KIRKUS Review: "Lively, appealing, and instructive; perfectly targeted to the millennial demographic."

KIRKUS REVIEW

A memoir/self-improvement debut offers millennials advice for living a full life.

Early on in this coming-of-age story, millennial Darrow says he faced life-changing events in his mid-20s. His parents divorced, remarried, and dealt with dual cancer diagnoses; his father died; he endured a breakup with a special girlfriend; and he closed his restaurant business after just one year. While devastating, this period also helped shape the author’s life philosophy, delivered with aplomb in a book that catalogs his developing maturity and provides contemporaries with wise tips for thriving. Insightful and rich with details, the guide is cleverly divided into seven sections, each representing an overarching attribute, such as “Wise Millennial,” “Healthy Millennial,” and “Adventurous Millennial.” Every section includes several chapters through which Darrow weaves his personal story in combination with considering what he learned as he survived each experience. In “Social Millennial,” for example, the author recounts how he loved and lost a girl “TO WHOM I WAS READY TO PROPOSE.” After she breaks up with him, a pensive Darrow reflects, “Don’t take anyone, or anything, for granted. Because they can be gone in an instant.” Later, with a great deal of charm and wit, the author advises men “how to truly win over women,” suggesting, “It boils down to this: treat girls with respect.” The book is wide-ranging, touching on many areas, including health, wealth, relationships, college, and business, all written from millennial to millennial. Darrow’s prose is engaging and at times exhilarating. He is an adept storyteller and demonstrates the ability to learn from his challenges, failures, and successes. In addition to the manual’s natural, conversational style, the design is striking: Each section is dramatically set off with its own vivid hue, and numerous uncredited color photographs supplement the text. The author’s astute observations about his own generation are refreshing if not unique: He claims millennials “tend to use technology as a crutch to express their true feelings,” but “will fight to the digital death for expressive freedom.”

Lively, appealing, and instructive; perfectly targeted to the millennial demographic.

Peter Darrow