Words of a Journey: My Thoughts on Life and Living

In the Introductory section of “Words of a Journey: My Thoughts on Life and Living,” young author Kaitlyn Kashman writes a letter to the reader telling us “Life won’t always be perfect or enjoyable.  Everyone in this world goes through struggles whether they are big or small.  This book is about my struggles and how I cope with all of them, but this book isn’t just about the battles of life.  It is also about the joys and excitement we experience throughout life.  It is about how a normal teenager makes their way through a life that will be anything but ordinary.”  (p.1)

 Kashman presents her story and thoughts through poetry and quotations.  Alongside each of her works is a lined page where the reader is invited to create their own work.  So, not only are teenagers able to read about the struggles and triumphs of a peer, but they are able to take Kashman’s words and use them as inspiration to express themselves.  The teenage years can be a very trying time and writing about issues you experience can be a very therapeutic way to help you get through the difficult times.   I love that the book is in a format that encourages reader involvement and self-expression.

Kashman puts everything out there in her book.  I almost feel like I know her personally after reading her writing.  As a mother, I found some of the passages to be quite sad, most particularly the one entitled “Father Daughter,” about her lack of contact with her father.  Along with the sadness though, there were uplifting works like those expressing the love and joy that she experiences when with her grandparents.

I believe that any young person could relate to the feelings and emotions that Kashman lays out there in “Words of a Journey: My Thoughts on Life and Living.”  I think that her book is a very inspirational one and on that note, I will close this review with one of my favorite quotes from Kashman’s book:  “Our biggest fear in life is to fail, but failure can sometimes be the best thing.   We learn from every mistake and we achieve great things because of them.”  (p.42)    

Words of a Journey: My Thoughts on Life and Living
Kaitlyn Kashman
Modern History Press (2011)
ISBN 9781615990528
Reviewed by Kam Aures for RebeccasReads.com (09/10)

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