So Much I Want To Tell You: Letters To My Little Sister, is the type of memoir/advice book those without an older sibling, or aren’t close to theirs, may want to look into. Especially if you wanted an older sister.
Within the 177 pages of the book, which really flies by, Akana gives the kind of advice which may not seem like that of an old sage, but someone who just recently got out of the trench you are in. For whether it is talking about her eating disorder, bad relationships, therapy, and anxiety, alongside the big topic of her sister’s suicide, what you get is a sort of buddy. In a way, the way Akana talks to you about her life and gives advice is like a friend with their arm around you or who is embracing you in a hug and speaking to you in an almost coo.
Leading you to really get the vibe she is treating you like you were her little sister and she is telling you what you need to hear. Especially so you can navigate life a little better than she did at times.
One of the things I really liked about the book is Akana breaks the book down into sections like Relationships; Money, Work, and Career; and other such topics, then goes deeper. Which makes it so if this book becomes your bible, finding that one page, that one piece of advice that just resonated with you, and you may feel the need to share, it can be easily pinpointed.
The Style & Purpose
Each memoir comes about with a different style of familiarity and purpose. Some, like Around The Way Girl seem like they were part of a pending Oscar campaign for Taraji P. Henson. Others, like Gabourey Sidibe’s This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare, may seem without an agenda, but they also lack this book’s sense of purpose. That is, seeming like Sidibe has more to say than clearing up some rumors. And lastly, there are books like RuPaul’s Letting It All Hang Out in which yeah, you may learn a lot about the person and get some good life tips, but for the really deep stuff, it is like they don’t want you getting that deep in their business.
With Akana however, there is nothing to hide and no real agenda here. Like her YouTube Channel [External] there is an openness with her reader. One in which insecurities big and small are exposed to you and the grief of her little sister dying is made clear. Making it so, in many ways, fans of Akana may find this book to be like a summarized transcript of all her videos put into a focused narrative.
Thus really giving you the vibe that Akana, through video and text, is just trying to reach out and take your hand, maybe put her arm around you, hug you, and give a truly genuine, “It gets better.”
On The Fence
You Do Really Feel Like A Lot Of This Content Is Already Free On YouTube
I can’t recall when exactly I subscribed to Akana’s channel, but as I read quite a few of these stories, they all contained a certain familiarity. Not in terms of knowing a friend like her who experienced this or that, but déjà vu. Like, as she notes, she likely, over the many years she has been a YouTuber, has probably covered every single topic she can think of. Some of which she may go into deeper when it comes to the book, yet some things, like her going to therapy and experience with psychiatric drugs, are more gone into with her videos.
Thus making it often feel like this is a companion piece to her YouTube career thus far. As if she re-watched some of her top videos and pulled some additional details from her life to present a chapter by chapter lesson. All of which could be made into one cohesive narrative.
Which perhaps may lead you to wonder why this is being labeled mixed? Well, it is because, after reading the book, I’m honestly left feeling that the main reason to buy this would be out of guilt. Especially if you’re like me and have an Ad Blocker that keeps you from seeing the ads before YouTube videos.
But perhaps the main issue here is all Akana puts in this book is already free on YouTube. Making it so, unless you are a fan who wants to support her work, it is hard to advocate purchasing this book and not just finding a means to borrow it. If not just pointing out which videos could help for what situation.