I Don’t Belong to You by Keke Palmer

Originally published on Goodreads June 20th 2017

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A sometimes serious, often hilarious, and always inspiring guide that encourages young women to live a life full of ownership, confidence, and freedom from singer and popular Scream Queens and Grease Live! actress Keke Palmer, delightfully illustrated in four color with Keke’s favorite inspirational quotes, journal entries, and memes. With a voice of empathy, tough love, and determination, Keke speaks about the challenges and triumphs she has experienced on her journey to finding her own voice and creating a beautiful life.

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I love the concept behind this book, and after watching Scream Queens Keke Palmer was on my radar — her hilarious Zayday Williams Kappa Kappa Tau sorority sister really stole the show!

Keke writes these little essays with a sassy, conversational voice, and liberal amounts of chatspeak and emojis. It’s like chatting with one of your best girlfriends. There’s a decent range of the subjects Keke covers and all with a very thoughtful and mature angle that doesn’t sound preachy or overly self-important. Keke owns up to her flaws, but she also TOTALLY celebrates herself. With energy, enthusiasm and her heart on full display she writes about her experiences with her nontraditional childhood as an actress (and breadwinner at aged 14), the dynamic between her very emotional self and her more closed off parents, and the crippling anxiety that occasionally reared its ugly head in her life. But it’s not all about the dark spaces Keke has been through, instead she also celebrates many things, such as embracing her passion for music and theatre, and how mindfulness and being kind and loving to herself really transformed her self image and her relationship with others. It’s pretty darn incredible of her to be so open and honest and you really get the sense that she genuinely loves life and people. There’s no negativity or complaining here. keke in scream queens 2.png

The reason why I opted to give this wonderful book 3 stars instead of 4 is that some of the chapters were just so so so so so lengthy and repetitive. I found myself wanting to skim at certain moments, and I skipped two chapters (one about spirituality, the other about community service) just because I had zero interest in those. Keke is very upfront with her love of God, which is amazing that she found love and encouragement through her faith, but it’s just not in line with my own beliefs. I completely respect Keke and think that’s AMAZE as I said before, but just doesn’t apply to me.

Another little qualm I had was there were moments when Keke just went on and on and on. The content is thorough, and even though it’s studded with fun emojis and silly bits, some it felt like it could’ve been trimmed away. Shorter chapters would’ve made this easier to digest and made it more of a zippy, punchy, and fun read.

The third little con for me is that much of what Keke explains here, about mindfulness, self-love and being a compassionate soul are things that I already know very extensively. This would have the most impact on someone who’s unfamiliar with what it means to be in the present, or struggles with their emotional relationships and sense of self. I’m not trying to imply I’m an expert therapist or anything, hahaha, but from some of the painful experiences I’ve been through I’ve come to my own awakening, as Keke did! Many of what Keke said is so universal and spoke to me, and I’m sure it will to many other girls and women. However, audience older than those ages may not get the most out of Keke’s candid confessions – her slang and emojis (which I LOVED) are a huuuuuge part of her storytelling, and they may not be able to relate to some of what Keke’s gone through and currently going after. 

Still I do recommend this book. Especially for teen girls and young twenty-something millennials. There’s an emphasis on female friendships and what it means to foster healthy relationships with others, and to really nourish your own creativity and let it GLOW!!! 🙂 I felt so much happiness and encouragement just from reading those words!

Scream Queens photo from IMDB — Cover Photo via Amazon



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