Review: The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro

Title:  The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club
Author:  Laurie Notaro
Series:  None
Publisher:  Villard Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
Publication Date:  July 2, 2002
Pages:  221
Format/Source:  Paperback/Borrowed from Library

Age Group/Genre:  Adult/Non-Fiction, Memoir, Humor

“I’ve changed a bit since high school. Back then I said no to using and selling drugs. I washed on a normal basis and still had good credit.”

Introducing Laurie Notaro, the leader of the Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club. Every day she fearlessly rises from bed to defeat the evil machinations of dolts, dimwits, and creepy boyfriends—and that’s before she even puts on a bra.

For the past ten years, Notaro has been entertaining Phoenix newspaper readers with her wildly amusing autobiographical exploits and unique life experiences. She writes about a world of hourly-wage jobs that require absolutely no skills, a mother who hands down judgments more forcefully than anyone seated on the Supreme Court, horrific high school reunions, and hangovers that leave her surprised that she woke up in the first place.

The misadventures of Laurie and her fellow Idiot Girls (“too cool to be in the Smart Group”) unfold in a world that everyone will recognize but no one has ever described so hilariously. She delivers the goods: life as we all know it. (From Goodreads)

A Nice Change…

The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club was the June selection for my book club, and I have to say it was nice to change things up a bit.  My book club does read a lot of different books, but we’ve never really read a memoir before, nor short essays, and Idiot Girls’ is a collection of Laurie Notaro’s humor columns from a Phoenix newspaper, and they’re all things that really happened to her, even if they are a bit exaggerated.

Like Sex and the City and Girls?  Try Idiot Girls’…

I really think this book is kind of Sex and the City-lite.  Laurie and her group of Idiot Girls aren’t glamorous like Carrie, they don’t have as much sex as Samantha, they don’t work hard like Miranda, and they definitely don’t have as much money as Charlotte.  But they do have lots of great adventures, often around beers or vodka shots instead of Cosmos.  It’s like the every-girl version of Sex and the City.  Or like HBO’s new series, Girls.  I think that show’s creator, Lena Dunham, and Laurie Notaro are from the same ilk.  So if you like Sex and the City and/or Girls, you should check out Idiot Girls’.

Not Just Humor, But Relatability…

Not only did Notaro’s stories have me actually laughing out loud, but they also made me remember certain events in my own past that were similar. Not extremely similar, mind you, because her stories are pretty crazy.  But similar. There was one in particular, called “Men Are Stupid and I Rock (Ode to Dorothy Parker)”, which is all about how this guy stands her up on a date and she spends the whole next day wondering if he’s going to call to apologize.  She’s sitting by the phone, just waiting for it to ring, and she goes through every single different emotion while she waits for him to call.  I just thought this was really funny and realistic because I think almost every girl who has given their phone number to someone they like has gone through a similar situation, especially if they’ve been stood up.

In another story she talks about how she’s never been the “pretty friend”.  I know that lots of girls are able to relate to this, myself included.  One of my favorite quotes is from this story:  “Pretty friends always have cute names, like Nicole, Colleen, Dionne, or Jamie.  So I figure this pretty-friend thing has to start fairly early, like when you’re born and named.”

Here are a few more of my other favorite quotes:

“And can you get a DUI while operating an electric wheelchair?”

“I’d rather take on a band of collection agents armed with copies of my credit history than mess with a clown.”

“I don’t know about you, but I’ve never once been tempted to call on a striped demon to make me laugh.”

Those last two were from a story where she talks about how she hates clowns, and I totally agree with her there.  There was another quote that I really love but it was kind of inappropriate for a YA blog, so I won’t include it. And that’s a good thing to add as well:  this is definitely not a book for the younger crowd.  It’s a great pick for a book club full of adult women, but not something I would recommend for those under the age of 18.

My rating for The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro:

4 big stars.  If you’re looking for something quick that’ll make you literally laugh out loud, this book is definitely one to try.  (For ages 18 and up.)
Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Random House, Inc.

Disclaimer:  I borrowed a copy of this book from my library, and although it was a pick for my book club, I was in no way compensated for this review.


  1. Jac

    July 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    I'm glad you really enjoyed this one! I think I'll suggest it to my bookclub, we are looking for something new and different and this sounds PERFECT!

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 5, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      It was a great one for my book club! We could all relate to different stories, even if our lives weren't quite as crazy as the author's! I hope you and your book club enjoy it as much as we did!

  2. Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiners Book Blog)

    July 5, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    It sounds interesting, I love when stories make me laugh. I love the DUI in wheelchair quote. Sounds like my kind of humor.
    Thanks for review.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      You should definitely check it out if you think it sounds like your kind of humor!

  3. Kate@Midnight Book Girl

    July 6, 2012 at 12:24 am

    This is the book I always gift to my female friends. I love Notaro, and I'm actually stalking her on Facebook and I've emailed her. My book club did Spooky Little Girl which is one of her novels for one October read. Loved it, as it was filled with her great sense of humor.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 8, 2012 at 4:31 pm

      Lol, I love how you admit to stalking Laurie Notaro on Facebook! It was a great book, and I definitely want to read more by her – I'm thinking I'll pick some more up for the next readathon!

  4. fakesteph

    July 7, 2012 at 2:28 am

    I've heard really good things about this book. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 8, 2012 at 4:32 pm

      I'm surprised Kate hasn't shoved it into your hands yet! ;)

  5. Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books

    July 7, 2012 at 11:11 am

    I think I have this book on my ereader but I haven't read it yet. As Kate said we read Spooky Little Girl for book club and that was really good. She's hilarious! I'm so glad you liked it.

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 8, 2012 at 4:33 pm

      She is definitely very funny. I think I'm going to read some more of her books during the next readathon – I'll have to keep Spooky Little Girl in mind!

  6. Andrea @ Cozy Up

    July 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I wasn't a fan of the Sex and the City book as much as the show, but this sounds fun. And I completely agree with the clown quote (I hate clowns with a passion, they are creepy). It sounds like your book club has some great picks! I need to join one so I can read some different books. Great review, Andrea!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm

      Thanks, Andrea!

      I never read the Sex and the City book, but I did love the show! And I didn't really enjoy the movie enough to see the second one. But this book is great and it totally reminds me of the show a lot! Yeah, clowns are very very creepy!

  7. Bittner

    July 20, 2012 at 3:31 am

    I'm not sure I saw much of Sex in the City in this one but it was probably because I was too busy picturing Holly in every single story and having the overwhelming feeling that I needed to take a shower since Laurie simply refused to! But it was pretty funnY!

    1. Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase

      July 21, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      Lol! Yeah, I guess picturing Holly in it wouldn't make you think of Sex and the City, but I think it was like, Sex and the City-lite. Like Sex and the Suburb. Or something. Very funny book, though!

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