Acquired Book By: I am a new reviewer for Hachette Books and their imprints, I started by reviewing two releases by FaithWords, their INSPY (Inspirational Fiction) imprint of releases focusing on uplifting and spiritual stories which are a delight to read whilst engaging your mind in life affirming and heart-centered stories. I found Hachette via Edelweiss at the conclusion of  and have been blessed to start reviewing for them.
I received a complimentary copy of “How to be a Hepburn in a Kardashian World” direct from the publisher Center Street (an imprint of Hachette Book Group Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
A conversation with Jordan Christy
Whilst reviewing this new release, I had a few questions I wanted to run past the author giving me the opportunity to feature both my thoughts on the book itself and this lovely convo!
As the the back-story of your writing career is being a champion of those of us who are bullied, how did you infuse your own story into a cathartic release of philosophical insight to inspire young girls who are on the verge of understanding – your past isn’t vindictive of your future? Or to put another way: being bullied isn’t the sum of who you are but something that happens to you. You define who you are and you and only you can be the light that shines the truth of your soul.
Christy responds: I’ve always been of the mindset, ‘If it helps even one person, it would be worth it.’ I remember writing a “survival guide” of sorts when I was 14 and going through a really rough time at school. Even though those pithy chapters were probably silly and arbitrary, I really did have a heart to help other girls who might be going through something similar. My mom constantly encouraged me and said, “You’re still you. No matter what they say about you, you’re still this smart, fun, beautiful person and you have a wonderful purpose in life.” That really encouraged me to not let others’ opinions affect who I am and to just be myself.
Why do you think there has been a dynamic shift in perceptive reality rooted more in the superficial than the bolts of what is deeper than what is only seen on the surface? Why do you feel there are more ‘Kardashians than Hepburns’ in today’s society in other worlds? Why is everyone trying to keep up with everyone else and forgetting to just be themselves? *here I am not trying to contrast anything but personalities, as your book is more of a metaphor of life approaches and self-advocacy than critical analysis of ‘they vs us’. I was attempting to use the names to refer to the personality rather than the individual.
Christy responds: Superficial beauty is everywhere. Whether its filtered photos on Instagram or airbrushed ad campaigns, the illusion of perfection is hard to avoid these days. So, it’s easy to mistake “that” kind of beauty with real beauty. I love that verse in Proverbs 31 that says, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting…” The chapter goes on to describe the traits we should be celebrating in each other: a woman who works hard, a woman who lives a life of honesty and integrity, a woman who loves and respects those around her…when I think of the people I admire the most, those are the kinds of characteristics that come to mind—not their dress size or hair color. So, while the sheer magnitude of superficial beauty suggests that clothes and body size are the most critical components to success in life, I would suggest that your intangible attributes (work ethic, sense of humor, faith, etc.) are much more important in the long run!
I love how you broke down your chapters as a ‘guide’ for a 21st Century girl (especially pre-teen or teen) to use as a resource guide of how to ‘react’ or rather, not react to what might distract her from seeing herself as worthy in the eyes of her peers. Bullies find ways to enter our lives by trying to pull apart our defences and finding ways to break down our emotional resolves. You’ve given girls a blueprint of how to ‘subtract’ negativity and share ‘something’ other than a retort, a hasty emotional reaction and have given true thought to show how ‘all actions’ have consequences; even those done in defense. How did you formulate how you wanted to layout the book and make the information relatable to today’s youth? How did you funnel your own learning curves (in other words) into the book?
Christy responds: Okay, confession: even though I was an English major, sometimes I prefer a magazine to a 1,000-page novel. I enjoy works that can be feasibly finished in two days at the beach, so the format of the book is most likely a result of my inability to stick with a huge, lengthy work of literature! As far as communicating the message of how to turn a negative experience into a positive one, my mom pretty much gets the credit for that one. She encouraged us to never wallow in self-pity and defeat; yes, bad things happen, but God has a plan and He can use that thing for good, if you let Him.
Chapter Four is one of my favourites – how language and word usage are nearly falling out of sight – everyone is in such a hurry to text, to tweet or to exchange a paltry few words with each other, they are losing their ability to communicate. You see it everywhere – from people texting over lattes to people walking blindly into traffic. Words used to be such cherished creatures – little discoveries of how to invert and reflect something we felt or wanted to express. Literature was founded on the joy of ‘words’ and ‘phrases’; of finding ways to paint worlds with ‘words’. Why do you think younger generations are losing tactile connection with literature and finding an absence from using ‘words’ which can inspire them?
Christy responds: Oooo, I love books and the written word so I’m particularly partial to this subject. Overall, I think our modern culture is very visual-centric—every phrase and emotion has a visual shortcut (think emojis). While it’s a convenient way of communicating, it’s probably not the most mentally stimulating. So, I think it’s a matter of challenging yourself—for some, that might mean picking up a book rather than reading an online article; for others it might be writing out a math equation instead of using the calculator on your phone. I love learning and personal growth, so I’m a little nerdy when it comes to this subject!
Having published two books with a similar title and premise, what has been your greatest takeaway by having a ‘second chance’ at publishing a book which you can fondly look back on and recognise as being a positive contribution to books for girls? What do you hope will inspire the girls who pick this book up and recognise hidden personal truths of their own? of their friends? of those in their circle?
Christy responds: These have been great questions! Thank you for a wonderful interview! My first book…oh my, I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to uphold this impossible standard of perfection. This second edition has been much more cathartic; in that, I’ve allowed myself to say, ‘I don’t have it all together, but I know The One who does…’ The second edition is the real me—flaws, quirks, imperfections and all.
I hope readers will be inspired to take the road less traveled…even if all your friends abandon you for your beliefs, even if your boyfriend breaks up with you because you don’t dress a certain way, even if you’re the only one who refuses to do something just because ‘everyone else is doing it’…don’t compromise. Stay on the road less traveled. Eventually you’ll meet up with someone else who feels the same.
Though fashions may change, certain things never go out of style--like your favorite little black dress that can take you from a business meeting to a dinner party to a night on the town. But what makes it work is not the dress, it's how you present yourself while wearing it. A woman who is polite, well spoken, gracious, charming, and thoughtful is always welcome-though such women appear to be in short supply these days! Despite the headline-grabbing antics of certain flashy celebutantes, most of us would rather have respect--for ourselves and from our family, friends, and colleagues.
In this fully revised and updated edition, you will learn how to:
Appear polished without sacrificing your personal style,
Develop skills and discover interests to boost your self-confidence,
Find your true friendships and make them stronger,
Date Mr. Right instead of hooking up with Mr. Right Now,
Land the perfect internship and your first job,
Have a fun night without the risk of a social media faux pas.
With this insightful guide you'll be loving life with style, class, and grace in no time!
Places to find the book:
Published by Center Street
on 4th April, 2017
Format: Hardcover Edition
Formats Available: Hardcover, Audiobook and Ebook
Previous release: How to be Hepburn in a Hilton World
Converse via: #INSPYbooks, #Hepburn + #Kardashian, #NonFiction, #SelfHelp
Book’s tag: #HowToBeAHepburnRead More