Book Review – GROW: An Awareness Journal by Christie Havey Smith.

3 out of 5 stars

I would like to thank Salem Author Services for providing me with a free – temporary – electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Although I required their approval, the decision to read this book is my choice and any reviews given are obligation free.

Okay, ‘Grow: An Awareness Journal’ was a little hard review as it is, unsurprisingly, an interactive journal you’re meant to write in as you read it… and I only had an electronic copy to review. So I could read the quotes and bits and pieces, and then scroll past all the blank lines the reader is meant to fill. It would have been much more enjoyable to review as a tactile paper book, and my rating would have been higher too.

From what I can tell, this would be an excellent journal (in paperback format) for a person to follow on a daily basis as part of Mindfulness and re-energising one’s self. Oh don’t give that “she’s talking hippy nonsense” squinty eye – you should know by now I am into “all this stuff”.

‘Grow: An Awareness Journal’ to me, is right up there with adult colouring in books and the like. Something to sit and be creative with, while ensuring you get some much deserved (and always needed) ME time. We all need ME time, and it is great to see so many books and the like appearing to help us acknowledge we need it and encourage us to take it. This journal is a good place to start.

Plus, it is an “awareness” journal, taking a deeper step into the ME time and helping the reader really think about their lives, their emotions, and trying to help them find a more positive balance.

If I was to have read this in the paper format, I would have indeed filled it out as I went… but I saw it more as something the reader makes the time to do for maybe twenty minutes a day until finally done, rather than sitting down and doing it all at once. Take your time, be aware, relax, have that all important ME time.

Also, if in paper format, I do hope the pages have a matte finish and not a nasty gloss one. As matte finished (or unfinished) paper gives the reader a wider choice of writing materials to use. Where a gloss finished paper could only be filled in with an ink or gel pen…. That would then smudge for we the Left Handers of the world. With journals and the like, I prefer being able to write in pencil (colour or “lead”) and would prefer a journal that does not smudge. So here’s hoping the paper format has the right page finish! 🙂 And here’s hoping that all made sense and I’m not just seen as some crazy lazy talking about matte and gloss papers! 😀

Also, and it is probably down to my newly found love of them, I would have loved to see the pages “dotted” like the bullet journals I doodle in. Meaning there is a dotted grid that helps place and balance your doodles. As, personally, if I am filling in an awareness journal, I would want to be encouraged to doodle and colour around the words and my answers… simply as I find great peace in that sort of ME time.

But, other than that, a really nice looking journal I feel would be helpful for those seeking some daily ME time to work out some of their inner emotions, issues, and try and snag some energy balancing mindfulness.

Would I recommend this book to others?

I would… but as paper format only and I would make the above comments about the page finish, doodling, etc.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I might. Currently I am really enjoying more freestyle bullet journaling and doodling and so might find having to fill things out daily a bit too much like a chore. A bit too much like me having to write yet another “To Do” list. Though, ask me again in a few months’ time and I might say yes, I am now ready for this level of ME time and mindfulness.

In summary: I feel the title explains it all. A journal to help you grow, find mindfulness, and enjoy much needed ME time.


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