Adult-ish by Cristina Vanko



Goodreads: Adult-ish: Record Your Highs and Lows on the Road to the Real World
Series: None
Source: Publisher for review
Published: April 4, 2017

Official Summary

My first real job.

The first plant I kept alive more than a year.

The first relationship I kept alive more than three months.

In this hand-lettered and illustrated guided journal, you will have a place to record the firsts of becoming an adult. A new twist on baby books, “My Book of Grown-Up Firsts” is a charming and cheeky celebration of what it means to finally be a grown-up (sort of).

From the first time you visited home without bringing dirty laundry to the first time you truly felt comfortable in your own skin, the small victories and meaningful milestones in this quirky, charming, and insightful journal make it a great gift and appealing journal for anyone starting out on the path of adulthood.


When I first opened Adult-ish, I worried I was the wrong audience for the book. I hate the word “adulting” and I don’t find it charming when high schoolers, much less college students or, worse, college graduates, talk about how their parents do their laundry, or how it’s such a struggle to keep a plant alive or do the dishes or just generally be responsible.  So I worried that this book would be overly self-congratulatory about the completion of ordinary tasks.

In some places, it is.  It does, in fact, ask readers to “draw the first houseplant you managed to keep alive.”  However, many of the prompts are truly thought-provoking, like “When was the first time you spoke up for something you really believe in?” or “Describe the time you did something you were really afraid of.”  Other prompts are sentimental—“Draw the first bouquet of flowers you’ve ever received or sent to someone special”—or just plain fun—“Design the coaster that commemorates your first legal drink.”

Several years ago, a relative gave me one of those lifetime moment journals that asks you to write about big life events: graduation from high school, your first car, your first job, your first kiss, your proposal, etc.  This book is like that journal, only looking at smaller moments instead of traditionally recognized “milestones.”  The prompts are sometimes random and some I wouldn’t even know how to answer.  However, they’re thoughtful enough to evoke interesting responses, and that’s what these types of books are really good for—to prompt you to record memories that you can look back on later in life, or that you can hand on to children, grandchildren, etc.  Right now answering the question “What was the first hobby you took up as an adult” is not overly compelling to me; however, I may find my response entertaining to reread years down the road.

The artwork is fun and reminiscent of doodling, very inviting and just asking the reader to start writing in the book, as well.  The pages are nicely diverse, varying emphasis on words or pictures and switching between fonts for each prompt.  Some of the fonts are heavy on the flourishes and took me some squinting to read, as did some of the parts that are in light gray rather than black (presumably so you can write over top it).  The fonts are generally quite pretty, however, and this was not a deal-breaker for me.

This interactive book is a great choice for anyone just embarking on adulthood and for people who are interested in journalling but want meaningful prompts instead of having to face down a blank page.

4 stars Briana

2 thoughts on “Adult-ish by Cristina Vanko

  1. Angela says:

    I’ve never heard of this before! But it sounds like a fun way to journal and it seems like some of the prompts would make me think outside the box. I like that it focuses on the smaller achievements in life, because those are the ones we might not really think about but they’re still important.


    • Krysta says:

      I think journals with prompts are kind of cool because they make you think of things you might not otherwise have thought of! So…basically I am agreeing with you. 😀


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