Girl, Wash Your Face

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Member Reviews

After hearing about this book constantly on Facebook, I had to check it out. I thought I would love it. But to be honest, I'm on the fence about this one. While I appreciate the author's reason for this 240 page pep talk and her candid approach, I can't fully put my support behind this book. I don't feel like this should be marketed as a Christian book. The book is quite contradictory at times. For instance, early on in the book, Rachel Hollis talks constantly about drinking wine and cocktails and even advises the reader to drink wine as a treat or even a coping mechanism. Yet later on in the book, Rachel goes into detail about her drinking problem. I feel like unstable, searching readers could get the wrong idea by this advice. Alcohol is a drug and it is so addictive. It should never be used as a way to relieve stress because it is so easy to abuse. 

I did like parts of the book, particularly the chapter on being a new mom where Rachel says this: 

"The God who made the moon and the stars and the mountains and the oceans, the Creator who did all of those things , believed that you and your baby were meant to be a pair. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be a perfect fit. That doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes . It does mean that you need not fear failure because you can’t fail a job you were created to do."

I did find Rachel's book to be like a conversation with a friend. We don't see eye to eye about everything and there are many blushworthy moments included in this read, but I did find some noteworthy information. I do think this should not be published as a Christian book, however, because it is quite misleading. I would not be able to teach or attend a Bible study on this book at my church without feeling conflicted, which led me to this opinion. Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review this book! These opinions are all my own.
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Rachel Hollis hadn't been anywhere on my radar until I started seeing this book all over the place. Each chapter addresses a lie that Hollis once believed and how she overcame that lie. I think everyone will be able to identify with at least one of those lies and will find the hope and encouragement they need to help them work through that lie. This is a beautiful, important book and is one that you will want to savor and work through. I have enjoyed it so much that I'm actually going back through and reading it again. (I never do that!)

****Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an Advanced Copy of this title. ****
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So.. this book. The cover and title caught my eye on NetGalley and it sounded kind of interesting, but I've been trying to only request books I REALLY want to read so I passed on it. But then I saw a couple of people highly recommend it online, so I went back like a month later and downloaded it. I am so sorry about how long this review is going to be, but....arrrrgh.

This is one of those instances where judging by how the author writes, I'm supposed to know who she is? But starting out, I have zero clue. I eventually learn that she's a lifestyle blogger, but... dude. I've been in this blogging thing since 1999, so I've seen more "famous" bloggers come and go than I can even begin to count, and bloggers with followers in the bazillions are a dime a dozen now. Given the "you probably think this and that about me" tone, I'm guessing the intended audience is mostly her blog readers, not the public at large?

I looked this up on Amazon to get the link for this post fairly early on in reading it, and noticed that 94% of its almost 3,000 reviews are 5 stars. Am I the only one that gets a little suspicious about that kind of thing? I mean, even Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (which is obviously the best one in the series) only has 76% five star ratings. I later learned that the author promised to reply to anyone who left a review and sent her a screenshot of it, so out of 300k Instagram followers, it totally makes sense that 1% were happy to type up some lavish praise in exchange for a message from someone they like following. (I read through a LOT of reviews to try to figure out what the hype was. I do find it amusing that most of the two and three star ones said it was either too religious or not religious enough.)

Overall, I was pretty "meh" on the book. The topics are kind of all over the place, it often feels more like a memoir than a self-improvement book (and a lot of her personal life stories seem pointless and mundane), and while the author seems to try to be relatable by sharing her "flaws" and referring to readers as "girl" and "sister" (?), she's just... not. At one point she describes getting Bell's palsy, which temporarily paralyzes part of her face, while on vacation in Paris. She literally says, "I've never felt sorrier for myself than in that moment" to describe when she was getting her photo taken in front of the Eiffel Tower because she had to wear sunglasses and couldn't smile normally. I don't know about y'all, but the most "poor me" moments of my life have totally been on multi-country European vacations, too.  (I learned from reading reviews that her husband used to be a Disney exec, so... they're doing pretty okay in the dollars department. I feel like authors in that category often don't understand how impractical their life advice might seem to other 99% of the population, and how we might be less impressed by your successes knowing how many huge advantages you had that helped you achieve them.)

I think that the main problem with books written by bloggers or YouTubers is that they have so many people who comment on everything they post saying how brilliant and perfect and inspirational they are that they begin to, at least on some level, truly believe it. Most people with even a moderate following can Instagram a picture of their morning coffee and get a hundred, "OMG I want to be you, you're so perfect." comments. Most chapters felt like she just wasn't qualified to be offering advice on the topic she was covering. (The chapter on diversity is cringe-worthy, and the chapter on fitness is horrifying. She refers to losing weight as, "literally the easiest thing in the world." Did you guys know that you just need to burn more calories than you consume? That's it!)

