2 out of 4 stars
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How to Grow Up Without Screwing It Up by Anne Elizabeth Nixon is a self-help book for teens and young adults that focuses on personal and career development. She covers topic ranging from romantic relationships to the college-versus-trade-school debate to self-esteem. Nixon uses evidence from her own life to explain the different jobs available to young people without a college education, and she encourages her readers to consider all of their options before jumping into a situation. This advice applies to marriage, college, and careers.
I enjoyed the encouraging tone the author maintained throughout the book. She truly wants to see young people succeed, and this is obvious in her writing. I also liked that she focused on how many options people have, not on telling her reader which option to choose. Although most of the book covers career choices, I actually felt that her advice about personal development would be helpful to more people than her more specialized career advice.
While I liked her ideas, the book itself included a variety of grammatical and organizational issues that I can't overlook. The author openly states that she has mixed font types and colors and has changed the spacing and indentation of paragraphs throughout the book in order to keep the reader alert. While the multiple font colors were sometimes useful to direct my attention towards important points, the randomly double-spaced paragraphs and lack of indentation in places was simply distracting.
In addition, this book clearly lacks professional editing. There are multiple grammatical errors on almost every page. This makes it feel like the author is being careless, which reduces her trustworthiness. I got this same sense from the organization (or lack thereof) in the book. The chapters about various careers were randomly interspersed between chapters about romantic relationships, self-esteem, happiness, and other personal development topics. Even within the single chapter on cars, the author spent multiple pages just listing things she knew about cars instead of including information that would help someone decide if they wanted to work in a job involving cars. I think an editor could help remove these tangents and fix the grammatical issues.
Overall, I would give this book 2 out of 4 stars. The author's tone is encouraging, and she gives good advice about personal success, but her grammar and organization are lacking. I would recommend this book to young people who want general advice for life but not to readers looking for an organized overview of all the career paths available to them.
How to Grow Up Without
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