Review: A Girl's Guide to Being Fearless by Suzie Lavington & Dr Andy Cope

A Girl's Guide to Being Fearless: How to Find Your Brave was kindly sent to me to review before Christmas. Published by Capstone and described as the "ultimate self-help guide for teenage girls", I thought it sounded perfect given that my tweenage stepdaughter is going through all of the trials and tribulations of her first year at high school. Adjusting to high school life is tricky enough at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a global pandemic! (How is lockdown 2.0 going for you, by the way?!) 

And while I wish, wish, wish someone had written this a couple of decades earlier for teenage me to read, don't let your age or gender stop you from picking it up. We could all learn a thing or two about building our confidence, resilience and self-belief, and that of those around us.

This post features a PR sample and affiliate links.

Here's the blurb: 


It's a tiny word for a BIG emotion.
As growing up has become faster and more furious, fear has sunk its teeth into far too many young people, causing an epidemic of anxiety, stress and worry.
Here's the thing: apart from the occasional 'low', your life is supposed to be EPIC. A 4000-week blaze of glory!
It's time to turn the tables, rise above the panic and fight back. Reading A Girl's Guide to Being Fearless will show you how.
This gem of a book is a gathering of life's cheat codes, put together with girls in mind. All simple. All do-able. And now… all YOURS.
It will help you to:
Boost your confidence and smash through self-limiting beliefs
Light up the people around you and attract brilliant things into your life
Be a class act, on and off-line
Bounce back when the lows get reeeeeally low!
Love the skin you're in
Be excited for your future
In short, it'll help you find your BRAVE.

And hey, pssst, whisper it quietly… but it might even change your life."

Suzie Lavington and Andy Cope have set the bar pretty high with that last sentence, but after reading this book I think they could be right. The book is divided in 19 chapters, each one delving into a different topic that teenagers of today will definitely be able to relate to, and parents and caregivers will recognise. I found it such a delight to read, as the writing style is like chatting to a best friend, someone who really "gets" you. It's down-to-earth, intimate, funny, realistic and refreshing. 

I love how balanced this book is. Life is a rollercoaster and it will have ups and downs. This book gives you ways of adjusting and coping with the lows as well as the highs, using practical exercises and ideas, tips, guidance, inspiring quotes and little drawings, facts, suggestions and encouragement. It digs deeper into the science behind why you feel the way you do, because when you have a better understanding of what's going on within then it's much easier to take control and make changes where you want to. I really enjoyed the practical exercises dotted throughout the book; look out for the wheel of wellbeing, that was my favourite!

I bet that I am not the only one to notice a lot of so-called toxic positivity around on social media at the moment. And that can be really hard to see when perhaps your own life isn't perfect - I mean, whose truly is?! - but it's especially hard for young people trying to live up to these expectations. Sure, life can be amazing and for the most part it is. But sometimes it just isn't. So the authors of this book don't just skim over the trickier topics, such as negative emotions, self-harm, bullying. They discuss them frankly and realistically. They help you to understand what's going on at a deeper level, the things you can do to cope and, more importantly, when and how to seek help.

I've managed to finished reading A Girl's Guide to Being Fearless in between home schooling/zoom life/online everything and now my stepdaughter is reading it. (Yep, that's her in the photos - I am neither young enough or cool enough for ripped jeans and Yungblud hoodies!) I have found it one of the most insightful books to read as a parent, and I am positive that she is going to love it too. If you have children, care for children, or work with children, then do get a copy of this book and read it. Buy it for your tweens and teens. Read it together, take it in turns, share it. Just read it. It might even change your life.

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