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  • You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey

  • Crazy Stories About Racism
  • Written by: Amber Ruffin, Lacey Lamar
  • Narrated by: Amber Ruffin, Lacey Lamar
  • Length: 5 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (122 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers Amber Ruffin writes with her sister Lacey Lamar with humor and heart to share absurd anecdotes about everyday experiences of racism.

Now a writer and performer on Late Night with Seth Meyers and host of The Amber Ruffin Show, Amber Ruffin lives in New York, where she is no one's first Black friend and everyone is, as she puts it, "stark raving normal". But Amber's sister Lacey? She's still living in their home state of Nebraska, and trust us, you'll never believe what happened to Lacey. 

From racist donut shops to strangers putting their whole hand in her hair, from being mistaken for a prostitute to being mistaken for Harriet Tubman, Lacey is a lightning rod for hilariously ridiculous yet all-too-real anecdotes. She's the perfect mix of polite, beautiful, petite, and Black that apparently makes people think "I can say whatever I want to this woman". And now, Amber and Lacey share these entertainingly horrifying stories through their laugh-out-loud sisterly banter. Painfully relatable or shockingly eye-opening (depending on how often you have personally been followed by security at department stores), this book tackles modern-day racism with the perfect balance of levity and gravity.

©2021 Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar (P)2021 Grand Central Publishing

What the critics say

"Amber and Lacey hysterically walk us through a minefield of empirically traumatizing events, finding a way to make us laugh while weeping for the state of our nation; a place where two brilliant women are made to feel that somehow it is they who are missing the mark." (Natasha Lyonne, quadruple threat, noted surrealist)

"Amber and Lacey have the gift of making you comfortable enough to laugh at events that will also make you cringe. This book is an opportunity for black people to know you're not alone in how you've experienced the world. And for everyone this book is a chance to see a layer of this world that you might have been blind to. You'll leave both with a laugh and a little more knowledge." (Roy Wood, Jr., correspondent, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah)

"If you laugh half as hard as I did at the FIRST story in this book, let alone the rest of the book, you will have gotten your money's worth. The stories made me laugh and they made me sad. I know I'm not the only one to experience these kinds of moments but it helps to know that someone else - poor little Black Lacey taking on the lion's share of Nebraska's white ignorance all by her lonesome - experiences it too. From the mental gymnastics needed to call a black store dirty then drive out of state in order to avoid said dirt only to wind up shopping in a sty operating in a white neighborhood to having the gall to try and holluh at black women on a dating app when your profile pics have the confederate flag in them, Amber & Lacey point out how white folks are apparently doing the most in them parts." (Retta, comedian and actress, Parks & Recreation, Good Girls)

What listeners say about You'll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey

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  • Overall
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Wow

This book is depressingly hilarious. Made so much better with naration and commentary by Amber Ruffin and Lacey Lamar.
I can't recommend an audiobook more than this one. Reading the physical book will offer you images that you obviously can't experience in audiobook format, but Amber explains the images well, and adds so much of Amber Ruffin flare that the Audiobook format is a work of art within itself. They will never see this, but thanks for making this book, it was a great listen and I both hope for and against others like.

3 people found this helpful

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will make you gasp and laugh out loud

loved the book, stories and narrators...and I can believe the stories in this book because I've experienced a few of them, overall very enjoyable, lightweight and funny...

1 person found this helpful

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Unbelievable

Funny as hell. I can't get over how white people are so ignorant and mean.

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Eye Opening

I admire their attitude in the face of such appallingly abhorrent behavior. Very brave. And generous to provide laughter along the way.

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excellent must read

insightful. amazing. excellent. well told stories that should be shared. sometimes even amusing, but not sure if I can say if I willing to say funny. I'm too uncomfortable with the behaviour of the people described in the book to find this truely funny. I am more and more amazed when reading and hearing these "everyday" examples of racism, that there hasn't been a violent revolution by now. the restraint and good humorthese women show is something to aspire to.

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Thank you

Thank you for sharing your stories. As a white woman I've found it enlightening.

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A shared experience.

As my wife and I listened to the audio book we relived many of the experiences that Lacey and Amber experienced themselves. It was a walk down a racist and unfortunate memory lane. Even though we live in Canada (Underground Railroad 7 generations ) the life was similar in so many ways. Initially my sister read it, then I read it. We all laughed so hard about stuff that really wasn’t funny, it was racist and sad, but if we didn’t laugh...we’d cry or just explode.
So...
Thanks for making us laugh.

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Amber and Lacey are amazing

The whole book is great. Amber is hysterical as usual. But the important message doesn’t get lost. They’re highlighting their experiences without minimizing them. A must read

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Truly, truly, truly fantastic.

Loved it. Unbelievable believable stories that are so numerous, you are happy when Amber congratulates you. You made it to the end of the book,! You are glad that Lacey and Amber took the time and effort to share these stories and you will tell all your friends they need to buy and read or listen to them. If you're a white teacher like me you will feel very embarrassed and horrified and sad at the number of racist teachers depicted and will resolve to do your best to correct the situation as you encounter it in your school and classes.

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My jaw hurts from making my shocked face

This book is delightful. This book is horrifying. This book should be listened to (or read, if that's not your thing, but then you'll miss the hilarious narration) by everybody. The narration and writing are both entertaining - Amber is a great storyteller. The sister energy and good natured bickering are fun and so funny. The stories are eye opening, shocking. It gives someone with no lived experience of racism a tiny window into what it's like to be treated so horribly, so thoughtlessly, on a daily basis. It's exhausting to merely to listen to it. It's - there are no words, really - gobsmacking to realize how pervasive and awful it is. Using humour to teach the lesson is brilliant. I can't like this enough. And Amber? Designing Women fist bump. Yes. We are olde.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2021-01-21

Stories about why racist people suck so bad!

