I realize that this is a very popular book especially among women my age, so I did hesitate for a moment about writing this review – but only for a moment.
Overall the book is another self-help book sprinkled with Scripture and some Christianese. Mrs. Hollis is an excellent writer and listening to her read her own book, I can tell she is a great motivator and speaker. There are some things I did get from the book that were helpful, but her slaughter of Scripture left me wanting to throw the book across the room. I didn’t, only because I got the book on audible and would have probably shattered my phone.
In her book, she does provide little small things you can do to start changing bad habits or traits. She has done very well for herself and has a huge following and it is good to take advice from people who have been so successful. She lets the reader know her thought process and provides tidbits of advice and counsel that are helpful. She is also very vivacious and humorous. The book was funny at times, and that made it easier to listen to. She is also very open about her struggles, but I believe this can also lead to a false sense of entitlement or authority. Just because someone is open about their suffering, doesn’t mean they have the authority to tell others how to feel about pain. It can definitely make them more empathetic, but not wiser. So my advice – Girl, you’re a fool and so am I!
Also, Mrs. Hollis unfortunately is not a good theologian. She is your typical American Christian – my way and Jesus on the side. I wouldn’t say this is a religious book, but she does mention her faith and how it helps her in her life often. If I remember correctly, every verse she uses, she uses out of context. She even wrote Philippians 4:13 on her arm as encouragement when she ran her marathon. Ugh! So my advice – Girl, read your Bible!
She also oozes with white guilt. I can’t stand that! There is nothing wrong with being white! Say it with me my white friends “There is nothing wrong with being white!” She mentions in her book how she left her all white church to go to a multi-ethnic church so her children could be exposed to differences. Would she have encouraged me to leave my all Hispanic church in Texas? Or what about a black mom, would she encourage her to leaver her all-black church? I don’t know, but I think she wouldn’t have. Here is where she gets it so wrong. She paints a picture of having friends off all colors and cultures and religions – and that is a good thing! – but she erroneously says that is how Heaven will be. Sorry, but not sorry, there wont be any Muslims in Heaven or Buddhist or unbelievers. Yes, there will be people of all tongues and tribes, but all of them will be believers and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. She does address a problem in the church – we self-segregate. But this isn’t a white problem. It is a human problem. Growing up in El Paso, Texas my church’s name was Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana. In case you didn’t catch that, it translates to: First MEXICAN Baptist Church. We even excluded Hispanics belonging to other countries! So my advice – Girl, grow where you’re planted and you don’t need a tan!
She also drinks way too much. She admits she drank alcohol to relieve stress and that that wasn’t a good thing, but several times she mentions where she met her best friend at happy hour, where she drinks some wine here or drinks with her friends. It’s just not me. I drink, very occasionally, but for someone who admits they had a problem, I was just a bit concerned at the way she nonchalantly mentions these moments. My advice – Girl, find a happy hour with Jesus.
The book ends up being very human-centered just like all self-help books, especially towards the end. She talks about stepping out and meeting new people not like you, which basically is the Great Commission of every Christian, but she dangerously says you do not need a hero because you are the hero. You do need a hero, I do. we do. She does talk about God giving you strength, but that in the end, it is up to you to really change. I beg to differ, I only change because of what God does in me. I fail me. My strength fails me. My motives are tainted. My soul is depraved. My ambitions are marred. All throughout Scripture, there is a constant reminder that I am not the hero, but the one who needs rescuing. My advice – Girl, get rescued!
I do not recommend this book, but if you are a woman who may need a quick pick-me up or just some temporary motivation – this book will provide that. She did motivate me to set goals, to dream and to stop lying to myself. I do that all the time on my own -thanks to Christian friends and THE BIBLE AND JESUS! -, but it was nice for someone else to tell me, and like I said before, she does give some good advice. SOME. I do not recommend this book to white women because she will make you feel bad about your whiteness, and that’s something you can’t do anything about. Most of my friends are white and I don’t want that kind of negativity in their lives. I’m watching out for you my sister! 🙂
Basically she is the next Joyce Meyer. If you like her, you will like Rachel Hollis.