drop the act it's exhausting book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Drop the Act, It’s Exhausting! might be inspirational for some people. It might even spur a few women – those looking for that unknown “it” – on to action. The title of this book says it all–that we need to be freer in order to be ourselves, and that we need to drop the act of having “it” altogether, especially if we really don’t have a clue. Unfortunately, for me, the book lacked luster and I didn’t agree with much of the advice. You see, I don’t have an axe to grind, a complaint to make, or an “act to drop.” In short, I just couldn’t relate.

The book has nine well thought out chapters with hefty titles such as relating to being a gestating supermom, about forty being the next twenty, faking it, choosing safe over sorry, having it all and so on. Each chapter includes tips, breakout session text boxes with personal anecdotes from the author and advice on growing older gracefully. I have heard much of this info before–it didn’t feel fresh and new. And to me, it sounded as if the author was constantly complaining, which I couldn’t tolerate for long. I am personally – even when everything leaks, breaks, can never be paid for on time, looks unsightly, has rot on it or is moldy again – way too blessed to complain about really anything in my “old” age. I apologize that my tolerance for hearing other people’s complaints is practically zero. And my attention span isn’t that long.

I get that the book was meant to be funny, but most of the humor was lost on me. For example, the author states that our pictures look different when we age because our glow is gone, or that we are sold a bill of goods from advertisers telling us that we can have it all, etc. Okay, sure, I have heard all of this before, but doesn’t everyone have to manage life as it comes, make the best of it and get over ourselves in the process? As I was reading the book, I found it slightly depressing, not uplifting. In the end, I just lost interest.

I do still recommend this book to anyone struggling with trying to have it all in life and there may be a few tidbits that someone else could relate to (don’t just go by my opinion). If anyone needs advice on how to sort of give up on what you haven’t yet managed to get out of life, then go ahead and read the book. But if you are just looking for some happiness, then go outside and take a walk in nature while thinking the most amazing and positive thoughts. There is no act to drop when you allow yourself to be happy in spite of everything that life has to throw at you.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Taylor Trade Publishing. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.