Verdict: THINGS I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS is a light-hearted memoir with a dash of self-help stylings whose down-to-earth writing style, easy-to-chew advice, and humorous tone might not revolutionize the reader's life, but will provide them with an afternoon of delight.
Author Lori-Ann Keenan is an accomplished businesswoman, speaker, and philanthropist, and THINGS I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS is essentially her memoir turned self help novel. The book is broken up into twelve chapters, each of which explores a different facet of the her life, punctuated with poignant quotes at the end of each chapter. Through a series of short but meaningful anecdotes, Keenan shares the lessons she’s learned about love, business, finance, charity, adventure, and the power of visualization.
The nature of Keenan’s writing and the short stories that form the novel make THINGS I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS easy to read. Each story that Keenan tells is filled with equal measures of humor and wisdom. The book is straightforward and easy to digest, designed to be a casual but insightful read for the professional on the go, so a busy reader can pick it up and put it down throughout the day without getting lost or confused.
The advice in THINGS I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS is engaging without being overly specific. The largest of Keenan’s anecdotes are centered around “and then it happened” moments—pivotal, character-forming instances from the author’s life. Keenan strives to give readers “the courage to take these opportunities”. Keenan wants her readers to “celebrate life and its small victories”. THINGS I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS does a good job of doling out advice that can be applied to readers of all backgrounds without coming across as pedantic or obvious.
Keenan’s passion is very evident in THINGS I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS. A great deal of the joy of reading Keenan’s novel comes from her enthusiastic voice. Her adventurous spirit is inspiring, and the accomplishments she highlights in the stories encourage readers to go out of their comfort zone and seek a more fulfilling life. Her writing invites readers to experience her memories alongside her—and then to go out and recreate Keenan’s success in their own lives.
There were times when THINGS I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS did feel a little surface level or shallow, but on the whole Keenan’s charming prose made every page worth reading. Readers that are looking for some minor guidance in life and a good laugh will be thrilled by THINGS I TELL MY FRIENDS.
THINGS I ONLY TELL MY FRIENDS is a light-hearted memoir with a dash of self-help stylings whose down-to-earth writing style, easy-to-chew advice, and humorous tone might not revolutionize the reader’s life, but will provide them with an afternoon of delight.
~Stephani Hren for IndieReader