The result reads like the advice a friend might want to offer to someone caught in an unhealthy relationship or situation but at times, out of politeness, might soft-pedal. No soft-pedaling here, though: “If someone cannot accept who you are, why are you desperate to be who they want you to be?” asks Sulianah, whose experience as a poet shines through in the crisp, direct, at times epigrammatic prose. While generally upbeat and encouraging, Sulianah’s straight talk at times comes with sharp elbows: one chapter is titled “Confidently Respond to Certified Idiots,” which addresses situations like the boss who won’t listen, acquaintances who ask to borrow money, and how to respond when someone raises their voice.
The thread tying the at times loosely organized advice together is “be brave,” and in entries that range from a couple quick, sharp lines to ones that share a personal anecdote and spread across a couple pages, Sulianah identifies familiar, relatable real-life situations and practical, self-preserving guidance for how to handle them. Throughout, the imperative to be courageous and to protect one’s self worth shines through: “Not even your parents are allowed to make you feel down about yourself,” Sulianah declares, and readers seeking encouragement will find much to buoy themselves here.
Takeaway: These clear, practical, original inspirational quotes urge readers to prioritize their self worth.
Great for fans of: David D. Burns’s Ten Days to Self-Esteem, Shad Helmstetter’s What to Say When You Talk to Yourself.
Design and typography: B+
Marketing copy: A-