Hello and happy Friday. I’m not one for reading a lot of nonfiction but I have been acquiring some books and the time has come for me to read them. Because I’m not an avid nonfiction reader, I don’t really have a stance on those books. I’ve read a couple memoirs I’ve loved, but I also want to read more self-improvement books and see if, you know, I can improve. This is why I recently read Radical Self-Love by Gala Darling, and trust me when I say I was super excited to get to it because the title sounded just like the thing I needed. I got this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, so I’d like to thank them, the author and the publisher.
I read this book between February 10th and February 16th, 2020 and gave it two stars. I was very excited at first because I felt like it would be a treat to myself, learning how to love myself and all that. I thought it would live up to its title, but it was more superficial than anything else. There was nothing truly radical about the advice given.
Within the self-improvement books, this would be the kind in which the author addresses the reader, so it’s like having a conversation with a friend. This book has illustrations, so I thought that would make it a quick read. It wasn’t really, but considering the fact that I only read it after work, it didn’t take me that long to finish either. Although it doesn’t explicitly say that this book is targeted for women only, it is, and I found that unnecessary. This could have been easily a book for everyone, had the author actually succeeded at making it gender-neutral, but more on that later.
At first, I think I was being way too nice because I wrote that although it was full of clichés and commonplaces, it was a well-intended and light read. Now as I have time to digest this book I keep feeling that I was lied to; I was promised a book about RADICAL self-love, and I got a list of fashion advice. There is also conversation about eating disorders and how to “get rid” of them, which I found problematic. I understand that the author was talking about her own experience and how she dealt with her eating disorders, but this is not a memoir, it is an advice book. There wasn’t a real talk about mental health or going to therapy, which I think would be crucial if as a reader you are at a point in which you’re seeking advice from a book titled Radical Self-Love.
The author has a blog and she constantly includes plugs for readers to visit and download resources, which I thought made the book even less serious. Like I said, the advice provided was very superficial and not a lot of research (besides quotes from other self-improvement books) seems to have been made. Another issue that bothered me was the fact that the author tried to be inclusive in her language when she discussed relationships, but she failed to do so and let her heteronormativity show. It would have been much better had she stuck to gender-neutral language.
Have you read a self-improvement book that changed your life? I’m still in search of mine, so do leave me your recommendations in the comments.
Love, Miss Camila