In case you missed my sister and I’s live book club meeting, I decided I would write up some of the discussion points here for you all, so you can quickly catch up on all the details and let me know your thoughts too!
April’s book was a self development book by Rachel Hollis called Girl, Stop Apologizing. This book is somewhat of a sequel to her first book within this genre called Girl, Wash Your Face, in which Rachel holds a mirror to your insecurities and excuses and simply tells you to wipe yourself of everything that is holding you back. While this book received mix reviews, I felt Girl, Stop Apologizing helped to compound on Rachel’s first book, by now providing you with the tools to creating your best self.
To begin, the book is broken down into three categories, the first being your excuses, the second being behaviors to adopt, and the third being skills to acquire. Within each of these chapters Rachel provides experiences in her own life and how they have provided her with the lessons of each chapter. I think some of my favorites include “Excuse 8: What Will They Think?” and “Skill 1: Planning.” I felt like both of these areas definitely spoke to me personally and were areas that I needed to do some reflection within my own life.
As mentioned previously, within each of these sections, Rachel would provide context from her own life in order to highlight the lessons she has learned and the skills and qualities she hoped to instill within you. In comparison to her first book, Girl Wash Your Face, I felt this is where I was more intrigued. Her first book went into a bit more detail with her stories, where as this one provided a lot more practical advice and take aways, which I enjoyed. For me, if you are going to write a book on self – development, I want more meat than I do examples. I want ways I can apply the advice, things I can work on, etc. Basically, give me the actual tools to improve with as little fluff as possible.
With that being said, while she did provide more practical advice, there was one thing we really had to get to the bottom of and that was the accusation of plagiarism within her book. Many of her concepts seemed to be very similar to that of other thought leaders within her genre. See this article for full details. While, it does seem this may have been an issue, my sister and myself agree that the language seems very similar to that of others within her thought circle (i.e. Lewis Howes, Jenna Kutcher, Ed Mylett, Tony Robbins, etc).*** It was agreed that if perhaps she had just mentioned in her Introduction that these were tools she had learned along the way from her mentors and friends, she may have been able to avoid such criticism.
Another point of contention, was Rachel’s tell it like it is personality. It is clear that she is either loved or hated (something she clearly discusses within her book), and I feel her haters fall into two categories. The first being those that feel that she forgot to meet them where they are at. For example, one of her sections discusses confidence. Within this section she states that she likes to make herself pretty to maintain her own confidence. Definitely not an issue, however she may have taken it a step too far by describing how she does this “The entire procedure costs as much as a used Sebring convertible…and that’s just the coloring process” (pg. 168). Sadly, her point of doing things that make you feel more confident (which could be something as simple as swiping on a lipstick) were lost when she began describing exactly what she does to maintain this. The valid and imperative point of doing things that make you feel pretty and fall within your control, where lost upon many due to her personal antidote given that it was so far from their own reality.
The other half of the haters fall into another category. These are the ones that have read Rachel’s books without really knowing much about her and her books’ backgrounds. Personally, I discovered Rachel on a podcast in which she delved deep into her weight, addiction, and career struggles. She was honest, raw, and extremely vulnerable in these conversations. Knowing this background, I was able to understand a deeper context than each book provides. Without this, some of her statements may come off as harsh to those that are currently still living within these struggles. Once again, this may reflect the issue of not meeting readers where they are, but the same goes for the reader. Rachel has overcome these struggles, and she wants you to know you can too, which I believe was her point.
But, let’s move away from this negativity. Rachel is an entrepreneur I can get behind. As we do with any and every book, you must take what nuggets of wisdom you feel applicable to the season you are in, and leave the rest. I encourage you to look at this novel as compilation of her life learnings…Girl, Wash Your Face was her way of saying wipe away your tears, excuses, and grit, which she then followed with Girl, Stop Apologizing, or “Okay, now that you have wiped it all away, let’s get to work and here are the tools to help you.”
She tells you like it is. She takes no excuses. And she makes you realize that you can overcome anything. She provides you with the tools to achieve your goals and I can 100% support that. Rachel is standing in your corner. She wants you to succeed, she just might have a way of saying it that you don’t prefer.
For me personally, I loved this book. I want more meat and tools and advice and I think there were a lot of pearls of wisdom.
I encourage you to do a little research on Rachel if you don’t feel this book particularly settled well for you. I think it will help provide a lot more context and understanding. I also ask that you remind yourself the importance of agreeing to disagree. You don’t have to take everything she says as reality. Find what applies to your current life and use those things. We all have differing opinions and that is 100% okay. I am not saying you need to love Rachel, I am just saying that she has a strong mission. Her goal isn’t to offend you. In fact, it is just the opposite.
The goal is to get better, become better, and achieve our goals. We do not tear others down to get there, and if that’s your style, well…BYE FELICIA!
For those of you that may have gotten hung up on her first book. I understand. I actually asked my sister Andrea (who hated her first book), to read the second and she also agrees that it was much better. So if you aren’t sure, give it a try. We aren’t all going to love the same book, but if you are looking to grow, I think it is still worth a read.
I hope you enjoyed this book review.
Man, it got lengthy. There was a lot to unpack there!
Also, if you missed it, this month’s book is Where the Crawdad’s Sing.
*** Interesting enough, if you note her “Praise” section at the beginning of the book, these are also the exact same people who provided their praise…you can take that for what you will.