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Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual

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From the New York Times bestselling author of I'm Judging You, a hilarious and transformational book about how to tackle fear--that everlasting hater--and audaciously step into lives, careers, and legacies that go beyond even our wildest dreams.

Luvvie Ajayi Jones is known for her trademark wit, warmth, and perpetual truth-telling. But even she's been challenged by the enemy of progress known as fear. She was once afraid to call herself a writer, and nearly skipped out on doing a TED talk that changed her life because of imposter syndrome. As she shares in Professional Troublemaker, she's not alone.

We're all afraid. We're afraid of asking for what we want because we're afraid of hearing "no". We're afraid of being different, of being too much or not enough. We're afraid of leaving behind the known for the unknown. But in order to do the things that will truly, meaningfully change our lives, we have to become professional troublemakers: people who are committed to not letting fear talk them out of the things they need to do or say to live free.

With humor and honesty, and guided by the influence of her professional troublemaking Nigerian grandmother, Funmilayo Faloyin, Luvvie walks us through what we must get right within ourselves before we can do the things that scare us; how to use our voice for a greater good; and how to put movement to the voice we've been silencing--because truth-telling is a muscle.

The point is not to be fearless, but to know we are afraid and charge forward regardless. It is to recognize that the things we must do are more significant than our fears. This book is about how to live boldly in spite of all the reasons we have to cower. Let's go!

304 pages, Hardcover

First published March 2, 2021

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About the author

Luvvie Ajayi Jones

9 books1,266 followers
Luvvie Ajayi Jones is a New York Times bestselling author and sought after speaker who thrives at the intersection of comedy, justice and professional troublemaking.

Her debut book (I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual) was released to critical acclaim, hitting the New York Times bestselling list at #5. She is currently working on her second book: The Fear-Fighter Manual, slated to be released in 2021.

A 17-year blogging veteran, Luvvie writes on her site, AwesomelyLuvvie.com, covering all things culture with a critical yet humorous lens. That same razor sharp voice spurred her wildly popular TED talk "Get Comfortable with being uncomfortable" to over 5 million views.

She’s an internationally recognized speaker who takes on dozens of stages every year around the globe, and has spoken at some of the world's most innovative companies and conferences, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, MAKERS, SXSW.

Luvvie connects with her audience through her curated social network, LuvvNation, where she is the go-to source for elevated conversations about all things buzzworthy. It serves as a safe space in a dumpster fire world.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 504 reviews
Profile Image for Jenny Lawson.
Author 12 books16.8k followers
November 5, 2020
This book is a comfort and a challenge.  It inspires, encourages and heartens, which is something I needed at the moment.
Profile Image for Dawn Stahl.
361 reviews24 followers
March 2, 2021
I'm a fan of Luvvie's online presence, her now-famous TED talk, and her first book, so I had high expectations for this one. In it, she takes on a common enemy of personal progress — that plays-dirty voice in your head called "fear." Using common sense and uncommon wit, therapy-style wisdom, the inspiration of her Nigerian grandmother, and her own lived experience, Luvvie shows you how to side-eye the fear right out of your head so you can put action to intention and live your best life.

Unfortunately, it all fell just a little short for me. Luvvie's perspective and certainly her relationship with and the inspiration she draws from her grandmother are unique and powerful but the overall messaging here felt fairly basic and the content felt a little stretched and repetitive. Your mileage may vary, of course. This is the kind of book for which previous experience and exposure are key. I could definitely see it being a great graduation gift or be a powerful boost for a young professional.
Profile Image for Folio Review.
51 reviews4 followers
March 24, 2021
Luvvie Ajayi-Jones’ Fear-Fighter Manual seems to be written by an amateur troublemaker, not a professional one – unlike what the book proclaims. Reading this book was a chore, I had to force myself to finish it.

It was an unpleasant surprise to tread through a half-baked memoir disguising as a self-help book, especially because Luvvie’s first book, I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, was so good!

To be fair, The Fear-Fighter Manual might have made for a good debut book; the many trips down memory lane, anecdotes and personal stories would be forgiven in a debut book. However, since Luvvie already has a debut book and this is a sequel to it, it’s hard to overlook the quirks that would have made a first book cute.

In her recent book, Ajayi advises her readers to, “Write like nobody’s reading, it’s going to come out in the truest way possible because there’s no agenda.” But, considering that her book reads more like a memoir than a guide, it appears pretentious, something with an agenda to keep the naysayers at bay. Is Luvvie taking her own advice or does she need it more than her readers?

Throughout the book, Ajayi-Jones sounded defensive; like she’s trying to explain her actions to an unseen group of people she alone is aware of. Her signature sarcasm is missing, making the authenticity of her “side-eye” lacklustre. To new readers, it might seem like she got it all right, but the difference will be clear when they read I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, and compare it to Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual.

Luvvie’s Fear-Fighter Manual brings nothing new to the table. It’s like every other self-help book that exists without a unique angle. It not only repeats itself, but it also echoes others.

Of course, I enjoyed some parts of the book. Stories about Grandma Fáloyin, Luvvie’s Maternal Grandmother, were fun highlights and a great reprieve from some circus performance shenanigans in other parts of the book. That’s the same way I felt about reading Shonda Rhimes speeches in Year of Yes, even though I didn’t like that book.

Some nice quotes like, “Dreaming big is in itself a privilege,” also enlivened The Fear-Fighter Manual somewhat; if you ignore the fact that they are truths we all know and have heard in one place or another.

Overall, the only thing that kept me going while reading the book was the unique story about Grandma Fáloyin and little home truths. In fact, I believe that her first book would have done a better job as a fear-fighter manual than this one. I also believe that this book would have stood a better chance if it was tagged as a memoir.

If you’re looking for books that will help you fight fear, here are a few recommendations:

Ask for It (Linda Babcock, Sara Laschever)

How to Go From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be (Jack Canfield)

The Gifts of Imperfection (Brené Brown)

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (Mark Manson)

I’m Judging You: The Do Better Manual (Luvvie Ajayi)

The Aladdin Factor (Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen)

Keep Going (Austin Kleon)

This review was originally posted on https://folioreview.wordpress.com
Profile Image for Lou (nonfiction fiend).
2,771 reviews1,625 followers
March 2, 2021
Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual serves up life-changing, transformational tips on how to conquer fear and live your best life. With her uniquely funny and bright style, Jones delves into the topic of fear in order to embolden readers to confront imposter syndrome, engage in truth-telling, and embrace their inner troublemaker in order to become their most authentic self. This way of thinking allows us to "audaciously step into lives, careers and legacies that go beyond even our wildest dreams". Split into three distinct sections—Be, encourages us to be introspective initially to assess and work on internal issues; Say, encourages us to speak out about issues truthfully and openly for the greater good; and Do, in which we are encouraged to progress on to tangible movements rather than mere words to make an even bigger difference. A strong sense of identity is the underpinning aspect of her strategy and the exercises provided throughout the book aim to help readers with self-expression (such as listing one's values and goals), how to maximise your core values and the importance of self-exploration, empowerment and clarity of thinking. I loved the interspersing of personal anecdotes throughout the narrative of little life lessons she had learned from her Nigerian grandmother, the vividly portrayed Funmilayo Faloyinm who she clearly has very much taken after.

