Today’s age of everything-goes media messages and in-your-face sexuality has led to many teen girls grappling with self-esteem and self-worth. What’s Wrong With Me?: A Girl’s Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice guides girls through their young adulthood by teaching lessons shared from the author's experiences.
This book is a very good book and I wish I had it as a teenager. It would have come in handy. I wasn't one of those headstrong, confident teenagers that you see on TV these days. I was shy and quiet and unsure about everything. In Daree's book, she covers every issue you can think of relating to adolescence and young adulthood. I especially like how she has each chapter broken down into what's wrong with your feelings, your family, guys, friends etc. Within one small book she gives you all the advice you need to hear during your teenage years. Like most teenagers though, I doubt it would all sink in and resonate but as an adult reading this book I totally agree with most of what she advices. My only problem with the book, in her ambition, she covers too much. Every piece of advice you have heard is within these pages which causes the book to be a little general, maybe a little broad. Nevertheless, give this book to your teenage daughter and she can defininately find inspiration and advice on how to deal with anything life has to throw at her. There is even a reflection journal that goes with the book that would be great addition.
Ms. Allen presented herself in this book with personal stories of her adolescence even including short passages from her own journal growing up which I feel give this book even more appeal. It is not like a self help "do this, don't do that" type book. It is like sitting down and talking to a big sister who tells you what she went through and how you can get through it too. Like I said, I would recommend this book for any teenage girl. Everyone can find something within it that they relate too.
On to the Interview...
Q. What inspired you to write "What is Wrong With Me?"
A. The new book "What’s Wrong With Me" is a part-memoir and part self-help young adult guide to encourage teen girls and young women in various areas of life, in an easygoing, conversational style. The messages in this book educate and empower young women in every facet of their lives, including: accepting their identity, dating relationships, dealing with toxic friends and family members, avoiding or delaying premarital sex, building self-esteem, developing a positive attitude, dressing for success, setting goals, spending money wisely, handling anger and depression, and embracing their singleness, and discovering their life purpose. There is also a companion journal where you record your thoughts on the concepts from the book and begin your own practice of journaling.
The "What's Wrong With Me?" book set (book and journal) started out from a session with my former life coach, but the deep need for me to write it came from the lost girl I used to be. The books are something I needed back in the day when I was growing up. I felt so misunderstood, unloved and out of place. I didn't have a mentor to guide me and rely on, and although I became a Christian at age 10, I didn't fully accept everything about what comes with a relationship with God. So all of these elements had a hand in motivating me to produce "What’s Wrong with Me?" My target audience is teen girls, starting from age 13. Young women in their 20s+ also enjoy the book and find value in it, especially with regard to my advice on your self-esteem and dating relationships.
Q. Are you strictly a nonfiction writer or have you written any fiction?
A. Nonfiction is where I am right now. My publishing company's mission reveals the focus of the kind of writing I wish to produce and acquire from others:
Kharacter Distinction Books was established in June 2011 with the objective of publishing inspirational books to empower young and old alike. Our purpose is to shed light on the written works of talented authors of color that deserve attention from the readers they serve to enrich and enlighten. We strive to publish works by authors who have a unique perspective, a story to tell, and need a positive vehicle in which to drive their message home with compelling authority. We aim to establish collective conversation and theories that provoke thought. We advocate works that explain our culture; that illuminate, inspire, challenge us to pursue and draw closer to God.
Q. Are there any projects that you are working on next? If so, please share?
A. This book is the first release from my publishing company, Kharacter Distinction Books. In the next two years, I'd like to write another book of my own about relationships, ghostwrite a book for someone who hates to write, and publish other authors. The next book project:
I am writing another nonfiction book that focuses on the perspective of single Black fathers in America. There is so much emphasis on single mothers in the Black community (which is fine—I am one and I identify), but I want to bring Black families together for those who want that. The Black community is struggling so much because of broken homes. I want to tell the single dads’ side of the story, through the many voices of the real Black America. If you are interested in contributing via an interview, you can contact me at email@example.com for more details.
Q. How long have you been a writer?
A. I started writing in junior high school (sometimes referred to as "middle school" these days). As a technical writer for the past 12 years, writing and updating software manuals, writing can become very rote and routine. I've been blogging for the past few years and freelancing for various websites and magazines. Doing so keeps me sane and lets me express my other interests creatively. But these two books are the first time I've really given so much of me, on my own terms.
Q. Your book offers alot of advice to teenage girls. If there was only one piece of advice you could share with them, what would it be? Why?
A. When you believe you can do something, nothing can stop you except you. But first you've got to believe it, then you create a plan, and you have to act on it. Every step of the way may not be smooth, but you will learn and grow because of it. And when you look back, you'll see your progress. I want to encourage all of your readers to BE the change you want to see in others. It will get better. If you can see it in your mind's eye, you can do it!
Daree Allen is an authorpreneur, young adult esteem advocate, speaker, and goal-getter in Atlanta, GA. She has published articles on a variety of topics as a freelance writer and blogger, and is the author of the new teen mentoring book entitled, "What's Wrong With Me?" in which she discusses her own childhood dealing with self-esteem, premarital sex, family and personal relationships. Find out more about her work at www.dareesinsights.wordpress.com and www.DareeAllen.com.I'd like to thank Ms. Daree Allen for allowing me to review her book and for taking the time to answer my questions. Please check out her website for more information!