Plot/Idea: Blankenship resolved to write Self-Help Sucks after suffering through other unproductive self-help texts. The book is based on the first six-step version of the twelve-step program and focuses on stopping harmful addictive behaviors. It highlights the importance of trusting a Higher Power and asking others for help.
Prose: Blankenship expresses frustration with rambling self-help books, and Self-Help Sucks definitely lives up to this promise to be more concise. The prose is clear-cut and easily graspable, especially when it comes to explaining exercises. While overall the writing style may not leave a significant impression on readers, the author effectively conveys his perspectives and ideas.
Originality: Self-Help Sucks is novel in its use of the original six steps, as opposed to the more commonly known twelve, but there are certainly similar books that use a version of the twelve steps as a jumping-off point. Ultimately, this work doesn't stray quite far enough from the traditional self-help manuals it critiques.
Character Development/Execution: Blankenship presents himself as a reliable author by honestly depicting his own struggles with traditional self-help guides, as well as including the stories and testimonials of others. The book's combination of linearly proceeding through the six steps alongside well-explained exercises makes for a well-executed text.
Date Submitted: October 27, 2021