Meet 30 year old Millie. Millie works as a temporary receptionist at an interior design firm located in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. She’s addicted to homicide forensic TV shows. Her basic hygiene and housekeeping habits are less than ideal. Her love life is non-existent. Her friend Sarah is more is more frenemy than true blue pal.
Millie is one messed up millennial. She’s pitiful, anti-social, unproductive. But she’s also bright, funny, self-aware.
In otherwords, Millie is absolutely fascinating and she’s portrayed in Halle Butler’s expertly observed and written novel The New Me.
Millie’s job is a complete bore. The phone rarely rings and when she works up a smidge of ambition she asks for additional tasks. She’d given only one, shredding documents, not exactly challenging or exciting.
Millie’s homelife is a treadmill of bingewatching TV and ignoring basic household chores. And her social life consists of mostly dealing with Sarah’s condescending attitude and all-around bitchiness.
Millie is stuck in neutral and it is implied she’s suffering from depression.
Despite all of this Millie is self aware enough to realize she has to make some positive changes in her even though they seem insurmountable. Thus, the title of this book.
A big part of The New Me consists of Millie attempting making these improvements, some that work in her favor and others are utter failures.
I kept cheering Millie on, wanting her to succeed. Sure, she’s completely pathetic but she’s also bright, funny, good-hearted, and completely relatable.
Butler is an innovative writer who has a clever way of unfurling characters and a plot that kept me riveted. I really like how she combined Millie written using first person while two of Millie’s co-workers are written in third person.
Butler is relatively new to the writing, but she’s definitely an author to watch.