Book Review: ‘None of This Is Serious’

Catherine Prasifka writes what we all know

Image by: Rida Chaudhry
It’s the end of university for the protagonist—uncertainty awaits.

None of This Is Serious by Catherine Prasifka explores the existential reality of living amid looming catastrophe in a 277-page novel following Sophie, a recent university graduate, as she navigates friendship, anxiety, and the meaning of life. 

Sophie is a depressed, anxious twenty-something year old getting ready to say goodbye to a close friend before he moves to London. The book provides an accurate portrayal of the uncertainty associated with the end of one’s undergraduate career, when you’re trying to figure out your next steps while everyone else seems to have it figured out. 

In the middle of this already anxiety-inducing point of Sophie’s life, an unforeseen climate phenomenon occurs that leaves her with even more questions. Sophie’s relationship with technology is explored by her spending hours exploring the depths of the internet in hopes of finding out what she should be feeling. 

Prasifka articulates the rumination of an anxious person with precision. Though some readers may find this process slow, it’s incredibly comforting to read a cognitive process so similar to what so many young people today are dealing with. 

At its core, None of This Is Serious is a story of friendships that can withstand anything and the importance of putting effort in for the people who love you rather than desperately grasping at superficial affection. 

A past of trauma and a toxic relationship with her twin sister leave Sophie feeding into her insecurities. Sophie’s best friend Grace is a little overbearing, and these insecurities cause Sophie to take Grace’s words less as a concerned friend and more as controlling. 

Her other best friend Dan has moved to London to start his new life, leaving Sophie—in her own perception—alone and afraid to confront the realities of her struggles. 

Meanwhile, as Sophie navigates complicated personal relationships, she finds herself at a crossroads with someone who describes themselves as respecting women while their actions weave a very different tale. This is the unfortunate reality of living in an age of woke culture, something that is easily feigned and manipulated by those benefitting from systems of oppression. 

As Sophie reckons with how to move forward in a world that seems to be falling apart, Prasifka accurately depicts what it’s like to be living in a time of economic decline, looming climate catastrophe, and digital consciousness impeding physical reality. 

Despite being a book with difficult topics, readers will likely find immense comfort in Prasifka’s words because they’re a reminder they’re not alone. 

None of This Is Serious should seriously be on your reading list this year.


apocalyptic, Fiction, Literature

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