Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis || Book Review

I’m going to be honest: I got this from NetGalley within the last couple months. I’m unsure how because it was published over a year ago. Technically it could’ve been an advanced reader copy, but I’ve been seeing this self-help book on the shelf for so long, I don’t personally feel like I can classify it as an “ARC.”

Date Published: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Self-Help/Non-Fiction
Number of Pages: 240

Synopsis

With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of TheChicSite.com founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have.

Founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice.

Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.

From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son’s request that she buy a necklace to “be like the other moms,” Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.

Review

As I mentioned in my disclaimer, I have zero clue how this was still on NetGalley as an advanced reader copy… But I saw it and I had heard some people ranting and some people raving about it, so I wanted to give it a shot. Truthfully, I had never heard of Rachel Hollis before (even when I was hearing the name of her book). I have no idea that she was an internet sensation or that she ran a lifestyle blog. It was just the title of the book that drew me in. Like girl — wash your face; get up off the floor and do the damn thing.

“Someone else’s opinion of you is none of YOUR business”

Rachel Hollis, Girl, Wash Your Face

I’ll admit that I was given a bit of a heads up about the faith aspect of Girl, Wash Your Face. I don’t know if it would’ve caught me off guard if I hadn’t been warned, but the messages she speaks about transcend the boundaries of individual religions.

I had just a few small issues with Girl, Wash Your Face. The first (and most major) issue was that the editors didn’t seem to place all of the stories so well throughout the book. There were several pieces that seemed out of order that could’ve easily been fixed by rearranging chapters. It would’ve also removed some of the repetitiveness of Rachel’s ideas.

The second issue that bothered me was Rachel Hollis’ “I’m so awesome. This worked for me so it’s going to work for all of you” vibe. As a motivational writer, I completely understand the need to put her best self forward to influence her readers, but at the same time it often came off as pushy and inauthentic.

I’ve discussed in-depth some of the motives behind this book with some of my close friends. There were some resounding pieces that stuck with each of us that I believe should be noted for you!

  1. If we make promises to other people, why can’t we keep promises to ourselves? If you set a goal for yourself, you are promising yourself that you are going to accomplish that task. Maybe its a goal as simple as drinking 100oz of water a day. When you don’t keep up with a goal that you’ve set forward for yourself, you are breaking a promise to yourself.
  2. Remember that you as a human are doing awesome. You cannot base your day on every little thing exceeding expectations. You don’t have to love what you’re doing every second of every day, but remember that you are human and you are doing your very best.

My biggest take away was the promises you make to yourself are the promises you should keep. Typically you make promises to a friend, you keep them. Why is it so easy to break a promise to yourself?

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Colored: the unsung life of Claudette Colvin by Emilie Plateau || ARC Review

Date Published: April 17, 2019
Genre: Graphic Novel/Non-Fiction
Number of Pages: 134

Synopsis

Based on the book “Noire” by Tania de Montagne

A few months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, kicking off the U.S. civil rights movement, making headlines around he world and becoming an enduring symbol of the fight for dignity and equality, another young black woman refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She was the wrong person at the right time, and so History did not choose her. Her name was Claudette Colvin and this is her story.

Review

Colored: the unsung life of Claudette Colvin isn’t a book that I would usually pick up from the library, but when I was scrolling through NetGalley, the title of the novel caught my eye. As a graphic novel, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of storytelling with pictures versus words. 

Every student in the United States who has passed middle school has heard the name Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., but has anyone ever heard of Claudette Colvin? This is one of those moments where I feel that our education system has let down the students. Why is it that we only hear the names of one or two influential African American individuals, when there is clearly a larger story?

Colored: The Unsung Life of Claudette Colvin gives us a beautiful, and heart wrenching story of a young 15 year old African American woman who was raised by her family in Montgomery, Alabama. Claudette attends school and follows the rules of transportation just like all her classmates, but when confronted to give up her seat to a white man, she says no because she has paid her ticket just like everyone else. This sets off a cascading series of events where she is arrested and is tried as an adult for her crimes.

The story of Claudette Colvin is told in a simple way; one that would easily transcend high school classrooms around the country. The graphics further provide a sense of the feeling from the time, that you can’t understand from the words on the page. The graphics are able to provide a glimpse into the history of the moment – the police pulling Claudette off the bus, Rosa Park’s receiving national attention for not giving up her seat on the bus, the men taking over the boycott. 

The introduction to Claudette’s story takes the reader to a place where you are supposed to leave your environment and focus solely on the story of Claudette. Emile Plateau instructs the reader to take a deep breath and envision yourself moving from your location through time and ultimately ending up in the 1950s as a colored person from Alabama. That imagery takes a hold of the reader – especially one that has learned about United States history and segregation in the South during that time. 

Another key piece of history that is shown through Claudette’s life is how the men of the 1950s believed that they were better equip at handling the legal problems of the African American population. The story shows how they did not fully explain what was happening in the courts to the women and discarded the women who were no longer necessary to their court case. 

How many of you have heard of Mary Louise Smith or Jeanetta Reese? How many of you have heard of Claudette Colvin? 

Colored: the unsung life of Claudette Colvin was simple and powerful. I would recommend to anyone interested in another truth of history.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