While I will discuss some editorial complaints in this review, I found this book highly positive, and was very intrigued by the overall concept. Please try to recognize the dynamic as it unfolds. This is an excellent book that I enjoyed a great deal.. But with some proposed "tweaks" from myself, a reader ;)
- Finding Fracesca (Stephanie Correa)
- 129 pages
- ISBN-10: 1940847672
- ISBN-13: 978-1940847672
While I was mid way through reading the nightmare that was American Psycho, I was teeming on the brink of 'not-okay-ness'. I was approached to read and review a self described Self Help book. My brain was melted and I felt pretty gross at that point. To be honest, this unnatural mental status helped drive my agreement to read what I would normally not. After reading the author's site, it sounded clean and refreshing and was a complete juxtaposition from current status. What better way to climb out of the hole I was sitting than something epically positive: The "Self Help Book".
The premise of Finding Francesca is fairly simple. Sit down in a quiet spot, visualize a meeting spot with aspects of your personality which you believe need work. If you are an over eater or obsessively neat, your conversation would relate around why you are this way, what is the root cause that started the behavior. The end result is that you would give these aspects of yourself permission to stop behaving poorly. This is over simplified, but easy enough to conceive.
In Francesca, Stephanie Correa finds herself transporting into a mental office building, scheduling meetings with whomever wants to meet her. Aspects of her personality step up, and seem more than happy to explain themselves. They describe through memories why they have the difficult trait that make them problematic for the author, and are willing to accept forgiveness and move on. It is unclear how long this process takes, but in the presentation, it could be construed as back to back meetings over a few weeks tops. I do not believe this was the intended timeline.
This openness is not the reaction I had, unfortunately. Perhaps this perceptive and open state is easier to reach under instruction. Giving it a solid try, I found myself talking to a blank slate. No aspect of my personality came forward, no matter the level of introspective meditation I applied. Perhaps I am filled with antisocial gremlins.
Regardless of my failed attempts, it still sounds like a pretty cool concept. The workshop planned to shadow this book might perhaps add the missing elements blocking me. I will refrain from discussing the actual value associated with the process. A process can only work for someone dedicated to the involvement. This is not me, so saying "this will (or will not) work" would be unethical. It is a great idea though, and I hope for success to those who need the assistance.
The world needs great ideas and pioneers to push the envelope and try new methodologies where existing ones are inadequate.
This portion of my review is not intended to belittle the genuine nature of the stories told, however, the presentation was a bit off. The book itself could use some polish. I believe that someone reading this for the intended purpose could see past this as they gain value. Having no value to me from an introspective perspective, I could only read Finding Francesca with an editorial mindset.
Sections rubbed me wrong, similar to many self published novels do. I often question whether enough editing, or honest critique has been provided to the author. Most friends and family are yup yup Sesame Street aliens, too afraid to be blunt.
As an outsider, I will take this opportunity to stand in their place regarding this early edition.
- The story teller presentation of the book is derailed instantly by being sandwiched with fore/aft authors notes regarding the process. It lessened the impact. Letting it unfold and organically work toward the purpose may have held more strength. The fore/aft statements could have better propped up as a single post arc authors note. Let people experience the story before bringing it full circle.
- The clinical summary blurb was cold. As will be discussed later, the description on the authors site was drastically more compelling and less likely to drive off potential readers.
- Repeat descriptions of created a stale element and could have been expanded. As an example, the repeat references to a "black out drunk" individual may have served better with more diversity. Black out drunk he may have been, but could be described using equally powerful words.
- The apologetic associations near the end regarding the same described drunk, this was hard to read. Love is a strange creature, and I don't envy the rectification of this conflict, but also have trouble with apologetic regarding the topic of reference. Too obtuse? Read the book to understand my reference.
- This book clocked in at around one hundred pages, a valuable percentage of which were dedicated to the index. I believe that the individual chapters could have been more robust. The author told her story, but in some cases felt watery and hurried. In a future revision, Correa may choose to honor her story further by fleshing it out and giving it the various lives it deserves while staying true. Properly done, this could trancend to a biographical fiction for those not interested in the intended help process.
- None of these points would limit a dedicated reader in gaining benefit from the process, but along with a blurred and grainy cover, will block this book from being taken more seriously. It would be lost on any bookshelf as it fails to command attention. Though the items I outlined and others do not hold up to an editorial review, I do believe they would be forgiven by the proper audience. Success, right?
All things considered, I enjoyed Finding Francesca, and though not my vein of standard reading, the genuine and positive outlook in healing did put me in a better mood and help cleanse my thoughts after reading such a horror show of a novel prior.
I wish people luck in the process and hope the author continues her uphill sprint.
I believe that the description on the Authors website is more useful than that on the back of the book. Mainly quotes from readers, it held little value, where the description on the author site sold the book well, with less effort, and attracted me quickly. The official blurb would have caused me to set the book backdown. Rather than write a new blurb, I shall simply post that site text here (without permission).
"As the room came into view, instantly I was in complete shock. Nanette had transformed from the rebellious, glaring goth girl into a beautiful woman, professionally dressed in a high-end fashionable suit and neutral, peep-toe, four-inch heels, golden hair pulled back in a French twist, passing out sheets of paper outlining the agenda for the meeting. She was unquestionably a leader. Nanette was confident, strong, sexy, vibrant, and unflappable; I wanted to be her. -- excerpt from Finding Francesca
Finding Francesca by Stephanie Correa
Finding Francesca is Stephanie's big debut as an emerging author! Within Finding Francesca you'll discover a unique approach to Self-Help and Transformation solutions. Rather than telling you what you must do to improve the quality of your life, Stephanie shows you how with honest, intimate and often humorous accounts of meetings with her own inner-sabateurs and the loving peace that followed. If you have felt lost, alone, heartbroken, defeated, insecure, or just needing of motivation, Finding Francesca can help you discover your personal inner utopia where you know beyond a doubt you are loveable and worthy of enjoying all the good life has to offer.
Book original pitch:
Compare and see the difference..
Do you feel stuck in an endless cycle of self-criticism, extreme discipline, and restriction? Do you believe being hard on yourself will force you to reach your goals and achieve success? Do you feel victim to self-sabotaging behaviors keeping you from relishing in the success you see others enjoying around you?
What if there was a way to meet these self-sabotaging parts of your personality, to interview them and gain an understanding of why they have been showing up in your life? Imagine reconciling and falling in love with who they are with in you, releasing their negative impact and creating a true sense of inner peace.
Finding Francesca takes you step-by-step through the process of meeting the self-sabotaging parts of your personality by sharing true accounts of intimate, powerful and humorous inner meetings written as the occurred. Through these stories, the visualization process and sample list of protectors included within Finding Francesca, you will be empowered to overcome self-sabotaging behaviors, confidently work toward goals without using restriction and inner-bullying tactics and gain the ability to learn how absolutely adorable and lovable you really are.
Disclaimer- This review is based on a book kindly provided for free by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. One day, I will be fed sushi in exchange for my opinion on books. In the meantime, recognize that if aspects of a book (or the entire thing) I will remain diligent in feeding you details via my elite skills with chop sticks. I hope you like ginger and wasabi.