She writes about how raw it feels to share with the book's readers about things like the way she allowed herself to be treated in her first relationship (before the guy magically became awesome overnight and she wound up marrying him?), but the unhealthy relationship that it's so embarrassing to write about? Sounds like almost any 19-year old's first relationship. Of course you did stupid things to try to make sure he liked you - you were a teenager who had never been on a date! So many of the stories in the book are along those lines - completely un-noteworthy. Things you'd probably tell your best friend about when they happened, but not at all the kind of thing you'd still be talking about years later.

Overall, I think this would have been much better off as a memoir with a bit of "inspiration" mixed in than an attempt at giving advice. A good self improvement or motivational book is about the reader, while this is 95% about the author and 5% "You can, too!" Since the writing is clearly aimed at people who are already fans of hers, I think it would have been just as successful in sales if it was written as a memoir and could have avoided the "let me tell you how to live despite having zero qualification to do so" thing. Also might be better if she'd picked a side on it being a religious book or not, since as I mentioned above she seemed to annoy people on both sides by trying to straddle that line.

Again, sorry for the novel of a review, but the inflated ratings make me want to put a truly honest review out there to balance things out a tiny bit. I read a bunch of 1-3 star reviews that were like, "I saw that this was a bestseller and got amazing reviews so I bought it... am I the only person that doesn't understand the hype?" I'm not trying to be harsh or look down on anyone who DID love it and got inspiration from it. That's awesome. I just want to save others who get a few chapters in and start thinking, "This isn't great. What am I missing? Everyone else seems to love it, it must get way better." from wasting precious dollars and reading hours. I didn't hate it, and some chapters were interesting to read, but it's not the masterpiece that reviews seem to imply.


A note unrelated to the actual book: I will *never* request a title from this publisher again, because someone thought it was a great idea to put notes about the ARC being copyrighted material in the middle of the text on EVERY SINGLE PAGE. Advance copies generally have a note about it being an uncorrected proof and not quoting the text without checking the final copy at the very beginning of the book, but I've never seen one have anything after that, let alone on literally every page. To make it worse, something got messed up in the formatting so instead of "DO NOT DUPLICATE", in the middle of a random sentence you'd have the word NOT (which often made me think the author was being sarcastic) and then in the middle of the next line, "DO DUPLICATE". It's impossible to get into a book when you're trying to read a sentence and you get yelled at by caps lock words on LITERALLY EVERY PAGE.

Before now, my biggest pet peeve for ARCs was when the publisher didn't at least give it a perfunctory run through Grammarly or something before releasing it into the world to thousands of reviewers, but this was so, so much worse. Imagine going to a movie and someone's phone blaring the original Nokia ringtone every two minutes. At first you're like "Wow, that's annoying, but surely they'll fix it soon?" but then no. Every two minutes. It rings during the quiet, sad moment. It rings during the hero's dramatic monologue. You seriously consider just walking out of the theater after 20 minutes (or in my case, after 5% of the book), but you want to at least try to see what happens. Still, you can only put like 70% of your energy, at best, on trying to concentrate on the plot, because the other 30% of your brain is busy plotting ways to kill the idiot with the phone set to super loud ringer.

And it's not like this is a new Harry Potter book or something. I've seen a couple of people mention it online, but it's not a book with big hype. Chill, publisher dudes. Nobody was considering duplicating it. Judging by other ARC reviews I saw on NetGalley, they just annoyed the hell out of reviewers (and probably caused a TON of people to give up on trying to read it) for no reason. Uggggh.
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This book is amazing. I wish every woman had the opportunity to read the uplifting and empowering words of Rachel Hollis. I will be giving several of these to friends because I think it is so important for us, as women, to lift each other up. If you are hard on yourself or simply need to focus on positive aspects, grab this book!
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First off, I want to give NetGalley and Thomas Nelson/Nelson Books a huge thank you for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

I have heard so much hype about this book, so I was really excited to dig into the read. I am a fan of the self help genre- especially those of today with a strong feminist feel. I thought this was going to be another favorite to add to my shelves.

As Hollis writes, each chapter begins with a lie that she has told herself, and then she reveals how that lie came about and how she tackled the issue to prove it untrue, or how she changed her mindset. These topics are geared towards women, so the issues such as motherhood, careers, and body image are addressed. In each chapter, Hollis shares her struggles with conviction and candor, allowing the reader a peek behind the mogul's privacy curtain. See, Hollis has built a large successful following through her event and media company that aims at making a working woman's life a little easier. So it's easy to think that Hollis has it all together- but as she explains throughout her book, she has her own weak areas too. Overall, her goal is to relate and join women together to make their lives better and allow them to live their best lives.

I admire the sentiments of Hollis' book, but I have a lot of issues with her personal beliefs that don't align with my own. Hollis is deeply religious, with two generations of preachers in her lineage (her father and grandfather). What I kept thinking throughout the novel was that I was being preached to, which sounds like the author may come by naturally. To me, preaching isn't the same as encouraging, though that might be a fine line only I notice. I think religion has wonderful power to help people come together and uplift each other, to give them a guide for an honest living... but I have also seen it be twisted for political and social agendas. So, when I feel preached to, it's a turn off. I also found it slightly annoying that used Hollis used endearments- girl, sister, etc- in her writing, and thought they came off like she was trying too hard. Trying to put those aside, I tried to take note of the underlying messages Hollis discussed, and found myself agreeing with a few things, such as this:

    "Someone else's opinion of you is none of your business."

This is so valid, and I'm glad she repeats herself because at first, I translated it as, don't listen to anyone's opinion of you...but it really translates to, don't seek other's opinions of you. You should have enough confidence in yourself and not seek compliments or criticisms to boost confidence. You don't need to know what others think of you in order to form an opinion about yourself. Throughout her book, Hollis makes some strong arguments and backs them up with good advice like this.

But, then I ended up thinking about her overall message: Bettering yourself. I know she isn't suggesting perfectionism- in fact, she explains she's far from it- but Hollis is constantly stating how we women can better ourselves. I want to know- aside from ourselves, who do we need to be better for? Why can't we be happy with who we are? Even more crazy- what if we already ARE happy, or on some level of happiness? See, this is where I started to question some of her advice in this book- where bias and personal beliefs were used as rational in Hollis' recommendations. For example, Hollis states this about health, revealing a thin-stigma (which I'm not sure she realized as such):

    "You need to be healthy. You don’t need to be thin. You don’t need to be a certain size or shape or look good in a bikini. You need to be able to run without feeling like you’re going to puke. You need to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. You need to drink half your body weight in ounces of water every single day. You need to stretch and get good sleep and stop medicating every ache and pain. You need to stop filling your body with garbage like Diet Coke and fast food and lattes that are a million and a half calories. You need to take in fuel for you body that hasn't been processed and fuel for you mind that is positive and encouraging. You need to get up off the sofa or out of the bed and move around. Get out of the fog that you have been living in and see your life for what it is.” 

Here's the thing- not all fat bodies are unhealthy. Sometimes, people have issues that lead them to carry more weight, and yes, some carry weight because they indulge in food. But that doesn't make them lazy. That doesn't mean they only eat "garbage foods". And it certainly doesn't mean they aren't living in a fog and not enjoying their life. Especially in light of the body-positive movements, these sentiments are very conflicting to what women have been fighting for.

In conclusion, I don't think that Girl, Wash Your Face was a home-run for me because I was very on-the-fence about liking it. As I said, there were parts that I could certainly agree with, I enjoyed the memoir aspects, and I think parts are a great kick in the pants for those who need it, but I had a hard time blocking out that information that I found biased by personal beliefs and conflicting from my own. 

(This review will be posted at a later date on my blog: www.thelexingtonbookie.wordpress.com)
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I'm sure the author did not intend for her guidance to come off as condescending, yet it does. I know her intentions her are positive, and many women have been empowered by this book, it just isn't for me.  I appreciate the author's intent and am glad that the message has reached its intended audience. I have received similar messages from other writers without it feeling as redundant and borderline hostile. I found the writing to be dull and repetitive, almost as if the author is addressing an audience she finds incapable of understanding the concepts of kindness and gratitude.
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I got on a roll with Christian-Living, non-fiction, self help books a few months ago, and I really can't say enough good things about this one.

Rachel Hollis is not only honest with her words in this book, she is almost completely transparent.  I mean, I say almost because there has to be somethings she left out.  I know her other book will be out soon, and I can't wait to get my hands on that one too.

While reading this book, I found myself nodding my head and laughing all at the same time. Sometimes it was because this girl is hilarious, but other times it was because I could totally relate.  She is down-to-earth, and speaks the truth so plainly that you will wonder why you hadn't thought of these things before.  I liked how at the end of each chapter she would include "What Helped Me," and share with us how she overcame the lie that was covered in that chapter.  She has a way of encouraging and empowering all at the same time. This woman is a power-house, and she is sharing with us that hope and dream to be like her.