This is an insightful, thought-provoking personal growth tool on the importance of speaking up for yourself and throughout Jones presses us to embrace and celebrate our accomplishments and strive to achieve in whatever areas our hearts desire. She uses examples of her own episodes of impulsiveness to neatly illustrate how they can be turned from mistakes or failures into learning experiences by taking the lesson and running with it, owning your own behavioural faux pas and being independent, fierce and fantastic. Luvvie is a guru to her fans, who love her unique brand of empowering truth talk, and it’s not hard to see why. Her infectious energy jumps off the page and this book can’t help but put a smile on your face and make you stand that bit taller. It's a powerful and indispensable no-nonsense guide to facing your fears head-on and it could hardly have come at a more fitting time—the middle of a pandemic in which much of the population are understandably paralysed with fear and anxiety. Bold, enlightening and endlessly witty, Jones instils the courage in you to be your true, unapologetic self. As Jones states in her own words, "the point is not to be fearless. It is to know we are afraid and to charge forward regardless, to recognise the things we must do are more significant than the things we are afraid to do. This book shows you how I’ve done it, and how you can, too." Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Venessa ✨.
218 reviews9 followers
April 4, 2021
a bit of a chore the get thru... it was repetitive and the premise as muddled (is this a book about disrupting systems? a self-help book? a memoir? a biography about her grandmother?)
Profile Image for Traci Thomas.
511 reviews9,273 followers
December 16, 2021
This was a fun book about gassing one's self up to take on whatever is on the agenda for work, or family, or social change. I liked Luuvie a lot and personally needed to hear some of the encouragement. I appreciated that the tone was fun and upbeat even if a lot of the advice was the same I've heard elsewhere. Luuvie is a pretty religious person and the repeated evocation of Jesus and God was more than I needed, but that is her and so it didn't take away too much for me.
Profile Image for Gretchen Rubin.
Author 33 books80.8k followers
March 31, 2021
A compelling, honest, useful, and often very funny, call to courage.
Profile Image for Leah.
382 reviews36 followers
January 27, 2023
Nennt sich Ratgeber, ist es aber nicht.

Das Buch weiß nicht so richtig, was es sein will: Ist es eine Biografie? Eine Hommage an ihre Großmutter? Oder doch ein Ratgeber?
Das zentrale Thema, die Angst zu besiegen, taucht zwar immer wieder auf, aber bis auf ein paar leere Phrasen wird es nicht wirklich behandelt. Zumal sich die Autorin nicht in Menschen hinein versetzen kann, die wirklich (soziale) Ängste verspüren. Die Tipps sind sehr oberflächlich. Im Kapitel, wo es um Grenzen setzen geht, heißt es zum Beispiel: Setze einfach Grenzen. Stell dir vor, wie schlimm es ist, keine zu haben. Jeder, der auch nur annähernd ängstlich ist, weiß, dass das nicht das Problem ist.

Der Schreibstil ist auch ganz grauenhaft: Du bist toll, ich glaube an dich, du Gottheit. War mir ein bisschen zu drüber.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
189 reviews
March 24, 2022
Re-read a year later to lead a book club. Just as good, with different messages resonating. And yes, I did read a print copy this time to highlight passages.
The most impactful book I've read in a long time. Listen to Luvvie's mesmerizing narration. Her words are powerful, motivating, and inspiring. Her messages on fighting fear and imposter syndrome, why it's important to be kind not nice, and truth-telling are not be missed. Her stories about her grandmother were hilarious, moving, and entertaining. I look forward to revisiting the book in print to highlight passages that stuck with me.
Profile Image for Lola Åkerström.
Author 4 books485 followers
March 5, 2021
UPDATE - Finally finished the audio book and phew, I needed all of that coursing through my veins. The chapter on "Get a Nigerian Friend" took me out. Haaa, the privilege and joy to be Yoruba :)
I'm currently 10% into the audio book and this is already a solid 5-stars from me! As a Nigerian woman who is also Yoruba, this is everything. EVERYTHING! Excellent soundbites, tons of quotes to scribble down and hold close to your heart. Do yourself a favor and get the audio version with Luvvie reading herself!
Profile Image for Zibby Owens.
Author 5 books14k followers
March 10, 2021
This book is about how to be a professional troublemaker and how to fight fear. A professional troublemaker is someone who has to make trouble in this world to disrupt the status quo for the greater good. It's not about being a contrarian; it's about understanding when people ask us to bow that if we don't, it doesn't mean we're making trouble. We can't be afraid to say, "Yes, I am a professional troublemaker because I insist on doing what is hard, especially when it's hard, as long as it is for my good or the good of everybody around me." That's why this book is so important; it encourages us all to push limits.

The author encourages us not to build up monsters in our heads of things that can happen. This fear stops us from doing what we're supposed to do or saying what we're supposed to say. Then we end up opting out of the "best-case scenario" because we're afraid of the"worst-case scenario" that never comes.

To listen to my interview with the author, go to my podcast at:
Profile Image for Jenny.
255 reviews12 followers
April 13, 2021
I needed this pep talk from Luvvie. This was a clutch listen every morning as I got ready for work and psyched myself up for the challenges of the day.
Profile Image for Bea.
1 review
May 19, 2021
Maybe I misunderstood the book. Professional Troublemaker reads as the hate-filled ramblings of a blogger living in a "black and white" US after emigrating here to live privileged life than most. She seems to feel entitled to elevate or subjugate people through sweeping generalizations about race. I found her woke ideologies to be dangerous and dividing rather than helpful and uniting.
Profile Image for Christie Maliyackel.
531 reviews4 followers
March 21, 2021
Eh. That was my reaction by the end of this. I picked the book up on recommendation from a friend, but I just couldn’t get into it. It’s a self help book that’s intended to empower you with confidence, finding your voice and honing your passion... topics that I’m ALL ABOUT, but I just couldn’t get into this author’s advice. I think part of it is that the author’s personality and approach to life seems way too different from me; nothing wrong with that, just likely why I found it difficult to relate - let alone apply any of her advice. That said, there are a few nuggets I sat back to reflect on, and there were a few points I was laughing aloud... I guess I was expecting a bit more of that throughout though.

Why’d I pick this read? Samira’s recommendation
Profile Image for Sydney Deltenre.
24 reviews
March 29, 2022
The book title should have been “tribute to grandma”!

Tbh, none of this was new or revelational for me. It’s like, yes thanks for the reminder on speaking up, valuing my worth, setting boundaries and asking for help.

I was mostly annoyed how she gave unrelatable examples because of her fame. It almost felt like she was using the platform of her book to tell her fans what she was ok with and what she wasn’t. She always tied it into the lesson she was trying to teach, but loosely. She also went on and on and on explaining her fuck-up on twitter. Kind just felt like she was using the book as a chance to clarify her intentions.

I did pick up a few gems throughout the book, so not a total waste of time. I would just say this is a light, self help book. I wish I read this stuff growing up!
Profile Image for Wamboi Kay.
50 reviews13 followers
February 3, 2022
“Your fear is boring. I can say this with all honesty, because I know for a fact that my fear is the most boring thing about me. This is especially true when it comes to living a life of creativity. Fear is boring, because fear only ever has one thing to say to us, and that thing is STOP”. -Elizabeth Gilbert

Determined to change this about myself and dare to live boldly, I decided to turn to a woman who is truly committed to speaking the truth and always showing up as herself- Luvvie Ajayi Jones. A two time New York best selling author, speaker and professional troublemaker. Her latest book ‘The Fear Fighter Manual’ seems to have been written especially for me and is literally a middle finger up to fear. It was comforting to know that not only does she constantly feel fear, she accepts that some degree of it will always remain. Can you imagine she was once afraid to call herself a writer? However, if she allowed it to hold her back, her life would never have changed.She wouldn’t have the prestige & credibility of being a two time New York bestseller. In fact, once she decided not to let fear dictate her life, her wildest dreams started coming true.

The first chapter starts “We are afraid of who we are, in all our glory. We’re constantly searching for that person, or forgetting that person. Or repressing that person. Instead of standing strong in who that person is.” I couldn’t agree more as so far, my life seems to be a constant journey of reinventing myself. Luvvie encourages us to have a strong sense of identity as this will not allow anyone or anything to tell us who we are. She reminds us of our dopeness because we are still here after all, having fought battles and climbed mountains that almost took us out. You can already tell that she feels like a personal cheerleader reminding us that what we can control in this life is our own image of ourselves, and how surely we are worth loving, defending and redeeming.

