Well, This Is Exhausting: Essays (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
Named a Best Book of the Month by Vogue, Good Morning America, Bustle, Fortune, Goodreads, and more!
From Bustle columnist and Twitter sensation Sophia Benoit, this “charming and often laugh-out-loud funny” (Vogue) memoir-in-essays explores the ins and outs of modern womanhood—from finding feminism, the power of pop culture, and how to navigate life’s constant double standards—perfect for fans of Shrill and PEN15.
Like so many women, Sophia spent her formative years struggling to do the “right” thing—to make others comfortable, to take minimal and calculated risks, to live up to society’s expectations—only to realize that there was so little payoff to this tiresome balancing act. She spends her childhood in Missouri navigating her parents’ divorce and helping care for her younger siblings, always remaining reliable and responsible. She heads off to college having completely missed her change at a carefree youth.
Tired of trying so hard, Sophia finally lets go of the crushing pressure to be perfect. She navigates the highs and lows of the dating world (high: being a beta tester for Bumble; low: hastily shaving her legs before a hotel hookup and getting blood all over the sheets), and walks the line between being a “chill” girl and making sure her boyfriend’s nonchalance about altitude sickness doesn’t get him killed. She learns what it means to be a feminist, how to embrace her own voice, and when to listen to women who have been through more and have been doing the work longer.
With varied and laugh-out-loud funny topics ranging from how to be the life of the party (even when you have crippling anxiety), to an ill-fated consultation with a dietician who deems Sophia’s overindulgence in ketchup a serious health risk, to a masterful argument for why no one should judge you for having an encyclopedic knowledge of reality TV, Well, This is Exhausting explores what it means to care too much and try too hard, while maintaining a sense of humor about the absurdity of it all.
About the Author
Sophia Benoit is a writer and comedian who grew up in Missouri and was correctly voted “Most Likely to Never Come Back.” She writes sex and relationship advice for GQ and has had bylines in Allure, Refinery29, The Cut, The Guardian, and more. She writes an advice newsletter Here’s The Thing where she tries to get everyone to ask their crush out. Sophia lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend Dave, but usually only spouses make it into author bios, so forget about him.
"Benoit’s engaging writing style invites laughter while she sparks serious contemplation on a variety of topics… Readers suffering from a short attention span can easily read one essay at a time […] but will most likely return quickly for more.”
—Booklist, starred review
“Hilarious and biting… It's a classic millennial tale, but in Benoit's hands, this story of coming into one's full and honest self feels fresh and new. Perhaps it's her ability to balance self-deprecating humor with a white-hot rage against the cis-het white patriarchy, or to combine razor-sharp jabs at terrible ex-boyfriends with smart and reflective thoughts about what it feels like to live in a woman's body in the 21st century. Whatever the secret may be, Well, This Is Exhausting is exhilarating to read.”
“Charming and often laugh-out-loud funny.”
“For anyone who’s grappling lingering impostor syndrome, looks like they have it all figured out but are still foundering in some unseen area of life, or has tried to be a flawless feminist in the new millennium.”
“Not only is it one of the funniest books you’ll read this year, but it’s also one of the most important...It is, in a word, delightful.”
“Tired of talk about burnout? Well sometimes the best way to get through something is just to talk about it—endlessly. GQ columnist Sophia Benoit shares her experiences with burnout, starting with her adolescence and having to grow up fast in taking care of her younger siblings, trying to balance life between her divorced parents' homes, part-time jobs, and school on top of it all. As Benoit illuminates, trying to do everything to please your parents is a condition we carry into adulthood, manifesting itself in a variety of ways, from imposter syndrome to fear of missing out by trying to do too much.”
“Humorist, Twitter star and GQ columnist Sophia Benoit tracks her journey from classic good girl to feminist as she examines how to be ‘good’ these days. (I mean, do any of us really know?!) Weaving in anxiety, dating, reality TV and more, these essays pack a memoir-istic punch.”
“A riotous collection … Heartening and hilarious, this is prime summer reading material.”
“Benoit’s writing style is like a witty, long-form tweet—familiar, pithy, and off-the-cuff... Benoit brings her A game in her first book, a new addition to the recent spate of brutally honest memoirs. Recommended for fans of Samantha Irby."
“Sophia Benoit is that rare combo of wisecracking friend and tough older sister.”
“Sophia Benoit is smart, funny, and extremely good at short form writing. The translation from short form to longer form [...] is sometimes exhilarating, sometimes transformative, and criminally interesting."
—Medium, The Pour Over
“Frank, insightful, and incisive … I’ve known for years that Sophia Benoit is funny. Well, This is Exhausting shows that she is also wise, insightful, and has a Terry Pratchett-esque talent for footnotes.”
—Mara Wilson, author of Where Am I Now?: True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame
“Well, This Is Exhausting is a delightfully conversational, funny essay collection that digs right into the heart of what it is to be a woman coming to terms with her personhood. Benoit explores what it means to be a ‘good girl’ by diving into parental divorce, body issues, crushes, sex, love, standing up for yourself, hostile workplaces, and the tired line between ‘chill’ and ‘too much,’ peppering her advice with humor, poise, pop-culture references and a couple one-liners that had me literally laughing out loud. Readers might find themselves hoping they're secretly Benoit's sister, and therefore the direct recipient of some of her best life advice.”
—Rebecca Fishbein, author of Good Things Happen to People You Hate
“Sophia Benoit is hilarious and sharp in this vibrant collection of essays about what it means to be a woman in a world that won't stop telling us we're doing it wrong … [G]ive yourself a break with this funny, honest, and relatable book.”
—Sara Schaefer, author of Grand