NOTE: I haven’t written a book review on this site before, but I felt like I should at least write one for the book that I contributed to! Short story: I highly recommend it, and you can buy it here. This is the word for word review that I posted on Amazon, for the record.
Before going any further in this review, I need to start with a disclaimer. I am one of the 40 contributing authors to this wonderful little book, and that surely makes me at least a little bit biased. That being said, I will try to give as fair a review as possible.
When I first picked up this book, I read about 50 pages of it before going to bed. I woke up at 1:30 AM with some very intense thoughts running through my head. Even just getting through a few pages inspired, nay, forced me to seek closure on an issue that I’ve been putting off for about 9 years. Despite massive gains in life experience during this time, I could never bring myself to face my fear and just apologize for something that I needed to apologize for. About 50 pages of this book was enough to push me to do it. This lifted a HUGE weight off my shoulders.
In other words, this little book is powerful. Truth be told, I was not expecting to get nearly as much out of this book as I ultimately did.
In fact, there is nothing very new or revolutionary in it, but because of its unique structure, I think it can do a lot for the reader that your typical “personal development” book can’t. Since there are 40 different short stories, each by different authors and covering a different topic, you will likely find yourself resonating particularly strongly with some and not so much with others. Perhaps only 5-10 will have a serious impact on you…but that is still much better than most books. If you can get 5 insights from it, it would be worth far more than the purchase price to you.
Also, because of the structure, you need not read the chapters in any particular order. I do think Lori did a good job of putting them in a sensible order, but if you want to skip ahead to a different chapter, you won’t lose anything. This is a solid benefit, because you can easily come back to the book and just pick out a story or two that you would find helpful and relevant to whatever life situation you are in at the time. I particularly liked chapter 9, which was about taking care of yourself and meeting your own personal needs. I will definitely reread this part when I feel as though I have been neglecting myself. You’ll probably take a particular interest with a different chapter, but it will be just as easy for you to revisit whatever parts you liked the most.
I do have one major “criticism” of the book, and that is that it seems to be written more for women than for men. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this, but if you are a guy reading it, you may need to think about some of the examples and how they relate to you. By my count, there were four male contributors (including myself) and 36 female ones. There seems to be a focus on certain issues (such as body image) that can certainly be applicable to men, but I think are more common in women. Even so, these topics can easily be generalized. And like I said, I certainly still got a LOT out of reading it.
Overall, I give it a 5/5 if you are a girl, and a 4/5 if you are a guy. If you are serious about personal development, this is a very worthwhile book to have in your library.