Having lived a public life and experienced the challenges that come with, I loved the three questions she asks herself when considering the public's opinion:
1. Is this thing hindering my personal growth?
2. Is this thing harming someone else?
3. Is this critique coming from someone who loves and respects me?
If the answer to all of the above is no, she keeps it moving! Why internalize something from someone who certainly doesn’t have your best interests at heart? In fact, Luvvie encourages us to BE TOO MUCH and not apologize for it. “If your TOO MUCHness is not obstructing your personal evolution or actually hurting someone else, stand in it.” After all, no matter what you do, someone somewhere will always think that you are too something.

This book really gives practical tips on how we can conquer our personal fears and allow ourselves to dream big- from someone who actually walked the walk. I especially loved the chapter ‘build a squad’, a welcome reminder that no woman is an island. Those we select to be our chosen family can actually be key guides in life’s journey. We need a strong village to hold us up, in times when we can't. We should trust these people enough to ask for help. Bold women rock with other bold women because we create spaces for each other and affirm identities society is usually so quick to denounce.

Above all, this book is a welcome reminder that the things we must do are far more significant than the things we are afraid to do. We must give ourselves permission to be who we want to be, even if we lack the blueprint.
Maybe WE are supposed to draw the map, so someone who comes behind us wont be lost.

I highly recommend this book if you’re especially passionate about personal growth. I wish you self awareness, that you may discover what is a hindrance to your growth, in order to find solutions for them.
Profile Image for Becca Kemp.
50 reviews2 followers
April 15, 2021
Luuvie's message of self empowerment, being too much, and allowing yourself to go after your wildest dreams resonated greatly with me. I loved hearing about her Nigerian roots - especially her grandmother - and enjoyed writing my own oríkì. She successfully convinced me I need a Nigerian best friend!

Quotes that stood out:
"We don't get a gift for being the most self-deprecating in a room. Or being the one who can make fun of ourselves best. We have mastered that. Now I want us to master the art of owning our dopeness."

"Ask for more, because if the fear of disappointment stops you from going for what you want, then you are choosing failure in advance."

"What is best for you might offend other people because once you start making choices that are truly yours, others might project their failure to do the same on you and resent you for it. That is not your fault, nor is it your business. Grow anyway. Do what's hard anyway. Change anyway."

"When people remind you of your past selves, tell them yes, you remember her/him/them and you're glad they existed, because who you are now is so much better and you're thankful for it."
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
1,947 reviews299 followers
August 21, 2021
I really love reading non-fiction memoirs where I can relate with the personal stories the author shares.

In this book, Jones tackles important issues such as fear, self-doubt, and the ever so paralyzing impostor syndrome that can really affect growth personally and professionally.

This was such a cathartic read that resonated with me, in this well written motivational gem.

I highly recommend!
Profile Image for Magdelanye.
1,608 reviews192 followers
July 30, 2021

Luvvie Ajayi Jones probably wouldnt approve of my lifestyle and I can't imagine hers.
But personal differences aside, I am in love with this woman and her take-no-bullshit attitude.

