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So I read Girl, Wash Your Face


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A young mom raved about Rachel Hollis, so out of curiosity I borrowed the audio book from the library. Wow. I give it one star and that's being generous. The book is nothing but a bunch of strung-together tired platitudes like "keep pushing through your hardships", "eat healthy and exercise to lose weight", and "be sure to have some me-time". She bares her soul with deep, dark secrets like the fact that she sometimes pees herself a little since she's had three babies, and she shaves her toes. Her husband was a real jerk and she married him anyway. She had an emotional eating habit and she also drank too much, so she gives the sage advice to not use unhealthy things as crutches, and to keep them out of your house if you're seriously tempted. Hey girl, it's the wisdom of the ages. 

Her self absorption and materialism run deep. She lusted after a $1000 Louis Vuitton bag and the day she finally made enough money, she practically ran to the mall to buy it. I was waiting for some reflection about a ridiculously expensive bag not being worth it, how it didn't really enrich her life after all, but nope. Now she has a goal of owning a vacation home in Hawaii within five years. 

She has been through rough times like her parents' bitter divorce and her brother's suicide, but even so, she has nothing insightful to say about any of it. To be fair to her, I played the book at 1.5X speed which made her sound extra chirpy. Maybe I missed some nuggets, but I'm not going back to find out.

This all sounds pretty hateful. I don't hate her. I am just dumbfounded at her wild popularity. At least my time wasn't totally wasted as I listened to it while doing housework.

 

 

 

 

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You’re singing my song. That was literally the worst piece of trash book I have ever read in my life...and that means the worst of many hundreds or possibly thousands of books. My scathing one-star review on GoodReads is my most popular review on there, with hundreds of likes and many comments. 

Here’s my GR review.

Edited by Quill
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59 minutes ago, Quill said:

You’re singing my song. That was literally the worst piece of trash book I have ever read in my life...and that means the worst of many hundreds or possibly thousands of books. My scathing one-star review on GoodReads is my most popular review on there, with hundreds of likes and many comments. 

Here’s my GR review.

 

That was my thought, too. It's the worst book I have EVER read, and I read a lot. Sometimes a book just isn't for you, and the next person loves it. With this book, I'm not sure what the point even is. When stating *how* to work through a problem, she says things like, just do it. Don't give up. And the chapter on marital sex. Bragging about how good you are? Seriously??? It kind of reminds me of homeschooling mommies who have a preschooler and a first grader and start a blog/write a book giving homeschooling advice like they are experts now. Wait a few years maybe. Hopefully you will gain some wisdom, some insight, and perhaps a little humility.

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4 minutes ago, PrairieSong said:

 

That was my thought, too. It's the worst book I have EVER read, and I read a lot. Sometimes a book just isn't for you, and the next person loves it. With this book, I'm not sure what the point even is. When stating *how* to work through a problem, she says things like, just do it. Don't give up. And the chapter on marital sex. Bragging about how good you are? Seriously??? It kind of reminds me of homeschooling mommies who have a preschooler and a first grader and start a blog/write a book giving homeschooling advice like they are experts now. Wait a few years maybe. Hopefully you will gain some wisdom, some insight, and perhaps a little humility.

It leaves me seriously scratching my head when people love that book or love Hollis. The person who urged friends on FB to buy it, which lead me to buy it, I think, “I just don’t get it.” I agree with you; sometimes a book is - meh, not for me, but you do you. But I didn’t feel that way about that book. It turned me off on HER, personally, forever.  

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1 hour ago, PrairieSong said:

 

That was my thought, too. It's the worst book I have EVER read, and I read a lot. Sometimes a book just isn't for you, and the next person loves it. With this book, I'm not sure what the point even is. When stating *how* to work through a problem, she says things like, just do it. Don't give up. And the chapter on marital sex. Bragging about how good you are? Seriously??? It kind of reminds me of homeschooling mommies who have a preschooler and a first grader and start a blog/write a book giving homeschooling advice like they are experts now. Wait a few years maybe. Hopefully you will gain some wisdom, some insight, and perhaps a little humility.

We read it for our book club a while back. All of us older moms/wives were laughing about it. Hard eye roll. Kind of like all the quasi-mysterious and seemingly profound memes that 20-something girls put on their facebook pages about finding themselves. 😛

On the marital s@x chapter, I so so so wanted to write to her and tell her that if she and her husband were half as mature as she makes them out to be, she would stop viewing s@x as a commodity traded to keep her husband happy with her and he would be more thrilled with true connection than everyday-bunny-rabbit-s@x-because-she-feels-obligated.

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3 hours ago, Quill said:

You’re singing my song. That was literally the worst piece of trash book I have ever read in my life...and that means the worst of many hundreds or possibly thousands of books. My scathing one-star review on GoodReads is my most popular review on there, with hundreds of likes and many comments. 

