Eileen Souza's Reviews > Run Like a Girl: How Strong Women Make Happy Lives

Run Like a Girl by Mina Samuels
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Aug 02, 11

bookshelves: girl-effect, sport, north-america
Read from July 29 to August 02, 2011

I was surprisingly disappointed with this book. I purchased it because a percentage of the proceeds would go to Girls on the Run, and I thought it would be a positive enjoyable read.  Unfortunately, it was neither positive, nor enjoyable.
First, the tone of the book really frustrated me. It’s written in a very familiar gossip girly tone – which was sadly catty and negative even though the entire story was supposed to be about being positive in our girlhood. I think the author was going for a “coffee hour girl talk” tone, but it just didn’t work – or I hate girls. For example, “Need proof? Hello Barbie, you iconic every-girl’s-fantasy doll. Did you know your plastic proportions, if applied to a regular woman, would result in a freakish being around seven feet tall, weighing a hundred pounds, with an eighteen inch waist. Beautiful? Not!”  (pg. 147 - the punctuation error was in the book). Though she was trying to talk about how body image is negatively influenced by the media, she spent the next several pages talking about ‘normal’ women, who all happened to be at least 5’8, and 110 lbs or less. Is that normal?
At the end of each chapter, the gossip girl tone was interrupted with an excessively whimsical portrayal of some event in her life (not always sports related) – like “My mind empties. I’m watching as the water falls away from the side of my paddle, like a stream slipping over rocks, flat cascades running sideways away from the paddle with each stroke.” (pg. 45) The difference in tone was jarring.
The novel was also poorly edited, with several errors in the Introduction alone.  I can also say conclusively, that the author’s favorite word is deleterious. It was used to the point of annoyance. However, the most frustrating part was the need to add additional sports into the mix, when the book was called RUN like a girl. I felt like the author needed kudos because she does triathlons, marathons, biking, cross-country skiing, yoga, rock climbing, kayaking, snowshoeing, and hiking (yes, it actually says that on the back jacket). I understand the desire to open it up to women who are generally active in a variety of channels, but it was excessive to continuously repeat “Whether you’re competing in triathlon, marathon, biking, cross-country skiing, yoga, rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, snowshoeing, or hiking….” throughout the book .
Overall, I walked away from this book feeling annoyed, and frustrated with the negative tone - not inspired, motivated, or proud of running like a girl.
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message 2: by Gina (new)

Gina Denny I have found- almost universally- that when anybody in pop culture uses the phrase "strong women" or "independent women" they really mean "self righteous bitches". Which is sad. The idea of being a strong woman and being a good woman should not be mutually exclusive.


Eileen Souza Exactly! Plus I honestly felt like this woman had a low self-esteem and needed to try to make friends with the reader so we would like her - she even slipped in that mild drug use was normal - this is a book about healthy women running?! I didn't realize how rare people like Kristin Armstrong is - healthy, thought provoking, positive, with good Christian morals. I'm just going to go back and read her stuff again :)


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