Amber Karlins has been busy scaring herself senseless. All in an effort to face those fears that have placed limitations on her life. Doing "Stand-up" comedy, taking a fire-eating lesson, encountering an alligator, up close! And instead of swimming with dolphins, the author jumped into the tank with... sharks! The result is a year's worth of hilarious misadventures.
In compliance with FTC guidelines, I am disclosing in this review that I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
I applaud Ms. Karlins for her year of living fearlessly and moreso for writing and publishing a book about it. That being said at times I was personally a little disappointed in what "challenges" constituted "living fearlessly." Despite sharing a first name and being separated by only a few years in age I often felt that I couldn't be more different from the author. I sincerely hope that after this project and at least a dozen times of following the pattern "I realize I am irrationally afraid of X, let me do X, oh hey X isn't so bad when I get out of my own head and enjoy life," that the author is no longer caught in her "small life" as her mother puts it. My largest complaint with the text other than the "smallness" and repetitiveness of the fearless living tasks is just how privileged and entitled the author can seem at times. Despite her complaints about money she manages to drive around the greater part of Florida and make trips to New Orleans and Atlanta all while engaging in a number of expensive "camps" and purchased "experiences." I mostly wanted to root for Amber to succeed in her quest to live with less fear, but I often found myself rolling my eyes at her anxiety and whining over the seemingly smallest things and also sighing as her helicopter mother stepped in to bail her out of her minor discomfort yet again. Even though it wasn't the ideal book for me I appreciate the author's humor and I'm planning on gifting my copy to a particularly neurotic friend who could benefit from seeing someone else get beyond challenges such as a fear of making crepes. Oh and also I did pick up a good gift idea for my boyfriend! Bottom line on the book for me was it was mostly more entertaining than annoying but not my cup of tea.
I really enjoyed this book. The author's great sense of humor kept me entertained - there were some laugh out loud moments. It also made me think about how I can live more fearlessly - maybe not quite to the extreme that she did - I doubt I will be swimming with sharks anytime soon - but it did get me thinking about letting go of some of my own insecurities. I think what I really took away from it was not letting your fear of failure get in the way of trying things that interest you. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the lack of pictures. I guess this book was originally a blog and the author kept talking about the pictures people would take of her doing these crazy things - it would have been fun to see some of those interspersed in the book.
I thought this book was just ok. I couldn't really commit myself to reading more than three or four of her experiences at a time. It just felt like it dragged on. Although I think it takes a good amount of bravery to tackle and face head on everything you might have a fear of. It did have its entertaining moments, but read more like an amateur blog. It wasn’t really my type of book, but I know others out there will enjoy it immensely.
I hope Miss Karlins continues to live fearlessly! :D
Fun reading about the things she found to do, but to me some of them didn't fit into the "living fearlessly" mold. Cooking a turkey? Some didn't even seem to fit the definition of doing the activity (see camping and alligator wrestling). Don't get me wrong - I'm very happy that someone as phobic as she seems to be was able to accomplish so many things outside of her comfort zone. I suppose if I were reading this as a blog I'd be able to overlook spelling and punctuation errors, but when put out as a book with an editor, it just makes a so-so reading experience even more blah.
Hilarious and inspiring. Her year of living fearlessly makes me want to take more chances in my own life. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys laughing and I will certainly be rereading it soon. I won this book through a Goodreads Giveaway but if I had come across in in a bookstore I would have bought it without a second thought.