I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Approval Junkie: Adventures in Caring Too Much by Faith Salie
Published by Crown/Archetype on April 19, 2016
Genres: Entertainment & Performing Arts, Humorous, Personal Memoirs, Women
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Faith Salie has done it all in the name of validation. Whether it’s trying to impress her parents with a perfect GPA, embarking on a spiritual retreat in the hopes of saving her toxic marriage, or maintaining the BMI of “a flapper with a touch of dysentery,” Salie is the ultimate approval seeker—an “approval junkie,” if you will.
In “Miss Aphrodite,” she recounts her strategy for winning the high school beauty pageant (“Not to brag or anything, but no one stood a chance against my emaciated, spastic resolve”), in “My Summer Fling With Bill O’Reilly,” Salie attempts to win over Bill O’Reilly during their interview (“Papa Bear probably didn’t think he could love a girl like me, but I was going to prove him wrong in front of a bunch of white people who like guns.”) “What I Wore to My Divorce” describes Salie’s struggle to pick the perfect outfit to wear to the courthouse to divorce her “wasband” (“I envisioned a look that said, ‘Yo, THIS is what you’ll be missing…even though you’ve introduced your new girlfriend to our mutual friends, and she’s a decade younger than I am and is also a fit model”) and in “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me About Batman’s Nipples” she reveals the secret to her hilarious jokes on Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! (“I study for this show like Tracy Flick on Adderall”).
With thoughtful irreverence, Salie reflects on why it is she tries so hard to please others, and especially herself, highlighting a phenomenon that many people--especially women-- experience at home and in the work place. Equal parts laugh-out loud funny and poignant, Approval Junkie is one woman’s journey to the realization that seeking approval from others is more than just getting them to like you-- it's challenging yourself to achieve, and survive, more than you ever thought you could.
Approval Junkie is a memoir that focuses on why a person would seek validation from everyone but herself. It was an interesting read, as I think that needing the okay from others is something that is taught in a low-key way to all girls. Faith Salie, an actress, writer and radio host, has sent the majority of her life questing for approval. She altered her desires and career to please others, primarily her ex, whom she refers to as her wasband. I would have liked a deeper dive into this relationship as I feel it could have been a much more powerful read with more on this relationship.
Faith Salie forged an interesting path in life, moving from onscreen to a very successful radio career. Her writing reflected this versatility well. While the synopsis stated that Approval Junkie was “Equal parts laugh-out loud funny and poignant”, I never found the laughing parts. I was amused by some of the chapters, most noticeably the section dealing with Bill O’Reilly, but I never did so much as chuckle. I did find the poignant, as there were a few chapters where Salie really started to open up and dive into her emotions.
I did enjoy Salie’s path. She was open and honest with her falters and wins and I appreciated her message at the heart. Unfortunately, I was never super pulled into her life and felt as if I was an impartial observer. Approval Junkie was not a memoir that I disliked, I just never clicked with the narrator and at times felt like she was trying to hard to prove that she was now all fine. I wish the few chapters where I felt the author opening up resonated throughout, but I just didn’t feel it. I did enjoy this read as a whole, but from Faith Salie’s resume expected just a bit more.
Favorite lines – I wouldn’t wish that sickness on anyone—it eats away at joy and swallows spontaneity. It camps out in your soul, taking up space that could be used to dream or love or rest.
Have you read Approval Junkie, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge