I wasn’t sure what to expect from You Deserve Better because from the cover and reading the blurb, I was expecting a self-help type book? And they can either be fine or leaning too far on the toxic positivity side. What You Deserve Better is is a memoir, where Anne-Marie recounts stories from growing up, struggles with her mental health and finding her feet in the music industry. There were so many of her experiences that I could relate with. I struggle with anxiety, so I was drawn straight into You Deserve Better from the first sentences, ‘this is how my story starts: Once upon a time I couldn’t leave the house because of anxiety.’ and Anne-Marie writes about how imposter syndrome is a huge part of that anxiety. Again, I can relate. The parts of the book that do feel like part of a self-help book are the what I’ve learnt sections, and activities, at the end of each chapter. The tone of You Deserve Better is encouraging, as if you’re taking advice from a big sister, so it doesn’t feel demanding or preachy.
Anne-Marie is writing You Deserve Better from a place where she does understand herself better and is able to recount anecdotes from her past with context. Subjects covered are body image and food, boyfriends and relationships, pretending to be someone they were not, wonky beliefs ‘things that aren’t really true’, the positive benefits of walking, sleep ‘I just found sleep pointless and boring and I just wasn’t tired.’ music/touring and writing and online negativity. As well as the positive pluses to social media, which was refreshing.
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For those who are curious