The book is divided in theme chapters and inside those chapters it is divided in two parts. First there is a few comments on the title name. For example in “Coming out” the authors give general ideas and advice about what it’s all about. Then there are the personal stories of the authors and what seems to be friends of the authors.
The first parts of the chapters are in my opinion useless. It felt like they were stating the obvious or telling stereotypes at best and at times trying too hard to be funny. Luckily those parts are really short and can be overlooked. It won’t change anything about the reading of the second parts and you won’t miss anything interesting.
The second parts of the chapters are much more interesting because they are personal stories. They are not especially well written or anything but it is nice to read about the experiences of other people and to be able to relate to them. Plus all the authors have a happy positive attitude about their lives. Even when you read about the sad, difficult times it doesn’t seem that bad because the authors have overcome those times and give you a happy view of their lives now. I really enjoyed that point about the book, because in a way it encourages the readers to look at their lives with a positive attitude too and it shows them that problems can be overcome and that in spite of difficulties it is possible to live happily.
My only negative comments on those parts is the lack of diversity. All the girls that wrote the texts seemed to be really wealthy, Jewish (if not all, a lot of them) and from New York. They all seemed to be coming from a similar background which made for some repetitiveness at times. I think it would have been better for the book to gather experiences from a more diverse group of people, showing that there is not just one way of living and experiencing things and that anyone can be happy. It would have balanced the book better and open it to a wider audience.
In short it is a well-intentioned book but lacking in diversity to feel more complete. It is a quick, enjoyable read. I wouldn’t recommend buying it, but if your local library have it I would recommend to check it for the personal happy stories. It’s always nice to read about happy stories when you’re feeling down.
I have this book! It’ll be interesting to compare notes once I read it. Thanks so much for this guest review, allis! Check out allis’s livejournal here.