I think this book has found a permanent place on my bookshelf so I can re-read it ever so often, and I think I need to get one to loan to my friends too.  You might feel the same way after you read it too.
Here's a few little snippets that I highlighted in my copy.

Someone else's opinion of you is none of your business.

Nobody will ever care about your dream as much as you do.

Our words have power, but our actions shape our lives.
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I absolutely am IN LOVE with this book!!!!  Turn your back on the negatives and think about the positives!!! Such an empowering book for anyone to read!!!! Rachel Hollis knows how to tell you like it is while still keeping it light and fun!!! I will be purchasing this book and giving it for Christmas to all my girlfriends because they all need some “Girl Wash your Face” love ❤️
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Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for this free copy. 

I went into this book thinking it probably would not apply to me. I was thinking it was more for a younger crowd, a mom with toddlers or even a tutorial book about makeup and hair! Was I wrong! This was a motivating, uplifting, and energized book for women of any age. I enjoyed the lightheartedness and the enthusiasm that Rachel Hollis had throughout the books. She covered a wide range of topics such as motherhood, sex, how we treat each other, how we treat ourselves and more. I am glad I read this book and Rachel Hollis has a new fan...me!
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Love this book. Rachel is so real and honest and it’s a breath of fresh air. I had a lot of trouble reading the ARC from Netgalley due to the weird formatting but I did enjoy the book and will recommend it.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. While there were some things that I couldnt 100% relate to just because I either dont have kids or my personality just isnt quite the same, it does help to know that there are others (so many others) that try so hard to please others and will do whatever it takes. This is just that reminder that we need to do OURSELVES. Do what's best for us because we constantly put everyone else in front of our own needs. And that it's not wrong to do something that we WANT for ourselves!
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Loved this book!! It was great perspective and motivation. I'm starting over and going to re-read! The humor was great and a good reminder to stop taking life so seriously as well. 
The only thing that was super annoying was the random words in the middle of the text stating it was copyrighted material. That is no fault of the author/book, however it seems like it could have been toned down. As a Netgalley user, I understand that these books are copyrighted and I do not share the material anywhere.
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Girl, Wash Your Face was my first audio book in a very long time....In my twenties as my career was getting started I used to spent my morning drive with Tony Robbins in the CD player in my car.. yes I know that dates me.

As Rachel started to talk I remembered those day, the days of focus, the days of crafting my own purpose.  I am now in my 40’s and it hit me I lost that a bit..... In the hustle of doing I needed this voice, what voice .... you might ask… MY VOICE.
This book helped me remember my voice, the voice that told me when I meet my husband he was the one (setting into place so much greatness in my life) the voice that drove me to start my own search firm when pregnant with our first son, and the voice that compelled me to speak up when my brother died by suicide

This post is ending up more about me than the book but I think that might be Ms Hollis' point this book is about how it affected the listener (reader).....

It occurred to me as I listened I somehow got lost in a bit, listening has me thinking of the amazing family vacation we just returned from, a vacation filled with laughs and lifetime memories, and also a vacation where there were countless photos of me not smiling because my head was filled with negative body imaging thoughts; I would I have double chin in the photo, would my arm look huge and when I wore a shorter dress the almost panic I felt for a full length photo fearing what would my ankle braces look like.  Those thoughts clouded my enjoyments and I see it now in those not smiling photos, the ones in the Shutterfly album but not in Unplugged post that I wrote for the blog about our amazing vacation.

Listening to Ms Hollis speak remind me to LOVE ME AS I AM; to accept the love around me and to embrace what my husband and I have build and to be thankful for our sons and our life. My size has nothing to do with that and though my chronic illness may interfere with my life at times I need to be grateful for what I can do and for those willing to help me when the pain is too much.

I paused the book a bit of the way in… paused.... because I was so profoundly touched by Ms Hollis’ openness about the loss of her brother to suicide and how it helping to shape her path.  I hopped onto Twitter and posted a Tweet about how touched I was.  I have no idea if Ms Hollis will ever see said Tweet but her sharing her story will help so many others, so if even one person sees the openness about the loss of her brother and it helps them… then that that was worth the pause.

I adored the chapters on being a working Mom...
It is a struggle I often battle and the reinforcement I heard was so helpful to me. The judgement put on working moms, judgement that father's don't seem to get, really allowed some of my guilt to diminish. It has also had me taking a hard look at the fact that sometimes like Ms Hollis said she did early on in her career I downplay what I do for a living when I think it might make other's uncomfortable. Our older son has even commented on it, once or twice  commenting Mom "they have no idea you run a successful business."

By the end of Girl, Wash Your Face I was to truly moved, left thinking and allowing myself to embrace all I have accomplished.  And re-setting my personal goals and envisioning what I want the rest of this journey called life to look like.

Did all the thoughts and words for me.. No.. But overall it was super thought provoking and one I highly recommend.

I also recommend following Rachel Hollis on Instagram.
I so touched by her post a few days about being away from her son on his birthday; the post was heartfelt and moving. For me it really resonated...  this post was a stark contrast to eye rolls and "how could you" comments I received the year I was away for our son's birthday in support of the work we do for the Keith Milano Memorial Fund. Ms Hollis' post was reminder that I should hold my head up high and be proud of the work we do for mental health awareness in his name.  The book as a whole also reminded me that not everyone who experiences traumatic loss moves forward and turns it into a mission. To date we have raised over 1 million dollars for the Keith Milano Memorial Fund and I have a new found pride for that.
Post like Ms Hollis' post from other working mom's speaking about the balance, the give and take, the decisions along the way make toward success lifts all of us up.

I did not rate this book, why you might ask well.... this listen isn't about what I think of it but WHAT YOU THINK of it... and what you take away from Rachel's words of wisdom and the very moving personal stories she shares in the book.
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Author and media presence Rachel Hollis gives motivational stories, tips, and challenges, all liberally sprinkled with anecdotes from her own life- the good, the bad, and the ugly, as well as some funny too. A must read for women who enjoy Jen Hatmaker, Shauna Niequist, and Beth Moore.
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Thank you to Net Galley and Thomas Nelson Publishing.  Girls:  GET THIS BOOK. First, the e-ARC was given to me in exchange for my honest review.  Okay.  I somehow hadn't reviewed this yet, but maybe it's because I was so moved, so inspired, that I was telling everyone about it. Truth. I told all my female relatives, 16 to 55 (me), that I don't often demand anything.  I demand they read this book.  It's honest, it speaks truths, it is one that unicorn that I will revisit often. I have already pre-ordered her upcoming title, I've subscribed to her podcasts and she's also set me on the path to find other amazing women who can help improve our lives (Body Love for one.)  I honestly think any age, any woman will find jewels in this book that will help them.  Weirdly, I also found out she'd come from the Bakersfield area...me too! (she's much younger, but whatever.) Please, do yourself a favor, get this book.
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This book had a lot of hype around it so I was nervous it wouldn't hold up, but it really did. Hollis wrote in such an honest and refreshing way and I really did enjoy this book. Her stories about meeting her husband, and going through the adoption process were super personal, vulnerable and heartbreaking, but they really carried alot of weight and took this book to the next level for me. a deduction of 1 star only because there were a few chapters on motherhood i couldn't relate too and kind of skipped over. Otherwise, super!
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Talk about a pep talk from someone who loves you most! This book will inspire you to be your very best self!
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This was an awe-inspiring book to read!!  I was so excited after reading this to see her in real life because this book is so motivational.  She is in your face and so blunt about it but she's also blunt about herself.  Whatever she puts out there for someone else - she puts out there about herself.  I found that to be extremely refreshing.  We can't do it all and we try all the time and our internal dialogue is what gets us the most.  I really want to gift this out to everyone.  Even men because they need to know how we think and feel.  We don't always walk around and tell them everything.  It's one of those things that we harbor and keep when we should give it up.  I would rate this 10 stars if I could.  I wouldn't say that this book is for under a certain age because there are topics that are talked about that are a little adultish.  So keep that in mind.
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"Understanding that you choose your own happiness, that you have control of your own life, is so important."

"You are more than you have become."

"Sadness and pain are things you have to sit with and get to know or you'll never be able to move on."

"Moving doesn't change who you are. It only changes the view outside your window."

"Comparison is the death of joy, and the only person you need to be better than is the one you were yesterday."

"You should spend more time doing the things that feed your spirit: more long walks with your dog, less volunteering for that thing you feel obligated to do but actually hate."

"Our own negative self-talk can be more damaging than the emotional abuse heaped on us by a hateful parent."
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This book was motivating, inspiring, funny, and full of raw honesty.  Hollis's sense of humor and writing style is extremely relate-able, and I enjoyed a glimpse into her life, which is really "just like us"! She makes some very great, very real points that all women, heck, all people, should take heed of, but this in particular: Hollis says her life is not perfect, and the stories and truths she shares back that up, so she said it bothers her when people assume her life is perfect judging from her social media posts or photos-- nobody's life is perfect, but if you find happiness in every day, you will be (and look) happy (and stop comparing yourself to others). Definitely a great book to read and share with your friends.
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