Review: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Reviewed by Ashley Supinski

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girl go wash your face cover, author crouching down by fire hydrantRachel Hollis isn’t a debut author. But her newest book, Girl, Wash Your Face (Nelson Books, 2018), isn’t like her previous, feel-good chick lit. Girl is a tell-it-like-it-is book of the “lies” about her life that Hollis had to face and the ways she overcame them.

When I first saw an advertisement for this book, I thought Hollis had written it for me. The truth is, Hollis wrote this book for every woman. And while there are some chapters that may not relate to the reader personally—the ones on marriage, on kids, on building a media empire—the ideas found within are still relevant and can be applied to the reader’s own circumstances and experiences.

The chapters of this book are set-up as “lies”—lies that Hollis believed about what her life should be. Then, in each chapter, she then disproves that “lie” and ends with a list of “Things That Helped Me.” She admits that these tips won’t work for everyone, and urges the reader to develop their own habits to overcome the lie they believe.

Filled with humor and heartache, Hollis tells you exactly what she went through at different times of her life, and how each time affected her differently. She admits how hard it is to write some of these truths down, but she does so with graciousness that allows the reader to feel like they are sitting in an intimate conversation between friends. There’s nothing Hollis doesn’t lay on the table, all in the hopes that her reader will be able to connect and overcome some of the lies she’s been told, by society at large, and by herself.

One of my favorite chapters in the book is “The Lie: You Should Be Further Along By Now.” This chapter resonated with me as a thirtysomething woman who still doesn’t have a full-time job and isn’t quite sure what she wants to do with her life. Too, the chapter is filled with perhaps the best advice: “Set goals, not time limits.” Here, Hollis focuses on the idea of what you want to accomplish, but understand that life happens and sometimes our timelines are blown to hell.

This book is a must-read for anyone who feels they aren’t doing good enough, or are not simply doing enough. Rachel Hollis is the best friend we all turn to when we need to rant or vent or cry about how our lives aren’t where we think they should be. She’s the one giving us the hard talk, but also letting us cry on her shoulder while she does it. And as Hollis says on page 66, “Go ahead and cry…Get it all out. Then dry your eyes and wash your face and keep on going.”

When she’s not writing, Ashley Supinski teaches English at Northampton County Community College (Pa.), Penn State Lehigh Valley, and Southern New Hampshire University. She also works as a part-time librarian, focusing on young adult services. She has an MFA in creative writing from Wilkes University, where she studied with David Poyer and Lenore Hart. Ashley lives in Pennsylvania with her family, where she graciously dog-and-chicken sits for her siblings. She writes book reviews for the blog, After the Last Page and is also the co-coordinator of YA Fest.

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