I just finished my first reading and possibly I could get away by just listing the chapter titles, but I do intend to embellish these remarks once I've caught my breathe.
Profile Image for Debs Field.
45 reviews1 follower
May 31, 2022
So much to love about this book. The best way to describe it is: imagine Luvvie as your hype woman, massaging your shoulders and getting you hydrated before sending you into your personal and professional boxing ring. She is open and vulnerable about her own experiences and failures and owns them, showing how we're all flawed but that doesn't mean we can't make a difference. She is hilarious and eloquent and this feels like my new manual to taking on life in its fullness.
Profile Image for Lyssa.
169 reviews
April 5, 2021
I haven't picked up any self help books in a while, but got this as the monthly pick from Strangelings - hello fellow Strangelings! Written in fhe tone of the friend who tells it like it is, some things I'd heard before, some were new, some I'll be posting on the classroom wall. The anecdotes about her grandmother were great, and could probably be their own book.
Profile Image for Lauryl.
188 reviews
March 12, 2021
Great advice all the way through. Some chapters will inevitably be more relevant for some people than others, but that’s what makes it great altogether. I especially loved the chapter on firing yourself - need that advice!
Profile Image for Catrina.
35 reviews4 followers
February 26, 2021
Luvvie does it again!
I can't wait to get a physical copy of this book and begin bookmarking and annotating. That was the only downside of the ARC, it did not format well on kindle.
The Fear-Fighter is what we all needed to hear and read this year. We all carry fear in some form or another, but it's the tools and lessons of learning to take action even with fear that spoke out to me. She reminded me to speak up and use my voice, and I tested myself at least four times in the last two weeks to do this very thing, move out of my comfort zone by not being silent, complicit and learning to ask for more in my work life (because men do it all the time). Her sentiments that the only thing that is consistent in life is change, empowered me to continue to be bold and find growth.
Along with all these lessons, of course, Luvvie finds ways to make you laugh and cry at the same time, and I loved the stories of her grandma Mama Faloyin weaved into this book.
Profile Image for Chinenye.
42 reviews3 followers
March 19, 2021
Dear Reader, don’t waste your time and money on this book.

Luvie, You don’t write a book based off of the lies you chose to believe and spread about a country you don’t even live in. This book is an evident story of the extent people like you are willing to go to become whatever, at the expense of Nigerians you don’t care about.

This book is full of lies and depicts how nonNigerian you are. You really didn’t have to publish a thirsty ass book to support your illusions of “funny” Nigerians, meanwhile you are only out to make money off of the white people and nonNigerians you are entertaining.

Profile Image for Lindsay.
23 reviews4 followers
September 24, 2021

The part on being too much.😭 Secretly, my biggest insecurity is the amount of which I talk, and I can recall even the dearest people in my life at one time or another telling me directly or insinuating that I talk “too much”. These statements act as gatekeepers on my lips, monitoring how many and how quickly and how frequently words want to exit my mouth. Sometimes I notice I’ve been talking for more than a few minutes and I get so scrambled in my brain and I feel so guilty. I call on those gatekeepers that I didn’t even personally hire and lambast them for being so negligent. I look forward to the day they can retire. I imagine it’ll be soon(ish) if I continue living authentically as I’ve been doing (for 365 days now! Woo!😂)

(Strangely people telling me I cry too much for literally all of my life has not hindered me at all from being a bawl bag? Hahah I seriously feel 0 insecurity about that)

Mama Fáloyi (grandma) is everything I want to be. How can I be as authentic and unapologetic as her? WOW the bravery and the confidence and the don’t-give-a-f*ck-ness.

Her talking about accepting gifts and help and compliments bc we actually deserve them and we need to believe that we do- I’m like D A M N i got some work to do.😅

OKAY when she says she doesn’t trust ppl without boundaries bc they probably won��t respect hers??? SO TRUUUUEEEEE OH MY GOD that’s exactly how I feel but I didn’t have the words for it!!! I feel so comfortable around ppl WITH boundaries!

This section about firing yourself and hiring other people to do it beeeeeeech omfggggg speaking right to me. I would LOVE to hire someone to run my IG. omfg. Thanks for the idea @ luvvie !


“Instead, we need to stop expecting fearlessness and acknowledge that we’re anxious but we aren’t letting fear be our deciding factor.”

“Remind yourself of who the hell you are before trying to remind anyone else. Because, ultimately, the world will continue to misunderstand us and call us patchy-headed scallywags with lice. We can’t control that. What we can control is our own image of ourselves, and how surely we are worth loving, defending, and redeeming. In all of our messed-up, scared glory.”

“If you are too big, then it’s a reflection that the place you’re in is too small for you.”

“When we are afraid of thinking things can be too good, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.” -The day I learned prophecies are all self-fulfilling is the day the game changed for me

“The audacity of unshackled white men is massive.”

