Books & Literature

Book Review: Get Untamed, by Glennon Doyle

SELF-HELP: This stunning hardcover journal is a bold, interactive guide to discovering and creating the truest, most beautiful lives, families and world we can imagine, based on the #1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller Untamed.

A positive and revolutionary journal that has the potential to be life-changing.

Untamed is activist and public speaker Glennon Doyle’s third memoir—a personal story about the way in which she claimed the great love of her life and stopped catering to the expectations of everyone around her. It debuted at number one on The New York Times non-fiction best-seller list and stayed there for seven weeks. In November 2021, Doyle released an accompaniment to her memoir: Get Untamed, a journal dedicated to teaching readers how to quit pleasing and start living their lives.

Bursting with wisdom, the journal teaches and encourages values that can enhance a person’s happiness and wellbeing. They mostly relate to self-acceptance and not people-pleasing, and also include discussion on parenting in a way that doesn’t involve losing your identity or hating your life. Overall, the journal serves as a guide to living authentically and pursuing what makes you happy.

The journal contains many exercises; in addition to questions to answer, there is also the opportunity to write lists and draw sketches. These varying methods of interaction may be helpful for different kinds of learners, who find it more powerful to draw a picture rather than write down an answer. In between the exercises, the book also offers several block quotes and colourful illustrations, as well as sprinklings of Doyle’s personal story.

Several of the ideas in the journal will be revolutionary (and sometimes, a little outrageous) to some readers. These may help readers to adopt a totally new perspective, and as such, the book has the potential to be life-changing:

“Every time you’re given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job, throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as necessary in order to avoid disappointing yourself.”

That said, given that some of the ideas are so starkly different from what has been ingrained in many of us, it may take a while to get your head around them. This is the kind of journal that is best read and written in slowly, and many of the exercises will require you to dig deep and reflect.

Given that some of the ideas require a massive change in perspective for some readers, a few seemed like they needed to be fleshed out a little more. Without having read the Untamed memoir, I assume that this text explores these values more comprehensively. It would be ideal to read the memoir first and solidify those ideas with this journal. Still, the journal does make sense on its own and will perhaps entice readers to seek out the memoir for additional guidance about living a meaningful and happy life.

Reviewed by Vanessa Elle
Instagram: @vanessaellewrites

Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: November 2021
RRP: $35

This review is the opinion of the reviewer and not Glam Adelaide.

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