3 out of 4 stars
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In Badass grAttitude: A Memoir of Finding Forgiveness and Strength, Nikki Nardizzi shares how she overcame feelings of negativity and unworthiness. With humor and honesty, Nardizzi sheds light on choosing happiness and gratitude despite facing overwhelming challenges in her life.
Nardizzi grew up in a large Jewish family and describes her childhood as idyllic. Her parents told her she was adopted when she was a young child, but Nardizzi always felt loved and never doubted that she was placed with the right parents. However, when she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 12, Nardizzi disliked feeling different from her peers. Then, due to complications related to her diabetes, she became legally blind and felt incapable. These feelings intensified after Nardizzi contracted meningitis, mourned the loss of her parents, and required both kidney and pancreas transplants--all by the time she was 41. A few years later, her husband suggested a separation because they were both miserable. When he advised Nardizzi that she should "find happiness," her journey began.
Nardizzi skillfully balances relating the darker times in her life with humorous memories. I most liked her ability to convey a sense of humor through her tell-it-like-it-is writing style. When she describes the helplessness she felt when forced to depend on others due to her blindness and the grief she experienced when her mother died, Nardizzi is brutally honest. Even so, her sense of humor remains despite her pain. Readers will relate to Nardizzi's self-deprecating humor and candor in the midst of adversity. On a lighter note, I found her description of listening to an audiobook of The Secret and her initial reaction quite funny. "With the weird music and the whispery passion, it felt religious, almost cult-like. What's this secret nobody else knows? How come only great people know of it? This lady is bananas."
While Nardizzi did adopt practicing an "attitude of gratitude" that she learned from The Secret, the use of gratitude lists by 12-step programs certainly predates the popular book, as does 1 Thessalonians 5:13, "In everything give thanks." I appreciate that Nardizzi stresses, "Not everything is for everyone." One doesn't necessarily need to agree with all of the teachings from The Secret to gain insight from Badass grAttitude.
The only thing I dislike is Nardizzi's graphic descriptions of painful medical procedures. The excruciating details are difficult to read and at times, border on gross. While I appreciate Nardizzi's desire to honestly share her experiences, less is more when it comes to relating information involving proctologists.
Unfortunately, due to the number of punctuation errors present, I'm unable to give the book a perfect rating. Many sentences were missing periods. Therefore, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to readers who appreciate inspirational memoirs with a touch of dark humor. The book is intended for a mature audience as it contains R-rated profanity.
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