Here’s my GR review.

okay I literally laughed out loud at your "drunk browsing Amazon" comment!!   That is epic!

 

Oh and my most liked review on GRs is also one of my most negative reviews.  What does that say about us as a culture 🙂  😕  🤣

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16 minutes ago, PrincessMommy said:

okay I literally laughed out loud at your "drunk browsing Amazon" comment!!   That is epic!

 

Oh and my most liked review on GRs is also one of my most negative reviews.  What does that say about us as a culture 🙂  😕  🤣

I think that often as well...numerous books I have given five-star, glowing reviews never get a “like”. I burn down the house on a bad book and people love it! 🤔

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40 minutes ago, Quill said:

I think that often as well...numerous books I have given five-star, glowing reviews never get a “like”. I burn down the house on a bad book and people love it! 🤔

I wonder if it is because a well written one-star review is difficult to do. Like when people give Flannery O'Connor's short stories a one-star review because they are depressing stories filled with awful people. Or people who dont like Lord of the Rings because it is too long and has super boring descriptions. Those are all just personal opinions (which I understand is part of a review), but they usually are not meaningful to me. 

I want to read a one-star review like Quill's. Thoughtful, well-organized, and has genuine issues with the book beyond "I didnt find it entertaining or enjoyable." I didnt find Flannery O'Connor's short stories entertaining or enjoyable, but that book is one of the most significant books I have read in a long time. I found it thought-provoking, soul-cleansing, and it forced painful self-reflection. It opened me up to other literature that does not feel good, but is good and right to read.

And it sounds like Girl, Wash Your Face is the opposite of that. It sounds like a book that does nothing good for the soul of the reader. And if I want that, I will read a cozy mystery, not self-promoting, meme-touting, humble-bragging verbal diarrhea from a person with little real life experience to be taken seriously. 

 

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8 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Just the title makes my blood pressure go up- especially when it keeps popping up in my Audible suggestions I do not understand WHY she is so popular. Or why she keeps being lumped in with Christian reading. It kills me.

@Quill I just read your GR review and had to like. I will never, ever  ever read a book from this woman. If there is ever a way to block authors as recommendations on GoodRead and Audible she's going to be my #1. 

Yes! I wish there was a way to permanently “unfollow” a particular author so you never see their recommendations. 

When I see the book at a book store, I am tempted to put a sticky note on the front saying, “This book is trash! Go pick literally ANY other book instead!” 😄 I don’t think I have felt so passionately against any book or author before. 

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Someone was just gushing about this book to me, said it was life-changing book, now I've not read it but from what I've read about it I'm pretty sure I will not be a fan girl. I am trying hard not to think negatively of this person because they like this book and seem to be hero worshiping this chick a bit too much. Her synopsis of the book is that as Mom's and we've been conditioned to take care of everyone else and never take care of ourselves and we need to learn to stop that. I don't disagree with that to a certain degree. I also think we all get different things out of any book. Despite the gushing recommendation I'm still not reading the book, I'd rather think I don't like it than know I hate it...

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17 hours ago, Quill said:

You’re singing my song. That was literally the worst piece of trash book I have ever read in my life...and that means the worst of many hundreds or possibly thousands of books. My scathing one-star review on GoodReads is my most popular review on there, with hundreds of likes and many comments. 

Here’s my GR review.

I was going to post that you had some strong opinions about that book. 😂😂

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Yes, someone I know was raving about it, so I went over to Amazon and read a little there.

Excuse me for being a rough-around-the-edges, retired homeschool mom, but just no.

I'm on Facebook but have similar cranky attitudes about that. I'd be rejoicing if the worse thing that happened to me one day was a leaky milk jug and a crabby family. Seriously? That's real life. Deal with it.

Edited by G5052
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Doesn’t it seem like everyone has a book deal these days? I like listening to podcasts geared toward Christian women and they’re basically 95% people coming on to sell their books. It’s incredibly rare that anyone sounds like they have a novel point of view to share. I did a launch team for a book recently (it was just ok but I like the author) so now the publisher is sending me other random books. They just seem pointless. So many of them are just an inch deep, basically just restating what’s already been said a thousand times. 

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11 minutes ago, Farrar said:

This also could be a side effect of the fact that dh and I are jointly hate watching Christmas romcoms in bulk right now.

 

LOL. When I was working in retail last season, the TV in the lunchroom almost always had one of those going.

I usually turned around and read a book on my phone. Just no, no, no. Life is a little more real than that. 

