Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review: Growing Up Duggar by Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar

Growing Up Duggar by Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger Duggar
(This book was provided to me by NetGalley and Howard Books for review purposes.)

Description from Goodreads
In a rare look inside America’s favorite mega-sized family, the four eldest girls talk about their faith, their dreams for the future, and what it’s like growing up a Duggar.Airing weekly throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, 19 Kids and Counting has made the huge Duggar family into a media phenomenon. The Duggar children are frequently asked, “Tell the truth; do you really agree with the lifestyle your parents have created for you?” Now, the four eldest Duggar girls—Jana, Jill, Jessa, and Jinger—open up about the blessings and advantages of living the Duggar lifestyle.

With a backdrop of the key relationships in their lives—relationship with self, parents, siblings, friends, boys, and God—the four Duggar girls open up about their own personal faith and convictions, boys, dating, manners, living in a large family, politics, and much more. You’ll learn how the family navigates the difficult years between twelve and sixteen and what the girls look for in a man, all in a frank and fun book that will inspire teens and adults alike. Including lighthearted stories about the younger kids’ antics, Growing Up Duggar is a wise and entertaining trip into a family like no other.

My Review
I should probably start off this review by saying I am a pretty big fan of the Duggars. I don't agree with them from a religious stand point, but I think they are good people with big hearts, and they have a lot to offer the world. And I think this book is a good one.

The book is basically the girls telling the world their story, and their principles, and how their family uses the word of God to enhance their every day lives and relationships. If you're not familiar with the Duggars, this probably wouldn't be the book for you if you're also not Christian- the book definitely hinges on you knowing the Duggars and their principles. It also hinges on you knowing the girls in general- the book almost never says who is talking before they just start telling a story, they just start a story and clarify who is telling the story by a parenthetical. I think this could have been done more effectively.

I believe this book would be ideal for a young, Christian girl. Probably ages 12 or 13. This book definitely isn't for a 29 year old agnostic, though, I did enjoy it because of passages like this: "A wise appeal makes a parent, teacher, boss, or anyone else in authority happy because he or she appreciates your respectful attitude, even when you're asking to be excused from what you're being asked to do." And, "Words are like toothpaste in the sense that once they come out of our mothers, they are not going back in." That's just good advice, in general. Granted, it's not unique advise, but it is nice to hear all the same.
I know where the Duggars stand politically, and I am definitely at the other end of the spectrum, so I skipped a couple chapters where I knew I just didn't agree with them. I don't think I missed out on much- it didn't seem like I needed to read those chapters to understand the overall theme. 

I gave this book 3 stars on Goodreads. It was a well written book, but you're not going to find anything new here. Especially if you are already familiar with the Duggars. And with basic Christian family values. 
You can purchases the Hardcover of this book here, or a Kindle copy here.

FTC: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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