Solutions and Other Problems, Allie Brosh’s follow-up to her critically acclaimed first book, Hyperbole and a Half, had a lot to live up to. Like many people, I’ve been waiting for this book for years. The book had been plagued with delays leaving her readers believing that the book may never actually see the light of day.
Then, out of nowhere, the book was scheduled for release in September of 2020. Finally! Something good in this horror show of a year. However, as the content of the book showed, she had very good reasons for her many delays.
Allie’s comedy is on-point, as always, and the moments that were designed for laughs got big ones from me. One of the best parts involves Allie trying to explain that big moments in the lives of pets (decorating for Christmas, random fireworks, and parties) will leave your pet believing that these temporary instances are permanent, which is likely why they freak out. Seriously, I’m not doing it justice explaining it. I also loved her ill-fated attempt to conquer her fears by loading up on drugs and wandering out into the woods in the middle of the night. Also, there’s a great story from her childhood about random frozen poop being discovered around her home.
In regards to the aforementioned delays, Allie had a lot of big changes in her life that led her to placing this book on the backburner. Her sister committed suicide, Allie’s marriage crumbled and ended, she had a massive health scare, she moved to Colorado and her parents also divorced. Not to mention, Allie also has a history of mental illness (depression), which she covered in the original book and revisits here. The part reserved for her sister’s passing is especially heartbreaking. She is a born storyteller and put together these big moments with intense introspective detail.
I thought Solutions and Other Problems more than lived up to the hype and I cannot recommend it enough. It was worth the wait. I just hope her third book doesn’t take quite as long.