"How To Murder Your Life" by Cat Marnell: A Book Report

"How To Murder Your Life" by Cat Marnell: A Book Report


‘How To Murder Your Life’ might as well be called ‘How To Murder My Soul’. Holy difficult read. Though, as many difficult things are, it is also addicting, intriguing, and darkly mesmerizing. I read it like a vulture, unable to put it down. I read it like an addict, reading it through inappropriate situations and not caring about much else. I wanted it to stop but I couldn’t quit it, I had to get to the end. Did I like it? I have no idea, but it made me think. It’s a pretty blaze premise, a prep school girl addicted to pills, and then drugs, and then more drugs. The upside of drugs, especially the ones this heroine is on as she’s starting her career, is that they eliminate basic human needs that take effort and time, like sleeping and eating. She also has a decent amount of ambition, for things like makeup and fashion magazines, but whatever works. While the stimulants propel her in a way, they also try to kill her. She suffers from insomnia, bulimia, attracts and embraces terribly abusive people, and has multiple abortions. And it all starts at 15. You do get some context about her life before 15 and it’s basically a premonition to a dark, suffering, self-mutilating future, but I guess you never really know until you know.

The book drags on and on in a drug fueled rage that quickly strays from prescription meds to everything from high class party drugs to the dirtiest of dirty street drugs. Trust me, it’s gross. If you’re the type who feels like you’re living what you read all I can say is, good luck. I was nauseous by the third chapter and every next escapade drags you farther and farther into nastiness and pain. Even by the end, I’m not sure I felt much better. But like I said, it made me think. I am not one to judge. The issue is not that this intriguing female specimen decided to give her life to the devil before it really began, the issue is ‘Why’. And that part she makes pretty clear. Of all the drugs, heroin, cocaine, ecstacy, crack, bla, bla, bla, the most addicting drugs and the ones she still has yet to quit, were prescribed to her most of her life, legally, by her father, and then a revolving door of psychiatrists. Yes, she abused those too, did not take them as prescribed, but that’s not the point.

The point is that the reason she started taking pills is because she couldn’t concentrate and the reason she couldn’t quit them was because she was in pain. But after years of self sabotage she somehow found a way to sleep normal hours, keep a plant alive, and pull a best selling book together without an endless buffet of narcotics. If you’re paying the last bit of attention you’re probably wondering ‘how’? The answer is so simple it makes your cringe. She did this through self love, meditation, prayer, and good old fashioned exercise. I’m not saying that there is never a time for drugs, that’s not my place. What I am saying is that if the cure is based on drugs alone it’s probably not going to work and it will probably just lead to more and more drugs.

There has been a recent movement of strong female characters that have completely exposed themselves, their habits, and their journey. This has proven to help not only their own progress and recovery, but also inspires strength in others who need it. Now is a great time to expose the truth and be real. So many women are doing it well. IAMTHATGIRL, Lena Dunham, Aubree Nichols, and now Cat Marnell. Their courage takes strength and inspires it in others. Their journey builds confidence because it levels with the truth and makes people feel like they aren’t alone in their loneliness. It encourages people to be honest with pain and turn it into fuel. Whether the vehicle is exercise, creativity, or meditation, these girls have proven that when you level with pain and embrace the journey anything is possible, and most importantly, life is more fun.

- Marla