Format: ARC, sent in exchange for an honest review
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US 
Blurb: Dark, raw and very funny, Problems introduces us to Maya, a young woman with a smart mouth, time to kill and a heroin hobby that isn’t much fun anymore.

Maya’s been able to get by in New York on her wits and a dead-end bookstore job for years, but when her sweet, heavy-drinking husband leaves her and her favorite professor ends their affair, her barley-calibrated life descends into chaos, and she has to make some choices. Maya’s struggle to be alone, to be a modern woman and to be thoughtful, imperfect and alive in a world that doesn’t really care what happens to her is rendered with dead-eyed clarity and unnerving charm. 

Review: Thank you to Emily Burns and Tramp Press for sending me a copy of PROBLEMS to read and review. It was certainly a memorable read… to say the least! Problems is about Maya, a young woman living in New York with an extensive drug problem. She has a dead-end job, a husband who she’s not even sure she loves and is having an affair with a professor from her college. She’s an addict with a drug problem, sex problem and an eating disorder and just when you think things can’t get worse for her, her husband leaves her and Maya is left in a drug-ridden limbo.

All things considered with this book, it’s a fairly straight forward story-line. It’s just a girl, trying to survive, basically. But written from Maya’s point of view, we hear all the truths, the intrusive thoughts and the damaging behaviors that go on in Maya’s mind and in her life. She’s clearly a very confused and damaged girl who has been swept up in the pressures of life. There’s a quote in the book which says;

Dear World, I’m sorry, but I don’t know if I will ever be the kind of person who can live with you

which I think sums up this book perfectly. Maya seems to be at constant war with life and herself. Although Maya is vastly different from myself, I resonated with some of the stuff she said. When it boils down to it, drug problem or not, I think Maya really knows the struggle of being a woman, in today’s world of self-destruction, not feeling good enough and wondering what the heck is the point? She says things how they are, she utters things that most of us wouldn’t dream to admit and she is completely and utterly relentless. 

Why can’t someone interest me in my own life?

Was another of the quotes which stood out to me, so much so that I took a photo of it on my phone. Boredom of life in general is something I experience regularly so I totally related to that element of Maya’s thoughts. This has genuinely been one of the hardest books to review because I absolutely loved it but I just don’t know what to say. It’s left me word-less and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. 

I would definitely recommend warnings in and around this book for anyone who’s sensitive towards graphic depictions of sex, graphic descriptions of drug use and swearing. It’s vulgar but it needs to be. This book wouldn’t be what it was; raw, honest and true without the vulgarity within in. PROBLEMS is dark, unapologetic and challenges topics such a feminism, addiction of all kinds and self-destruction. It’s the epitome of “nitty gritty”. So raw it’s liberating. 


  1. This sounds like quite a hard read but something I would probably really relate to (not that I have a drug problem haha!). I find books that are so honest about real issues like addiction and mental health absolutely fascinating, I would definitely be keen to read something like this. Great review!
    Beth x

  2. This is such a great book review, I’ve never thought that I would usualy read a book like this but it actually sounds really interesting! I do love gritty books and I feel like this one would be perfect! X

  3. This sounds like such an interesting book. I might have to skip all the graphic details, but I’d still love to read it

  4. This sounds like a very interesting read! I’ve never read a book about addiction but I think it’s a fascinating topic to learn more about. Especially as this is such an honest and raw story. I’m going to add this to my never ending list of books I want to read 😂🙈. Thanks for the great review Jenny! 💖 xx

    Bexa |

  5. I love a good ‘nitty-gritty’ book and the quotes you’ve pulled out sound like ones everyone thinks at some point or another in their lives, great review!

  6. This reminded me of the book ‘The vegetarian’ and although it’s a really well written book, I tend to stay away from such intense extremely sad books. I tend to get emotional attach to the characters in a way that it affect my daily life after I have read the book. I feel like i’m still stuck in the imaginary world.

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