How To Murder Your Life – Cat Marnell


Cat Marnell is living the dream, a career at some of the top magazines in the country, a knack for writing with her finger on the pulse, travel and glamour. That is the woman that people see when they don’t look too closely. Underneath all of that she’s coming apart at the seams. Cat is a drug addict. In her tell-all memoir Cat doesn’t hold back from the highs and lows of a glittering career, rubbing shoulders and getting advice from the best of the best in the magazine industry alongside the long nights she has spent taking prescription medication, Cocaine, Heroin and whatever else she can take. It seems there is nothing that she won’t discuss, in intimate detail.I received a copy of this memoir through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, and honest I shall be. I’ll start off by saying that Marnell does not hide away from the fact that she is a

I received a copy of this memoir through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, and honest I shall be. I’ll start off by saying that Marnell does not hide away from the fact that she is a self-confessed ‘privileged white girl’, in fact, she appears to wear it like a badge of honour. It might have been my first indication to put this book down and run away without looking back, instead, I thought she was being honest and that I should give her the benefit of the doubt and continued through the book. Marnell gives us an introduction of her being off of her face at an important company function, before swapping to describing her luxury home and upbringing, the parents who mistreated her and her siblings and the lack of love she received growing up. Talking of the hardships of note being able to talk to her friends, listen to the music she wants and seeing her sister sent away to a boarding school, it would be easy to feel sorry for her.

Unfortunately, there is little throughout the rest of the book to feel sorry for. Marnell has indeed lead a charmed life, often being given chances where she should have been let go of. The whole book goes from one chaotic moment to another, starting with her prescription for ADHD medication, prescribed by her father. After requesting to be sent to boarding school and wanting to try prescription medication, she quickly starts the rest of her life as a drug addict.

What followed made me more than angry, I was furious. While addiction is a terrible and terrifying illness and there are clear reasons as to why she went down this path, the way in which it was written about was quite frankly revolting. There is explicit pride in the fact that Marnell has gotten everything so, so wrong, has been rude, disrespectful and plain nasty and has still gotten all of the benefits of someone who works hard. She takes money off of her parents, grandmother, company and more and still acts like a spoilt brat when she is told to get clean.

I also found it chilling how her addiction and dreadful behaviour towards others was tolerated for so long, simply because she was a ‘good writer’, she wrote openly about being an addict and was constantly sent to rehab but there were no consequences, no drug tests at work. She could have gotten away with murder! The worst part is that throughout it all there is an underlying ‘poor me’ part to the story, which just wouldn’t wash.

I really wanted to enjoy this book but found the author to be selfish and generally unlikeable. I gave this 1 star, because I was offended that someone like this, with no regard for anyone else, could be celebrated in the way she had.



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