Review: Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, by Jia Tolentino

trick mirror jia tolentino

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Genres: Non-Fiction, Essays


Trick Mirror is a collection of essays by Jia Tolentino, a writer for The New Yorker, in which she discusses social media, gender violence, reality TV, self-optimization and more.

I did not know Jia Tolentino very well before reading her book, but I saw Sarah reading it and it sounded like such an interesting book that I decided to pick up the audio. The author herself narrates the book, and it’s pretty well done!

I found this book to be a mixed bag, with some essays very interesting and thought-provoking, but others felt more like a narration of news I already knew, without adding much more to them than adding them together. Jia Tolentino is a witty, matter-of-fact writer and her essays make for really good reads, even those I didn’t enjoy as much.

My favorite ones:

  • The I in the Internet brought me back to my internet-free childhood and experimenting with it on my early teens and creating websites, learning HTML… I think I like this one for its nostalgic feel.
  • Always be Optimizing talks about the obsessive need of people (mostly women) to become their “better selves”.
  • Pure Heroines was about literary heroines and gender expectation, and was really engrossing.

The others I found not so interesting and bringing nothing too new – I especially didn’t care for the Reality TV one. This was an interesting and at times entertaining or thoughtful read, so I do recommend it if you’re looking for an easy essay collection to read.

3 thoughts on “Review: Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion, by Jia Tolentino

  1. Great review! I’ve had my eye on this one, but it’s good to know not to necessarily expect every essay to be phenomenal. I’m glad you enjoyed at least some of them! All of the favorites you’ve listed do sound interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Sunday Snuggle W44/2019: October Wrap Up | Naty's Bookshelf

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