Social media ce-web-rity Baby Ariel steps out of the digital realm and into print with her debut, Dreaming Out Loud.
Ariel Martin, better known as Baby Ariel, combines autobiography with self-help. Starting with her rise to celebrity through creating lip-sync videos on the musical.ly app, the Jewish-Latina teen sensation shares her triumphs and struggles. The book is divided into color-based themes, with biographical sections bookended by sections of questions and guidance. Some of the advice is genuinely helpful, such as how to tackle online trolls and real-life bullies and the edict to seek the assistance of a mental health professional for severe anxiety. Other advice is less so, such as the recommendation to binge-watch Netflix to stave off boredom or how to use false lashes as part of a supposedly minimalist makeup routine. While the advice has many hits and a few misses, the intervening narrative has Ariel singing “me, me, me” such that even glints of good advice fade in the shadow of the author’s narcissistic tone, making for tedious reading. Only the most dedicated member of the Ariel “fan-mily” will find much appeal here. While life advice from a peer mentor certainly has its place, other, better self-help and inspirational resources exist.
Vapid and banal. (Memoir. 12-18)