April 2, 2020

I Tried to Change So You Don't Have To

"You can hustle and strive and work your ass off and plan for the future and make vision boards and to-do lists and set your eyes on the prize and then, when you least expect it, everything can blow up in your face and you're back to square one." ~ 81%

How many of us can relate to the statement above? In a new inspiring memoir, titled I Tried to Change So You Don't Have To, Loni Love stops trying to conform, embraces her flaws and tunes into her potential. Despite her last name, Loni grew up in a not-so-loving home. Without giving away her entire life's story, she went from growing up in the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects to earning an engineering degree then making it in show biz. It was not an easy journey.

Loni Love has worn many hats and crossed many paths in her young lifetime. She has been places and experienced more than most people ever would. This fact makes the book cover so perfect! Most importantly, Loni Love stayed true to herself through all phases of her life. It is indeed admirable. I appreciate her straight-talk, the funny lists at the end of every chapter and her sharing embarrassing mistakes, accomplishments and necessary changes.

"I got material out the wazoo." ~ 61%

I am a daily viewer of The Real where Loni Love is one of five co-hosts (all women of color). Her point of view is always appreciated and well spoken. However, I do not find her hilarious. Every now and then she delivers a funny one-liner. And her bits about cubicle life, that one black person in the office and a hard-knock life was chuckle-worthy. But I expected more LOL moments from a comedian.

When reading a memoir, I keep in mind that all things are not as it seems. Truth may be embellished. Situations may be lightened up. The line between fact and fiction might blur. Hence why I read all memoirs with a side-eye. I Tried to Change So You Don't Have To was no exception. My eyes rolled every time Loni Love mentioned the projects where she grew up on the east side of Detroit. "Brewster-Douglass" was mentioned over 60 times. This is no exaggeration; I started to count. Also, I find it very hard to believe that Loni Love graduated from Cass Tech High School, one of thee best public high schools PERIODT, but never once met with a college counselor. She goes so far as to question whether the school even had one. I call bullshit.

"That's a truth some people take a lifetime to learn." ~34%

But there are other sections where Loni Love talks about relationships, a career and opening up to change that resonate with me. For example, numerous people have suggested that I throw deal-breakers out the window and try online dating. I shoo those ideas away every time. But there was something about the way she words her own story of finding love that made me think hmmm, maybe I should approach dating differently.

Overall, Loni Love meets her purpose of providing readers with life lessons. Reminding us to be true to self and not conform to society's definitions. We control our own destiny. I may have issues with some content of the book but it does not negate her success, drive and spirit. I recommend it for every woman of color needing some real talk.

Happy Early Pub Day, Loni Love! I Tried To Change So You Don't Have To will be available Tuesday, May 5.

Disclaimer: An advance copy was received directly from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: I Tried to Change So You Don't Have To
Author: Loni Love
Published: May 2020
Pages: 272
Edition: Galley
Rating: 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

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