At Least You Can Die Laughing

A book review of You Can’t Kill Me Twice (so please treat me right) by Charlyne Yi

Photo Credit: Laura E. Davis

To see Charlyne Yi (pronounced yee) in character actress roles, you wouldn’t think twice about how her twisted, unique and sharp wit pops from the movie screen. Let alone, how that transmits to written poetry and cool evocative art. To become acquainted with Charlyne, check out Paper Heart, the 2009 Sundance Film Festival Winner (Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award with Nicholas Jasenovec). Besides seeing her humor, you’ll get a glimpse of this book. She has over 40 credits for roles in television and film including This is 40, Knocked Up, NextGen (animated), among others. Oh, and beyond that, she is the voice of Ruby in the Cartoon Network animated series, Steven Universe.

Into the Book

In You Can’t Kill Me Twice, Charlyne shares the profoundness of humanity whether in painful prose or insightful brain twists that keep you engaged or in art that speaks volumes of our human condition. If reading can elicit a “theater of the mind” like when a good novel transports you to the moment and time you are reading, Charlyne’s delivery changes in mood, delivery, and tone in a way that you can sense a feeling. While reading, I imagined a dead pan voice with her delivery of a punch line like on page 53…

By the time you have gotten to this page, you are clear that Charlyne has experienced pain, exhilaration, fear, heartache and so many other emotions over her life. And yet, the introspect that comes from self-examination clearly displays an intelligent use of the words that allow you to read between the lines… and in some cases, even see yourself in the situation she has drawn you into.


In the age of digital disclosure, you hear about celebs who were molested in their youth, verbally abused as a child, raped by powerful elite, or suffered some extreme trauma. Charlyne takes us through emotions with tidbits of a life experienced. The stories told in, sometimes, as little as 8 words still provide optimism without over-promising the reality of life.

At times playful and painful when she writes about her family members and heartbreaks when she endures painful relationships, You Can’t Kill Me Twice, after 125 pages, will leave you laughing and thinking about the simple things in life. Or it may leave you wondering when the one-woman show will come out.


“Life only lasts a little while,
and if you’re lucky, if you’re really lucky,
you get to spend it with some pretty special people,
even if they come and go, even if
you drift and grow,
far and stranger
to those who were once close
because life only lasts such a little while.”

You Can’t Kill Me Twice is available through Andrews McMeel Publishing or through you favorite online bookseller and available as an ebook.


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