Things I Want to Punch in the Face Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 2 hours, 53 minutes
Read by Rebecca Gibel

We all have them—those irritating behaviors and trends that just get under our skin. But it seems as though blogger Jennifer Worick has more of them than the rest of us—and she lists them all in her blog turned audiobook, Things I Want to Punch in the Face.

This vicious tirade in audiobook form lists more than 100 things that get on the author’s nerves—everything from silk plants to staycations to unsolicited coffee refills. She gives each item on her list a brief but shockingly venomous explanation and a punch rating (from one to five punches, depending on how infuriating it is) before finishing it up with her Fact of the Matter—a random bit of trivia that somehow relates to the topic.

Books like this one tend to be silly and sarcastic and tongue-in-cheek. But if you’re looking for a light-hearted look at those annoying little things that drive us all crazy, this definitely isn’t it. Things I Want to Punch in the Face is far from fun and light-hearted. It’s brutal and hostile and often surprisingly violent, aiming its ire in some unexpected (and seemingly insignificant) directions—like New Yorker cartoons or celebrities who are knighted. Either Jennifer Worick is one angry, bitter person, or she had to work really hard to come up with some of the entries in this collection.

Sure, there are a number of items on the list that will have you smiling and nodding in agreement. But even when they do hit close to home, Worick’s reactions seem rather excessive, quickly crossing the line from good clean fun into malicious and threatening. Are some of these things annoying? Yes. But do they deserve to be threatened (sometimes in disturbing detail) with physical violence? Probably not.

Meanwhile, Worick also appears to have struggled to write something interesting about each item on the list. The concluding Fact of the Matter rarely seems to fit with the fury of the description—and, in general, these additional tidbits end up feeling like unnecessary fluff. Her explanations, too, feel awkward and self-conscious, as if she were trying way too hard to be hip and clever, only to end up sounding like something that she probably would have placed on her own list (and, in a way, she eventually does).

Though some bloggers manage to come up with a great idea that stands the test of time, others—like this one—may make for one clever entry, but they quickly become tiresome and one-note. What’s worse: instead of making listeners laugh, this audiobook will most likely make them feel even angrier and more frustrated. So if you’re desperately in need of some light humor about the idiots around you, pick up the similarly-titled but significantly more enjoyable People I Want to Punch in the Throat instead.

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