Julie Houts. Touchstone, $25 (176p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6951-9
Houts skewers high fashion, the wedding-industrial complex, Instagram fame, and more in this caustic collection. Comprising illustrations, short prose fiction, and sequential art, all based on Houts’s Instagram account, the book’s focus runs the gamut: a story about the four horse-men of the apocalypse as young women attending Coachella and a chronicle of the long, slow death of a ficus tree in an upscale boutique bookend the volume. But it never feels scattershot—rather, Houts finds the commonalities in the seemingly disparate subjects. This is truly funny work, but there is a darkness underneath; tales of a bride living off of “dust biscuits” to look perfect for her big day elicit laughter, but also highlight the impact of omnipresent images of female thinness on actual women. Houts’s pithiness has earned her hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers, and it is on full display here. Agent: Alyssa Reuben. (Oct.)
Correction: An earlier version of this review stated the incorrect agent.
Reviewed on: 09/04/2017