Edited by G5052
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21 minutes ago, sassenach said:

Doesn’t it seem like everyone has a book deal these days? I like listening to podcasts geared toward Christian women and they’re basically 95% people coming on to sell their books. It’s incredibly rare that anyone sounds like they have a novel point of view to share. I did a launch team for a book recently (it was just ok but I like the author) so now the publisher is sending me other random books. They just seem pointless. So many of them are just an inch deep, basically just restating what’s already been said a thousand times. 

I think a lot of this is because the barriers to publishing have come down so very far since before anybody could have a blog, a Pinterest, a YouTube channel. Now, there is so much competition for “platform” that any time a person with a book gets the least snippet of publicity, they are expected to - and pretty much must - hawk their market. 

I think those functions used to be more separate, like, for example, when Stephen Covey wrote The 7 Habits...it had marketing materials, but it wasn’t relentlessly hawked throughout the book. You could reasonably read a book like that and barely or not even know that you could go to a Stephen Covey leadership conference, or say, something that didn’t exist then, like “become a premium member at Stephen Covey habits dot com and get my podcasts for free every week...” 

Now it seems like people have to hawk themselves constantly for “branding” or their books won’t sell, which will make publishing companies drop them like a lava rock. 

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19 hours ago, PrincessMommy said:

okay I literally laughed out loud at your "drunk browsing Amazon" comment!!   That is epic!

 

Oh and my most liked review on GRs is also one of my most negative reviews.  What does that say about us as a culture 🙂  😕  🤣

I laughed too.

I think my most liked review on GR is one of my most scathing, one-star ones.

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I really despised that book, which I skimmed in its entirety while standing in a library or bookstore, I forget which.

But I can see that it would be appealing to non-homeschooling folks who have not really ever had anyone say to them that they are majorly responsible for their lives and their commitments.  To us, who as a group are somewhat counter cultural and probably a bit hyper responsible, it sounds obvious and dumb.  But not to everyone.  And I’m OK with that.

Not too terribly thrilled about it being touted as specifically Christian however, but I feel like that about a lot of Christian ‘lifestyle’ books.

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On 12/7/2019 at 5:44 PM, Quill said:

You’re singing my song. That was literally the worst piece of trash book I have ever read in my life...and that means the worst of many hundreds or possibly thousands of books. My scathing one-star review on GoodReads is my most popular review on there, with hundreds of likes and many comments. 

Here’s my GR review.

I read the review....and got to see your picture 😀.  Now I want to read more of your reviews as you think like me.  I didn't read the book and obviously don't need to.

I struggle as so many "Christian" books out there aren't Biblical and/or aren't worth reading.

 

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14 hours ago, Ottakee said:

I read the review....and got to see your picture 😀.  Now I want to read more of your reviews as you think like me.  I didn't read the book and obviously don't need to.

I struggle as so many "Christian" books out there aren't Biblical and/or aren't worth reading.

 

 

I don't see how this can be called a Christian book. Sprinkling references to Jesus and the Bible throughout the text doesn't negate the focus on self and the prosperity gospel. I think I should give my honest opinion to the young woman who gushed to me about Rachel Hollis and her message. She won't like it but oh well.

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28 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

My SIL works in the Christian division of Harper Collins (she was a zondervan employee but H.C bought them up) and she said they finally got some of these particularly awful ones moved out of the Christian section and into, like, motivational and self help.  Sheeeeesh.

IMO, Hollis is absolutely trying to tap the market who loves Jen Hatmaker, Angie Smith, et al. (FTR, there are some things about Hatmaker than annoy me, but at minimum, I do think she is the real deal.) 

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Timely post the local Christian moms Facebook is starting a book club.  I was excited because books and a night out.  The lady setting it up chose this book because she loved it so much and wanted to share it with everyone.  You have saved me from months of hanging out with morons.  

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6 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

Timely post the local Christian moms Facebook is starting a book club.  I was excited because books and a night out.  The lady setting it up chose this book because she loved it so much and wanted to share it with everyone.  You have saved me from months of hanging out with morons.  

 

😭

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32 minutes ago, rebcoola said:

Timely post the local Christian moms Facebook is starting a book club.  I was excited because books and a night out.  The lady setting it up chose this book because she loved it so much and wanted to share it with everyone.  You have saved me from months of hanging out with morons.  

 

Unless you want to be the one to poke the beehive.... 

Seriously, not putting this on you, rebcoola, but how do we - those of us who are called to be the “wiser older women” of scripture - gently guide our younger sisters in discernment?

(obviously I am asking as a practicing believer, others here might be ok with an eye roll and leaving them to enjoy their ignorance, but it bothers me to leave false teaching unchecked)

[btw Momof6 I read back and saw you had the same thought before I did about Quill’s review!]

ETA I am going to continue as I did earlier in this thread - whenever I see Hollis’s book discussed, I’m just going to quietly link that GC article. 

