Book review of You Do You: How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want by Sarah Knight
The self-styled “anti-guru” Sarah Knight adds another volume to her quirky, profanity-laden self-help series with You Do You.
The focus, as you can guess from the title, is the art of allowing your authentic self to shine through without feeling guilt or being so far out of the social norms that you border on “psychopath.”
You Do You is about accepting your strengths and your flaws, whether those flaws are self-identified, or just things that you’re perfectly happy about but that other people seem to have a problem with. Or, should I say, that you WOULD be happy about, if you felt a little more confident in yourself…” loc 146, ebook.
And, like the previous books, Knight doesn’t stint on the bad words. She admits she kept the title clean so a certain publication *cough* New York Times *cough* would print the all the words of the title in their sought after Best Seller list.
Which Knight has made before… but had her titles censored for their content.
“The advice in this book boils down to one simple mantra: Stand up for who you are and what you want. How do you do that? Stop letting other people tell you what to do, how to do it, or why it can’t be done.” loc 188, ebook.
I enjoyed You Do You, but I felt it wasn’t as strong as Knight’s other titles because she spends so much time rehashing material she has already covered elsewhere.
That being said, I like Knight’s style, her famous diagrams and her illuminating stories. This is an author who has been there, done that and cussed about it.
My favorite diagram in You Do You is Knight’s “ouroboros” or symbolic, conjoined serpent of wisdom picture. The text with the cute doodle says: “Is it right or wrong? You won’t know unless you have the confidence to take a risk and find out. If you regret your decision, then accept the consequences, swallow the lesson, and start over. With confidence.” loc 1995, ebook.
Verges on mystic Eastern wisdom, doesn’t it?
She encourages all readers everywhere to let the strange sides of yourself out- within certain boundaries. Don’t hurt anybody. Don’t take advantage of people. Be reasonable within your freakishness.
“Now, with those ground rules established, I do declare that we, as a society, should celebrate weirdness in all its forms- and that the right to be weird should be inalienable- just like the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” loc 2130, ebook.
“You do you” and let everybody else do them. It’s that simple. It’s that hard.
Sarah Knight may be a bit of an acquired taste. Please don’t read unless you have a high tolerance for bad words and, dare I say, mild snark.
But, if you are someone in need of encouragement to let your freak flag fly, look no further.
Thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown and Company for a free digital copy of this book. And thank you for reading!
Read my reviews of Sarah Knight’s other titles: