HELP ME! by Marianne Power
Kirkus Star


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London-based journalist Power chronicles the harrowing, often side-splitting adventures she embarked on while pursuing happiness and inner peace.

“At thirty-six,” writes the author, “my friends were ticking off the various life stages while I was stuck in the same life I’d had since my twenties. I was always single, I didn’t own a house, and I didn’t have a plan.” One weekend, while suffering through a particularly wicked hangover, Power decided to undertake an extended safari through the wilds of the self-help aisle. For years, the author had turned to self-help books for “comfort,” affirming the commonality of her “insecurities and anxieties.” Now, she hit on “an idea that would stop me from being a depressed, hungover mess and turn me into a happy, highly functioning person: I wasn’t just going to read self-help, I was going to DO self-help.” Power set out to act on “every single bit of advice” offered by a different self-help book each month for a year in hopes of “systematically” tackling her flaws “one book at a time.” What began as a 12-month “plan” slowly morphed into a 16-month “roller coaster” as the author torturously plumbed the recesses of her psyche at the behest of self-help and spiritual behemoths like Susan Jeffers (Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway), Tony Robbins, Stephen R. Covey (Power gave up at Habit 2 of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People), and Eckhart Tolle, all in hopes of achieving “some sort of profoundly moving (but neat and tidy) epiphany.” During her grand inner tour, Power faced down some of her darkest demons. Throughout this consistently entertaining book, she writes with unflinching honesty—and bald hilarity, especially as she encountered deadpan reality checks from her mother, sisters, and skeptical friends—about the throes of facing her fears, tackling money issues, living in the present, opening herself up to rejection, and getting over her hang-ups with men (“all Power of Now zen vanished in the face of dating”).

A winner. Bridget Jones meets Buddha in this plucky, heartwarming, comical debut memoir.

Pub Date: Jan. 15th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-8021-2906-2
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Grove
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2019


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