Next Level Basic by Stassi Schroeder is a light-hearted memoir written as her definitive basic bitch handbook. Stassi Schroeder is best known as a reality star on Vanderpump Rules. A Reality TV show on Bravo that follows the lives of the staff at Sur, a restaurant/bar owned by Lisa Vanderpump. Stassi is also the host of a podcast called, “The Good The Bad The Baby”. Next Level Basic made it on the New York Times Bestseller list which for a first-time author is an accomplishment. Stassi wrote this book to give her audience lessons on how to enjoy and celebrate their true selves. While the majority of people who have read this book are most likely her fans on Vanderpump Rules, this book is intended for women of all ages. Stassi states that this book is for people who want to let their basicness shine. “Reading this book will be like catching up with your honest, and yes, slightly bitchy friend” (Schroeder, xi). At first glance, Next Level Basic, does not mean much to someone who does not know who Stassi is but, if you are an avid Vanderpump Rules watcher, like myself then it is very effective. On the show she is known as being basic. A ‘Basic Bitch’ is someone who is unflinchingly upholding of the status quo and stereotypes of their gender without even realizing it. She engages in typical, unoriginal behaviors, modes of dress, speech, and likes. She does all of this knowing that her peers may judge and/or make fun of her, yet she does not care.
The table of contents lists the four sections of the book: 1) Basic AF, 2) Committed AF, 3) Hot AF, and 4) Eat, Drink, and be Enlightened AF, along with the chapters and page numbers. In my opinion, the book jacket serves as the preface. The book jacket has a big picture of Stassi on the front and has the preface along the inside, making it very captivating to the reader. The picture of Stassi is very in-capturing because she is wearing big statement necklaces and drinking an iced coffee, which you find out later in the book are some of her favorite ‘basic’ things in life. The introduction of this memoir explicitly states what Stassi will and will not be discussing throughout the book. It also shows what she wants her readers to get out of reading this book, to ultimately embrace who you are, stop caring about what other people think of you and embrace being basic. Another interesting aspect about this book is that at the end of every chapter, she writes a summary, or a lesson called “Next Level Basic Takeaway”.
Throughout this book, Stassi goes into detail about her very public breakups, intimate details about her plastic surgery, and her love for OOTDs (outfit of the day). This book is written in a way that makes the reader feel like Stassi is having a conversation with them, and I think worked well because it is what caught my attention and made it quite an easy read. This book is surprisingly super uplifting and empowering. The stories that she uses to describe her life are used to reiterate how she embraces her basicness; therefore her readers should do the same.
The funniest chapter in this book is “A Foodies Nightmare” and it talks about Stassi’s love and obsession for ranch dressing and goat cheese balls. On Vanderpump Rules, Stassi is constantly eating goat cheese balls at Sur. As for ranch dressing, I would call her a ranch dressing connoisseur. At the end of this chapter, she made a list of the top ranch dressings of all time, with homemade Hidden Valley at the top of the list. The most relatable chapter in this book is the first chapter “Find Your Voice” because it establishes how Stassi found her voice and gives the reader tips on how to do the same. In this chapter, Stassi states that “To be a Next Level Basic bitch, you first have to be a boss bitch” (Schroeder, 4). This statement resonated with me because there have been times in my life where I have told myself that I am a “boss bitch” in order to make myself feel better about something going wrong or to build up my self-confidence. However, there have also been times when I have made myself hide my basicness because I did not want my friends to feel embarrassed around me or to make fun of me.
This book has taught me to embrace who I truly am and not to worry about what other people care about me. She ends this book with “So, my basic bitches, I’ll leave you with this: think of times you have felt your happiest and make a list of them, and then take some time to think about why you were happy” (Schroeder, 222). I did just that, and it made me realize that there have been times recently when I have ‘faked’ being happy with my friends because I was conforming into the person they want me to be. I was surprised with how uplifting this book was going to be because on Vanderpump Rules, Stassi comes off as very full of herself and almost like she could care less about other people. However, after reading this my opinions of her have changed. I am so excited to start living by the rules of Stassi Schroeder and to embrace my “Next Level Basic.”
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Published Year: 2019