“Impostor syndrome is the feeling of wearing a mask and playing a role that you don’t feel at home in. It is present in those moments when you feel like you or your work are a fluke, and that you’re a dwarf among giants.” -Me being a Mormon and giving talk after talk after talk. Like hello Bad B*tch you were asked to give 7 talks in 2.5 years! 3 of which you were a special guest. You, my dear friend, are a SPEAKER and you WERE a full-fledged Mormon. -Me feeling like not-a-musician amongst musician friends even though I very much can sing. Feeling like a big fat joke, only a music enthusiast and not a music maker.

“We will, very quickly, believe somebody’s negative ideas about us but question five people telling us something positive.”

“I am not the best. I don’t have to be. I am enough.”

“Everyone’s well-being should be community business.”

“I like going to therapy because I enjoy paying for someone to read me for filth.”

“Nobody is doing you a favor by hiring you. NOBODY. You are hired to do a job because you have the skill. They need you to do this thing.”

“My social media is a dictatorship, not a democracy.”

“We might be tempted to make somebody else feel better and say, “No, I haven’t changed. I’m still the same person.” We are wrong. We did change. We tried something new. We got new results. We changed our worlds. Maybe we’re not on the same level anymore, and that’s okay.”

“Kahlil Gibran said, “Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future but from wanting to control it.” A WHOLE WORD.”

“I see the quote that folks use to “inspire” others to do more: “Beyoncé has the same 24 hours a day as you.” No, she doesn’t. Even Beyoncé wouldn’t tell you that. She might have 240 hours in her day because she has ten people doing various things for her life to run smoothly.”

“My grandma could have let it slide, but you know what would have happened if she had? The teacher would have thought it was okay to keep doing extreme things like this. This is why I push back against the constant encouragement to take the high road when we are harmed. I think some high roads need to stay under construction.”

“If the truth is divisive, then what it is pointing out must be what is especially repugnant.”
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Melanna.
490 reviews
June 5, 2021
I love to aim for personal growth. So I enjoy reading books on the subject. I generally have a bone to pick with what I call “mommy bloggers” who use their life to say “look I did it so can you.” (Think of a certain person who needs to apologize and someone else who thinks she isn’t tamed). So when I started this book I feared it would be that.

It’s not that. First Luvvie is educated in her field so that gives her more clout than many. Second, though she does use examples from her life, she actually uses people she knows more than herself. Which I appreciated. And she is always quick to acknowledge her privilege.

There is no doubt in my mind that Luvvie is an enneagram 8. I felt like I was reading my opinions off the page. Which also means she didn’t have much to tell me that was new (but shout out for using the phrase “fluorescent beige.” This will be my new descriptor of anything bland). I do feel like this is the book I will hand to my friends when I get tired of telling them to speak up, stand up, Just say what you mean. Luvvie makes all the points. She gives the why or various scenarios. I wish I could purchase chapters to hand to people. Instead I will opt for sticky note book marks on all the pages they need to read. 😂

If you need to grow in areas of standing up for yourself, speaking out about things, I recommend this book.
Profile Image for Taiwo.
23 reviews3 followers
May 18, 2021
I was gifted this book so very much had zero/low expectations but had seen the book mentioned positively in a few online communities for Black women so was optimistic. I was quite annoyed by the ‘Amercianisms’ in this book e.g. ‘UGLASS’ instead of ‘ugly ass’ and other turn of phrases. I was not familiar with Ajayi’s work (except from the Scandal recaps lol) before this, so blame my initial annoyance on this.

About a quarter of the way through, I found myself really enjoying this book and what Ajayi had to say. I liked how she used experiences in her life to develop her point/call to action to fight fear and also her discussion of aspects of Yoruba culture like oriki. Ajayi is also quite funny so found myself consistently suppressing a smirk. I also liked her description of the labour forced upon Black women as working on a group project and being the one that has to do the extra work to make sure that the group succeeds. The chapters about getting paid your worth and finding your tribe were really notable and can see myself returning to them in the future.
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