You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
Written by Ashley Kelmore, Posted in Reviews
Best for: I can’t think of a reader I’d recommend this to.
In a nutshell: Life Coach re-purposes classic self-help book recommendations into multiple short chapters that say very little that is new or original. Also, she swears.
Line that sticks with me: None.
Why I chose it: Embarrassingly, the “Badass” in the title drew me in.
Review: From a quick CBR search, it appears I might be the only person to have reviewed this book so far. Good. If this is in your TBR pile, I recommend returning it, as your time is more valuable than this.
As I’ve mentioned in other reviews, I’ve read many a personal growth / self-help book, and can usually find something to like in them. And I have to say that for a couple of pages, I was into this book. Mostly because I appreciated that the author said fuck a lot.
But then it became apparently to me that the author has read a lot of books on personal growth, and this is just a rearranging and distilling of the some of the genre’s greatest hits. I’ve never read “The Secret,” but fuck if this doesn’t read like what I understand to be the main thesis of that book. I just cannot take seriously anyone who says things like (direct from page 33) “In order to truly raise your vibration, you’ve got to believe that everything you want is available to you. And the best way to keep this belief strong is by staying connected to Source Energy.”
I’m sorry. Did I just wander into a Scientology seminar?
Also, Ms. Sincero seems to think that capitalizing a couple of nouns makes them something real. Source Energy is not a thing. Stop trying to make Source Energy happen, Gretchen. It’s not. Going. To happen.
I have to admit that I was turned off just pages in because this books seems to take a page out of Alcholics Anonymous: I have to believe in some “higher power.” Nopety nope nope. And that’s not to say that one shouldn’t believe in a higher power, or that I’m not super wrong in my lack of belief, or that it can’t play a role in this type of book, but I wish there had been some mention of this requirement on the back cover, because that would have let me know this book definitely was not for me, and saved me the time and money and Ms. Sincero this review.
There are like a million chapters, and each one is distilled down to a list, as though Buzzfeed decided to write a book based off of its early, less well-edited work.
Also, at one point the author talks about her life-changing visit to India. (She’s white. I know, you’re shocked.) White women (and men)? Can we please collectively agree to stop putting these types of things passages in books? No problem with traveling the world and learning about different cultures, but maybe keep it in your travel journal.
There’s a sort of odd recurring theme of money, as though that should definitely be a primary motivating factor. I know that we all have bills to pay and that we live in a society where money still matters, but I didn’t realize I’d picked up a ‘make money now!’ book. Sadly, that’s on me, because the line on the back cover is right there: “Make some damn money already. The kind you’ve never made before.” That should have been sufficient for me to put this back on the shelf, but alas, I missed it.
I can’t with this. This book isn’t one-star bad, but I’m having a really hard time thinking of someone I’d recommend it to, because if a person really is interested in finding good ways to make changes in their lives, I want better for them than this cobbled together treatise that seems to think that if we just wish hard upon a star and Stuart Smalley ourselves, then everything will fall into place.