What is more annoying than a twenty-five year old who is trying to find her self? That would a forty year old who thinks and acts like she’s twenty-five and wonders why her life is spinning out of control.
What seems like a semi-autobiographical peek into the insecurities of a big city girl, Alter shares her life. A divorce, bad relationships and overall bad choices lead her to wonder if the large display of shinny flashy women’s magazines know something that she doesn’t. So she plans to live the life that the magazines tell her to for one year and see what happens. Each month she picks a new topic and decides to work on it. And coincidentally, that month the magazines address her specific issues. Funny how that worked out.
I don’t know if I got used to her antics and anxieties, but by the end of the book I was actually laughing along with her. I wouldn’t recommend this to everyone, or even most, but if you have any tolerance for women that are slow to grow up and overly anxious about the world in general give it a try. Other wise, just know that magazines are designed to entertain and make you insecure and if you’re wise enough you don’t live your life according to what other anxiety ridden writers tell you is important .
I thought her way of "finding" her confidence in herself through magazines to be very interesting and enjoyed reading about how she recovered from a tough stage in her life.
Currently 4/5 Stars.
Cecily W. (farrarca) reviewed Up For Renewal: What Magazines Taught Me About Love, Sex, and Starting Over on
Upon her realization that she desperately needed to get her life together after a bout of unhealthy behavior, Cathy Alter decided to turn to women's magazines to regain a normal life. She subscribed to numerous glossies over the course of a year and followed their advice on topics ranging from enhancing her non-existent cooking skills to unleashing her wild side in the bedroom.
The discoveries she makes about herself along the way as she chronicles her experience are reflective and sometimes thought-provoking. Alter's writing style is breezy, similar to that of a close friend with a great sense of humor and a penchant for telling stories. It's a fast read, and I'd recommend it for readers interested in self-reflection of their own, taking a tour through someone else's year of transformation, or magazines and the relationship women have with them.