One of the ways I determine if a book is truly engaging, is whether it hard it is to put down. This book (which I listened to as an audiobook) was extremely hard to put down. I was listening to it when I should have been sleeping, worth it though. Finished it in a day and have processing it as I write this review.
Amber and her sister Lacey are so easy to listen to, the love and affection between them is at the heart of the book. The only reason I gave four, rather than five stars, was because I would have liked Lacey to tell more of her own story. I love Amber's bubbly personality and wry delivery, but I would have liked to hear more of Lacey's story in her own voice.
There is no doubt, this book was engaging, riveting even. This book is wryly humorous, but most of the time it just made me angry or sad. Very angry and very sad. It was a huge swinging pendulum that careened from anger to sadness while passing through a huge swath of WTF.
It is now the year 2021 and this shit is still everywhere. It is depressing.
It also made me face my own privilege. My mom , now deceased, was black. My father, also deceased, was white. I am a light-skinned enough to not have encountered a lot of the casual racism in this book. (Although I have dealt with my share, it's just not the same.)I have heard racist stereotypes being perpetuated and not spoken up. So I have been complicit in racism. That shames me, and my that shame has been a positive thing. I am now mouthy, in your face, call racism when I see it, hear it and read it. This book is important. Wryly funny, but also wise and a testament the resilience of the human spirit.

41 people found this helpful

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  • JenA
  • 2021-01-14

Can't wait for their mother's book

(1) we need the photos you speak of in the book. Please audible, update with a PDF!
(2) I hope you make a bazillion dollars and
(3) we need your mother's stories. Every mention of her was fantastic

28 people found this helpful

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  • April White
  • 2021-01-13

Great book

In the audio version you miss out on some photos but get to hear Amber sing.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Lauren J Austin
  • 2021-01-26

Love This Book!

Thank you for writing this book! We need more books like this!
If I don’t hear stories like these how can I grow from my self focused perspective. America needs to hear from other peoples point of views and perspectives in order to grow and to love each other well.
I’m not going to lie I had to take a couple moments, because some of the stories made me so Mad/Sad I cried. The Authors are hilarious and it’s an enjoyable read, but no one should have this many stories! I hope this changes in the future, and there isn’t enough for a second book... that being said I’d buy that second book no matter what it was about. I’d read a book about Amber and Lacey eating delicious donuts (hopefully made by people who weren’t raciest).

13 people found this helpful

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  • Timothy Marta
  • 2021-01-24

Eye opening

Well written, funny, yet sad stories that all people should listen to and reflect on their own behavior and beliefs. The wordplay and sarcasm between Amber and Lacey truly shows how close they are as siblings and was a joy to listen to.
Being a white man growing up in a small town in Wisconsin I could see myself in some of these stories and relating to the atmosphere growing up. This book was hard to listen to because it confirmed what I already knew. People are not only very ignorant they are truly racist in so many different ways. A lot of people could benefit from this production. Thank you for putting it together and I hope these experience dissipate sooner rather than later for all minority groups.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Rich Fontaine
  • 2021-01-14

Loved it

This book was very eye opening. I couldn't stop listening and had to order a hardback copy immediately. Thank you for sharing these experiences.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Brandi Carter
  • 2021-01-25

Humor is how we cope

This is what it is like to be Black in America and the humor we use to cope. The stories keep coming. Just when you think there can't be another or it can't get any worse. It does. If you are Black, it will be very familiar and you will feel seen. If you aren't Black and want to know how pervasive racism is and just how much we use humor to make it through, get ready for a walk in Lacy's shoes.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Rain
  • 2021-01-20

Heartfelt, Heartbreaking, and Hilarious

This is the first audiobook I have ever finished. It was impossible to stop, heartbreaking to hear, and hopeful in tone. Such contradictions & stories masterfully incorporated, in this Black lady's opinion, the black experience in a short 5 and half hour read. Magnifique!

8 people found this helpful

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  • V Lathrop
  • 2021-01-14

Yes, buy this Audiobook (and the hard copy)!

Hearing these stories told in Amber’s and Lacey’s voices is amazing! I bought the audiobook first, but after hearing Amber describe the photos, I had to buy the book too! Worth it!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 2021-02-18

Believable but not transformative

The narration was high energy, clear, and occasionally funny. This book is a series of short stories of suburban American racism and racial ignorance. Some of the racism is deep and explicit, some is hate base, some fear base, some ignorance based. All of the racism seems to be lumped together as a monolith. I am sure it feels this way, but I am dubious holding racism this way is helpful to elicit change. Of all the strategies of combatting racism I have read and considered, laughing at it is one of the weaker ideas. Sometimes laughing at something is the best way to change it, but I don't think racism is one of these. I was not surprised by any of these stories, did not find most funny at all, and I only found the last story really moving.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-02-18

Thank you for the slap

Amber and Lacey magically manage to make things about racism (and misogyny) fun. I found the interpretation remarkable: Amber overflows with joy with every syllable!
However, I regret that a small pdf does not accompany the audiobook to illustrate the few photos. It's a little frustrating.
Even being fully aware of the racism that minorities endure every day, for a white European man, this book can only be a slap in the face. A good slap. A slap needed.