Obviously I'm aware of Laura Whitmore and her body of work, but I wasn't aware that she had written a book until it appeared on my Audible recommendations page. The description was enough to entice me, the author's reputation as someone respected and witty was an added bonus, so I handed over that month's credit and clicked play.
I came to this book with minimal expectations and found that to be a good thing, as I was able to read it for what it was rather than what I thought it should be. The blurb paints the book as a motivational self-help book, and at times that's exactly what it was, but there was more to it than that. At times it was a memoir for Laura's life and at other times it was a platform for Laura to voice her political opinions. The self-help parts were engaging, the memoir parts were interesting and the politics were insightful, but conversely the self-help parts were not exactly ground-breaking, the memoir parts felt off-tangent on occasion and the political parts felt like rant-filled lectures. It was all a bit hit-and-miss to be honest.
The book's main appeal for me was the wit, honesty and warmth in Laura's writing, which was even more evident in the audio-book format that I listened to as she narrated the book herself. She was easy to listen to and made me instantly comfortable. What she wrote was real and relatable, and that in itself can be more helpful than any level of platitude or advice, just knowing that someone else identifies with your feelings and experiences can be life-changing.
My main issue is that it didn't seem to have a clearly defined direction or purpose. I've come away from it not really sure if I enjoyed it or not. There were absolutely parts of it that I did enjoy but other parts left me irked or zoning out. The constant change in pace and content was confusing and felt disconcerting at intervals throughout the book. Because of my lack of expectation, and the fact that I was reading from a place of curiosity, I was able to put most of that to one side while reading, but I can imagine that a reader who came to the book looking for something specific may find it frustrating and potentially even off-putting.
It was a pleasant enough way to kill an afternoon and certainly does nothing to detract from Laura Whitmore's positive reputation. I wouldn't advise this for anyone hoping to find answers, but for someone who wants to know more about Laura Whitmore and come away from it feeling a little bit better about themselves, I say crack on and enjoy.
'When I was a kid the first album I owned was by Wilson Phillips. I remember the lyric from the song Hold On, 'No one can change your life except for you'. It's how I've chosen to live my life. There is a freedom when you take back control. Stop waiting for someone to save you and do it yourself. I recognise everyone has different levels of struggle but no one just hands you a chance. We don't have to wait for Prince Charming to rescue us, or wait for the opportunity to come to us. We can be our own heroes. We can create our own dreams.'
Laura Whitmore knows lucky breaks come to those who are ready to step into their own power, even when they're feeling nervous as hell about it. In No One Can Change Your Life Except For You, she shares her experiences of overcoming heartbreak, body image worries, self-doubt and insecurity.
Laura has learned that optimism, self-belief and learning to accept yourself, will bring you more than anyone else can ever give you. And she shows how her own struggles can help you through yours.
You can buy the book here now. It was published by Orion Spring.