I am slightly ashamed to say that this book was published in February 2019 – as well as reading the up to date books in my NetGalley account I am making an attempt to pick off the older ones as I go. So I’m sorry that it took me so long to get to this and I am doing better at keeping up now, I think.

This book exhorts women to give up seeking perfection to the point of their own exhaustion – whether that’s in the home, their own body, at work, in their child-raising, and to have the bravery to not go out looking tip-top, to try something we don’t already know we’ll be good at, or to say no, for example.

There’s a useful initial discussion of how people get like this, highlighting social conditioning of gender roles – nothing that earth-shattering but useful to have in a book like this so people can consider the example they’re setting. She shares experience of her own life, whether that’s failing to become an elected official or, during that campaign, noting girls’ avoidance of STEM subjects and setting up the non-profit Girls Who Code organisation. This book itself came out of a TED talk and she’s obviously both passionate and well-placed to share her passion.

Saujani brings in examples from other women’s lives, too. She talks early on about how this isn’t just a problem of the 1% (she was in a hated but high-flying corporate career before changing things around) but affects women in all stratas of society; although there is a section featuring some young women from working-class roots in Harlem, most of her examples feel a little more middle-class. She does succeed in emphasising that the descendants of immigrants, such as herself, have it a lot harder as there are very high parental expectations.

Although there were lots of practical examples, I did feel like this book would perhaps be more useful in the workplace or social justice organisation environment rather than personal spheres. However it’s a good, strong read and advocates and stands by women rather than scolding them.

This book was provided to me by HQ via NetGalley in return for an honest review.