Be Awesome – Review

Be Awesome by Hadley Freeman


I’ll try and keep this review short and sweet … unlike the book.

Although we all enjoyed releasing our inner feminist and generally learning how to be awesome, it just got a bit, well, repetitive and the book lost its focus in places. Hadley Freeman is a journalist by trade and there were many of us who had read her articles previously and enjoyed them. However, reading a whole book felt to me like being hit over the head with the feminist propaganda stick … repeatedly.

We wondered whether if we had read the book at 15 we’d have held it up as our feminist bible and general guide for being a woman, and in truth we probably would have done. But it seemed that she wrote for the 15-year-old in us, rather than for the adult, and in all honesty going up against Caitlin Moran is a big ask, and in the book stakes, we don’t think Freeman quite pulled it off.

The themes and subjects she wrote about were interesting – media portrayal of women, eating disorders, dating, married with kids vs single but resolutely happy etc – but quite often she over-played these and kept circling back to previous arguments in an almost stream of consciousness. For me, there was nothing ‘new’ that stopped me in my tracks, and after reading the reviews I was disappointed that laughs were few and far between.

The best way I can sum up the book is to reference to the chapter pretending to be a ‘typical’ magazine article based on a meeting with the author. It would have been perfect had it been 2 pages long and short and punchy – and that, we felt, was the problem with the whole book.

I’m going to give this 2 Stars (2 / 5)


As an aside, how can you not think Love Actually is the best, most perfect Christmas film ever – and I don’t care if as a ‘modern feminist’ I shouldn’t think that!


About Em

Em reads a variety of styles and genres, but particular highlights include historical fiction, good comedy or something light and fluffy with a boy-meets-girl/fall in love/happy ending scenario. Her favourite authors are David Nicholls and Daphne du Maurier, and if she had to recommend an unusual book that few people have read it would be Star of the Sea, purely for the variety of narrative styles and brilliant writing.

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