Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Howard Books; First Ed 1st Printing edition (March 4, 2014)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (688 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #101,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #93 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Education > Home Schooling #157 in Books > Self-Help > Emotions #274 in Books > Education & Teaching > Schools & Teaching > Homeschooling
I delayed buying this book because of the initial negative reviews it received, and I regret following the advice of those reviewers. Several people suggested that the girls aren't allowed to have "true emotions," and that they put a falsely positive spin on all of their relationships and the situations they write about. I actually found the opposite to be true of this book.I sometimes feel that on the TV show and in other Duggar interviews/books, it does seem difficult to relate to their lives, even for other Christians, because of the strict rules they've set for themselves and their behavior. I agree with their philosophies on a lot of things, but I'm not ready to wall myself off from secular society, including its media or its citizens. I have long suspected that the true Duggar life is both more political and also less closed off from society than we see on the TV show, and I found this book to finally give us insight into a more accurate depiction of their lives.As Jill is on the verge of getting married to a man who didn't grow up in the Gothard culture, I think we have further evidence to show that the Duggar family isn't as judgmental or rigid as other reviewers of this book are leading us to believe. The family itself deviates from multiple Gothard stances, and I believe they're proponents of the idea that as long as Jesus and the Bible are your center, you can take or leave the rest of it. I think this book sticks with that message.The girls write about having friends outside of the family, political issues (as other reviewers mentioned), and issues with siblings that cut deeper than "aw shucks, Jedidiah took my last jellybean but I was glad to bless him and forgave him instantly.
I've never seen a Duggar TV show, read another Duggar book, nor anything else by the Duggars. So when I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I dived into reading with no previous opinions of the family.The first thing I noticed was that even though the book is supposedly by four girls, it reads as if it was written by a single person. There is no difference in voice, expression, personality, or opinion. They even use the same odd clichés, such as "share our heart" (meaning to speak candidly). When I flipped to the Acknowledgments page, I discovered why. A writer named Charlie Richards is the actual author who penned the book after interviewing the young women.This is not an insider's look at a family of 19 and counting. Rather, it is a collection of events that happened while growing up, peppered with a whole lot of advice on how to be a good child and how to be a good parent. (Another indication that the book actually written by an older adult.)The best audience for this book is teenage girls. They can glean wisdom from the Duggars, such as how to handle an annoying sibling, how to respectfully disagree with your parents, dealing with anger, managing peer pressure, forming opinions on opposite sex relationships, dressing modestly, and more.A secondary audience is parents who can also pick up some good ideas. For example, on page 36-37 is a list of questions to ask your children in order to get them to open up and discuss life's important issues. That alone could be worth the price of the book. Additionally, it might be helpful to read excerpts aloud to the family and then discuss your own responses to these situations.
I picked up this book because I wanted to know what it was like to grow up Duggar. That is not actually this book. Like I said in my comments, this is more of a Christian themed self-help/relationship advice book. i decided to read it anyway. I sometimes like that kind of thing.This book is focused on relationships, like how to have better relationships with yourself, your family, your spouse, your world, etc. It was pretty insightful overall and it was fun because there were still a lot of Duggar anecdotes and so it was a neat little insight into their world.I respect the Duggars a lot because of their beliefs. Even though their religion isn't exactly what I believe, I was still able to grow and learn from this book. Sometimes I had to turn off my worldly filter that was like, this is ridiculous, and church is for Sundays and remember that we need to live our religion every day. This is what the Duggars do and that's why I respect them a lot, even if they take it kind of to an extreme sometimes.That is one thing I didn't enjoy about this book. Every once in a while there was something, just so extreme or something that i would jsut cringe, like that's cult like, or i don't believe that, or I can't believe you do that. Sometimes, it's really obvious that the Duggar children have no frame of reference for what they are talking about so they are jsut kind of parroting something they heard some where. Like they'll say for example, "all X is bad," when they have no idea what X really is, so how can they say it's all bad. It's just clear they have no idea how the world really works some times.Like there was this one part where they were talking about sex.
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