We've all played the comparison game at one point or another. But instead of striving to be like everyone else, why not try to be your own #GOALS?
In this refreshing, yet straightforward, guide, bestselling author, writing coach, and personal development junkie, Kristen Martin, puts her personal and professional learning experiences on display for your benefit. Concise, witty, and relatable chapters and exercises make for an engaging and easy read, ultimately helping you to:
* Discover and defeat your fear-based thoughts, self-limiting beliefs, and self-sabotaging behaviors
* Overcome toxic energy, relationships, and situations that have been holding you back up until this point
* Evolve into the person you were destined to become and live the amazing life you've always dreamed of
If you're ready to get out of your own head, stop playing the comparison game, reclaim your self-worth, and walk in your truth every single day from this moment forward . . . this book was written for you.
1 out of 5 stars
For those who are unaware, I am a doctoral student in clinical psychology. I also have two Master's Degrees in clinical psychology. Therefore, when I read personal development books I am reading them with a well-trained eye for bullshit and plagiarism. Prior to reading Be Your Own #Goals I had followed Kristen Martin on YouTube and Instagram where she exudes confidence and a willingness to help other writers and women. I'll admit, I fell for her charm which led me to purchase her book.
Going in I had high expectations to feel really excited while reading her book given the way she presents herself on social media platforms. Unfortunately, I was met with a heaping load of disappointment and there are several reasons for that. For one, Kristen sells a writing program that costs over $2K, yet there were a multitude of grammatical mistakes throughout her book. Being an Indie author myself, I understand the costs of self-publishing, but homegirl brags about her 5-figure income she should damn sure have a budget for an editor. Additionally, there were a few psychological theories that she pulled from (likely from a quick Google search given the lack of explanation) and she paid no credit to the psychologists who developed the theories and interventions. If you are going to write a personal development book based on personal experiences that is completely fine. But as soon as you start introducing psychological concepts that other people spent YEARS developing and perfecting, DO NOT plagiarize their work because that just makes you a total prick and unbelievable to us professionals in the field.
When reading personal development books I tend to look for universality. How can this book relate to the widest range of people? Well I can tell you that Be Your Own #Goals contains a specific chapter that is highly un-relatable to many people. Kristen discusses the idea of spending money to further her dreams and how she did not make the progress she was looking for until she spent money on a business coach. First, I find this a bit suspicious because in all the videos I've watched of hers and throughout her book, she never credits the actual mysterious business coach that she talks so highly of. This chapter honestly just felt like a disingenuous plug for her own writing program, Valiance. I understand marketing, but when an author markets their other platforms within the body of their book it pisses me off that I essentially paid for an advertisement. There are also very few people who can pay for a business coach or a writing coach, especially at the astronomically high rates she has her programs for. Instead of writing that chapter on spending money, it would have made more sense for her to discuss spending time and energy on passion fueled projects. Both of those things are universal and would prevent those who are not economically stable from feeling even more discouraged.
Finally, Kristen claimed the theme of this book was to encourage others to live their own version of the truth. I mean shit, it's on her cover. I didn't feel that this theme was carried throughout the book. Instead, it felt like each chapter was its own loose idea that related to her personal journey. It lacked an overall coherence and once I finished reading it, I questioned if she even answered her claim of the book being a guide to reclaiming self-worth.
It is sad to say that this book has fallen into my will never recommend pile.
She’s a romantic at heart, living in the most unromantic of worlds . . .
Nicknamed Sweet Abelli for her docile nature, Elena smiles on cue and has a charming response for everything. She’s the favored daughter, the perfect mafia principessa . . . or was.
Now, all she can see in the mirror’s reflection is blood staining her hands like crimson paint.
They say first impressions are everything . . .
In the murky waters of New York’s underworld, Elena’s sister is arranged to marry Nicolas Russo. A Made Man, a boss, a cheat—even measured against mafia standards. His reputation stretches far and wide and is darker than his black suits and ties. After his and Elena’s first encounter ends with an accidental glare on her part, she realizes he’s just as rude as he is handsome.
She doesn’t like the man or anything he stands for, though that doesn’t stop her heart from pattering like rain against glass when he’s near, nor the shiver that ghosts down her spine at the sound of his voice.
And he’s always near. Telling her what to do. Making her feel hotter than any future brother-in-law should. Elena may be the Sweet Abelli on the outside, but she’s beginning to learn she has a taste for the darkness, for rough hands, cigarettes, and whiskey-colored eyes. Having already escaped one scandal, however, she can hardly afford to be swept up in another.
Besides, even if he were hers, everyone knows you don’t fall in love with a Made Man . . . right?
5 out of 5 stars
I must admit that although I have read my fare share of erotica novels I have never read a book that merges erotica with the Italian mafia. And let me tell you...it was HOT. If you have an affliction for really (and I mean really) bad boys who care for their women in all the right ways then I suggest giving The Sweetest Oblivion a read.
Elena is an intriguing character because although she is known as the Sweet Abelli, it becomes clear that there is a darker side to the young woman. In a world that dominates women, she learns how to find her voice and use it effectively to get exactly what she wants. She also carries around a piece of her past that she can't quite let go of. Danielle does an excellent job at providing teasers about Elena's past without giving away the information too quickly. Elena's character development was well thought out and her growth makes for an engaging plot line.
Next we have Nicolas...keep your legs crossed ladies because he is a hot one! The book world is saturated with damaged boys turned men who have a domineering fetish. While Nicolas is a dominating man in most regards, it is his culture and lifestyle that makes him such. He grew up in the lifestyle and therefore acts accordingly. It was quite refreshing to see a different storyline and character development for the domineering tough guy trope. Nicolas is everything you might imagine for an Italian mafia king. He's dangerous, brooding, sexy, and protective of things he loves.
The progression of Elena and Nicolas's relationship is slow and steady before their interactions set you on fire with lust and desire. It's quite annoying to see the same story playing out - man and woman are lusting over one another, then they immediately fall in love. This doesn't happen in real life, so why are so many authors writing like it does?! Anywho...The Sweetest Oblivion plays into what we might see in a real situation. The lust develops rapidly and as the relationship progresses and Elena and Nicolas are faced with trials, a deeper connection is made. It is clear Danielle knows how functional relationships work and it comes across in her book.
We also often see a lack of supporting characters in erotica, but there were several to choose from in The Sweetest Oblivion. Those characters allowed for the plot to feel authentic and it forced the main characters to move through the plot at an adequate pace. Given the cultural influence, it would be expected to have several characters involved and they all contributed in their own meaningful way.
This binge worthy read will definitely have you standing in front of the freezer to cool off, so check it out now!
My Life in Shambles by Karina Halle