Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: Soul Searching: A Girl's Guide to Finding Herself by Sarah Stillman

Sarah Stillman. New York: SimonPulse/Hillsboro: Beyond Words Publishing, 2012. 162 pp.
Rating: Striking  

"Even though soul searching may seem like a mostly mental and emotional journey, the mind, body, and spirit are closely linked. When we have negative feelings about our physical selves, it makes it almost impossible to focus on our emotional and spiritual identities" (33).

Originally published in 2000 by the author at age sixteen, Soul Searching provides young girls ways to stave off self-destructive behaviors through self-discovery. Author Sarah Stillman began her soul searching journey at the tender age of sixteen. The book begins and ends explaining soul searching is a never ending journey. It explores aromatherapy, personal space setting, dream interpretations, philosophy, various religions, and other areas. Each chapter ends with a list of resources for further research about that subject.

Quote-"Many people are threatened by female security, often because it invokes their own fear and jealousy." (34)
Stillman provides an excellent resource for young girls to begin discovering themselves. To get the full experience, I took the quizzes in the book. I answered each question twice. The first time I answered them as my teen self and the second as my adult self. Both times it took some time to answer, especially as my teen self, since I had to think back some years. Before reading this book, I have never heard of National TV Turn-Off Week; however, I'm in complete support of it. I agree wholeheartedly with Stillman's statement, "I just think it’s important to take a step back sometimes and remember that there is more to life than technology” (12). Stillman hits on an essential componment of discovery with the body celebration, which combats the thousands of television, film, and internet images relaying their idea of "perfect." Other raves of the book include: the soul shrine (20), healing crystals discussion, address of sexting "[...] its important to remember that this kind of exploring can have series consequences" (13), and positive affirmations. I love all the affirmations listed in the book, but these are my favorites:

  • Peace surrounds me in everything I do.
  • I am creative and talented.
  • Everywhere I turn, I see potential for growth and opportunity.
  • I am intelligent and I enjoy learning every day.
  • It is safe to look inside myself and discover my own opinions and beliefs. I am wise and beautiful. I love what I see in me.

Soul Searching: A Girl's Guide to Finding Herself is a must have for all girls and anyone working with tween and teen girls.


  1. Wow, this book looks great for the teenage girls I counsel (and for myself!)

  2. Yes, it is definitely an excellent resource and one of the best self-help books I've read in awhile.

  3. I am going to search for this book for my 15 year old. I definitely like the affirmations you chose. Very important for tweens and teens to remember consequences are embedded in the choices we make. Make good choices and be your best self.

    1. You are exactly right Lisa. Consequences are a result of the choices we make. May your daughter enjoy her soul searching journey.


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