences because having that type of outlet really can make a difference in someone’s life. The general honesty and openness in this book was what made it so relatable and I loved every page of it.

Now if you thought that this book was going to get gruesome about some actual murders, you’ll be disappointed. But if you are someone who enjoys honest advice given from two women who have seen quite a bit in their lives, then this is definitely the book for you. With both of those things being said, if you have not listened to ‘My Favorite Murder’ then you need to check it out first. That way you get the gruesome murders you were probably hoping for in this book and then you can understand the handful of inside jokes that you might not get if you’ve never heard Kilgariff and Hardstark on the podcast.

A must read for all murderinos and please, please, please check out ‘My Favorite Murder’ wherever you listen to podcasts.

Stay tuned for the next review, it will be either: The Silver Chair, book six in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis or American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin by Terrance Hayes.

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