Reviewed by Jessa Larsen

What motivates teenage girls? What tempts them into one situation versus another? What pushes their emotional buttons? More importantly, what can parents do to make a difference in their lives? Maria Furlough herself fought with self-esteem and self-image issues as a teenager. She uses a mix of personal experiences and her years counseling teenage girls in her youth ministry to help show parents what their teenage daughters are going thru and how to help them in such a tough period in their life.

Furlough explains, in her own personal opinion, how fad diets, the media, and pornography can influence a teen girl’s body image. She guides parents, in the way she sees most useful, on how to counteract pressures and influences from mainstream society. Furlough gives advice on how she prefers to build self-esteem and self-image in teenage girls.

That is the general idea behind Your Daughter Needs a Hero and about as helpful as this book ends up being. Granted, Furlough is a Junior High Youth Minister, and thus I understand where her opinions and helpful hints come from, but I don’t see how she is particularly helpful. I barely saw anything to do with insecurity and body image issues. Furlough hints that she may or may not have had some sort of eating disorder of some vague degree. In fact, I think her mother hints at having similar issues. This is exactly the problem. Any actual experience is never given out in detail and thus I am led to doubt that Furlough had any issues outside the norm of any other human teenager. Instead, Furlough simply pushes religion upon the reader as the cure-all.

Apparently, her troubles ended at age 20 when she accepted God. You and your child will live a successful life if you admit lack of self-control and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior. (Disclaimer: I grew up strictly religious and have nothing against those whom cherish their religious beliefs and live a happy live because of such beliefs. I simply do not care for religion to be used as a cure-all and important, possibly life threatening core issues, to be passed over because the only thing you need to do is go back to church.)

I believe that Furlough truly means well and that religion does make her a happy person. I was simply highly disappointed that the book truly didn’t hit on any actual problems that can come from out of control insecurity and body image problems. Furlough blames magazines, social media, and pornography. Apparently watching pornography once is automatically a destructive addiction and the main source of men acting disrespectful in any way whatsoever. (There were several statements throughout the book which hinted at very innocent phrases being highly disrespectful which I also disagreed with.)

All in all, this book would be best served for other highly religious people with the identical opinion of the author. Anybody non-religious isn’t going to get much out of it and might be annoyed at the constant bible quotes. I didn’t feel like any actual issues were brought up and addressed. Especially anything that could be considered important and/or helpful towards girls with legitimate issues in this area of their life. I am led to believe that Furlough led a typical teenage life and probably did think she was ugly or unpopular from time to time, but didn’t go thru anything I would consider severely troubling. If she did, it would have been much more helpful to the reader if she had discussed such issues rather than simply demanding that we go to church and have a prayer or two.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 

Jessa lives in Utah with her husband, 2 sons, 2 cats, and 2 dogs. She goes to school full time as an English major with a focus in creative writing. She likes anime and reads books and plays video games in her moments of spare time.

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