Edited by Seasider too
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On 12/7/2019 at 5:44 PM, Quill said:

You’re singing my song. That was literally the worst piece of trash book I have ever read in my life...and that means the worst of many hundreds or possibly thousands of books. My scathing one-star review on GoodReads is my most popular review on there, with hundreds of likes and many comments. 

Here’s my GR review.

 

"Girl, shut your face." 😂

 

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42 minutes ago, Angie in VA said:

 

"Girl, shut your face." 😂

 

One commenter did say she had to like my review just for that remark. 😏

In more serious news, I read a one-Star review for the newer book that just won Reader’s Choice. I think the member’s name is Jeanette? (ETA: Her name is Johanna) Or something like that? Anyway, she breaks down her review very thoroughly and, some of the defects she cites on this new book just blow my mind. Apparently in the new book, she talks about how her boobs were ruined by childbirth so she did what any mature, centered Christian woman would do (haha): she got plastic surgery. (Please note: I am not against cosmetic surgery categorically; it is the way she, according to this reviewer, mocks how her boobs had changed and implies that no woman should accept that.) 

This reviewer points out numerous such things. I’m just glad I didn't have to read the book myself to find that out, lol. 

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2 hours ago, Seasider too said:

 

Unless you want to be the one to poke the beehive.... 

Seriously, not putting this on you, rebcoola, but how do we - those of us who are called to be the “wiser older women” of scripture - gently guide our younger sisters in discernment?

(obviously I am asking as a practicing believer, others here might be ok with an eye roll and leaving them to enjoy their ignorance, but it bothers me to leave false teaching unchecked)

[btw Momof6 I read back and saw you had the same thought before I did about Quill’s review!]

ETA I am going to continue as I did earlier in this thread - whenever I see Hollis’s book discussed, I’m just going to quietly link that GC article. 

You are totally right I may still read the book and go but it will be different than I was envisioning.  It was just supposed to be fun and light and meet some new friends.  The leader is definitely older than me and the respondents are a mix of ages. Everyone else seemed to know the book/author and think it was amazing and I didn't have a clue.  Not sure I have the bandwidth to be the mature one right not.  I've actually been trying to find a new mentor type because that's the one thing our church is really lacking.  

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2 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Hatmaker and that Chewbacca mom person were two who got moved, I think, at least for upcoming releases.

What does that mean? Do you mean the publishers moved their release dates to let Hollis win? Or...

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1 hour ago, Patty Joanna said:

This might already have been posted, but Hollis won Goodreads' award for Best Nonfiction 2019.  

This debases the value of Goodreads' awards...and my opinion of reader-based awards in general.  Ugh.  

Yes, I’m very annoyed about it. At minimum, Malcolm Gladwell’s book Talking to Strangers was about a thousand times better than anything Hollis has written. I was over at GRs, trying to understand how the ratings works. For example, Hollis’s book said “27,000+ ratings.” I wonder how that compares to a typical author. It seems likely people get a perk or she plies people so they will rate her high and she’ll “win”.

 

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On 12/8/2019 at 1:13 PM, Farrar said:

What does it say about me that Quill's review made me want to hate read it?

This also could be a side effect of the fact that dh and I are jointly hate watching Christmas romcoms in bulk right now.

Dh and I were contemplating what to watch last night ( we ended up watching a nature show set on a Brazilian island and mostly about the sea).  But hate watching seems like something we would both enjoy and have fun with. Thanks for the recommendation.

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12 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

You know those "Best ____ of 2018 in YourTown" awards they hand out?  Two of my practitioners--whom I would recommend!--"ply" people with raffles and so on to register a good review.  It bugs me--but I know the purpose of many of those things is to sell the magazines of the poll sponsors, so I don't play.  And I don't buy those magazines.  I'm sure it helps he practitioners' business to have these "wins" but I don't like being "plied."

Me neither. One of the surest ways to get me to refuse to do something is to try to manipulate me. 

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On 12/10/2019 at 4:15 PM, rebcoola said:

You are totally right I may still read the book and go but it will be different than I was envisioning.  It was just supposed to be fun and light and meet some new friends.  The leader is definitely older than me and the respondents are a mix of ages. Everyone else seemed to know the book/author and think it was amazing and I didn't have a clue.  Not sure I have the bandwidth to be the mature one right not.  I've actually been trying to find a new mentor type because that's the one thing our church is really lacking.  

 

Yes, I've been looking for that for a long time too. My life is real and messy. Tell me that God loves me and how to keep going. It's been disappointing to experience how some aspects of the church experience don't address what people really need. 

But then I started volunteering with a local jail ministry and was invited to a study associated with that. Oh, my. Every woman there is been-there-done-that, and it's the most lively, heartfelt study I've ever been to. We just study various topics that we're interested in and just follow where it goes. Best thing ever.    

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