Sunday, 16 August 2015

'The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!!' By Grace Barrett, Nadia Mendoza and Natasha Devon (****)

Hello, readers! Today I have an exciting book review for you, of an amazing new non-fiction book out called The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!! by the 'Charlie's angels of mental health' Grace Barrett, Nadia Mendoza and Natasha Devon, with a foreword by the teen idol Zoella. I have been very fortunate to be involved in this book, as I received a review copy by FmCM Associates and am taking part in the blog tour later this month. This really is a fantastic book, and I recommend it to any teenager, young or old, as it really does deal with every issue under the sun.

Intrigued? Here's the blurb...

Sometimes being a teenager can seem like a relentless merry-go-round of people telling you how to dress and behave, who to be friends with, what grades you must get in order to avoid a destiny of failure and, most importantly, why you're spectacularly effing it all up. The Self-Esteem Team know this - because they were teenagers once. Obvs. In fact, they were teenagers enduring bullying, chronic skin issues, 'puppy fat' that refused to budge and 'I'm different from everyone else'-related angst. 

Later, they battled self-harm, depression and an eating disorder. That's why The Self-Esteem Team started travelling the UK: to give teenagers the tools they need to navigate life on their own terms. Natasha Devon, Grace Barrett and Nadia Mendoza - now a successful journalist, singer/songwriter and showbiz editor respectively - have worked with more than 50,000 young people helping them tackle mental health, self-esteem and body-image issues. This book contains everything you really want to know, but are too embarrassed to ask your teachers, from 'How do I know if I'm healthy?' to 'What's it like to take drugs?' 

They won't tell you that if you have sex you'll definitely get an STI and die, but they will help you decide if you're ready. They won't tell you never to watch porn, but they will help you decipher what you see. They won't ask you not to embrace fashion, fitness or beauty, but they will give you the info you need to rock your own brand of gorgeous.

To be honest, if my PSHE lessons at school were as frank and honest as the chapters in this book, I would have been a whole lot better off. Not only is this guide open and completely candid, but it's also incredibly uplifting. It doesn't only give you the hard facts that you absolutely need to know to get through adolescence, but it also includes heartwarming messages that every teenager needs to hear, especially at the low points that everyone goes through. There are chapters that will appeal to everyone, and it's universality is what makes it great. The girls take into account the fact that there is not an ultimate state of 'teenagerdom' and that, whatever those pesky adults in the world say, we are not all grumpy, bitter, smelly sub-humans. The girls don't promise to solve every problem, answer every question, but what they do promise is that they will show you the road down which you will find the answer. This book isn't described as 'self-help', because it isn't. Reading this book is kinda like having a big sister holding your hand through the biggest and most terrifying of teenage troubles, to the tiny mind niggles that everyone experiences. 

All I can say is, I loved this book and found it the most useful guide to adolescence that I've ever had the pleasure of receiving before. I'm sure that, if you're a young person and you can read, you're 100% sure to find it useful too. For a non-patronising, honest and heartfelt guide to 'the difficult years', The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!! is the go-to read for everyone!

Buy The Self Esteem Team's Guide to Sex, Drugs and WTFS?!! here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Self-Esteem-Teams-Guide-Drugs-WTFs/dp/1784186422

Check out the Self Esteem Team's website here: http://www.selfesteemteam.org

Until next time :)