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Review: Untamed by Glennon Doyle

by Jaci Schreckengost about a year ago in review · updated 12 months ago
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There aren’t really spoilers here, especially if you know Glennon’s story. This review does, however, include quotes and topics the book covers.

Review: Untamed by Glennon Doyle
Photo by Hans Veth on Unsplash

This is a review of Glennon Doyle's book Untamed.

First thoughts

I have never had a book I’ve reread so many times in such a short period. I’ve read the physical book twice and listened to the audiobook about four times now. Seriously. There are some short chapters I could recite.

This book made me take inventory of everything. It made me examine little pieces of myself I hadn’t yet examined, or even thought to examine.

Many times, it also reminds us that change is necessary and beautiful. (I’ll talk about this a little more in a bit when I talk about the chapter “adam and keys.”)

This was my favorite book of 2020—or at least favorite nonfiction. (Overall, it’s probably tied with Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age.)

So, what’s this book even about?

Everything.

Religion, parenting, relationships, childhood, freedom, therapy, being a woman, love, self, doors (that weren’t even locked!), dragons, sex, honesty, cheetahs, sensitivity, traveling, infidelity, sports, and even more.

I’m not a parent, so I got worried about the parenting sections before I read the book. I was nervous that it was going to bore me out of my mind; it didn’t. I actually found those sections to be incredibly engaging and helpful. It felt more about relationships in general, rather than strictly parent-child relationships.

Keep an eye out for these quotes

I’m not going to include all of my favorite quotes, because we’d be here for a long time. Here are my top 5 (in no particular order):

“I will not stay, not ever again—in a room or conversation or relationship or institution that requires me to abandon myself.” This one is tacked above my desk. I need this reminder, a lot, because I am so quick to abandon myself for an identity, especially when it comes to work. I am so quick to say “Oh, I’m a writer/data analyst/mentor/whatever I’m doing at the time” instead of saying, “I’m Jaci before I’m any of these other things.”

“The braver I am, the luckier I get.” I also have this tacked on the board above my desk. I need a reminder. Be brave.

I have a scan of the chapter “adam and keys” tacked to the side of my cork board. It’s a reminder to me that change happens, often, and it is fine. It took me so long—and a lot of therapy—to recognize that I’m allowed to change. As much, as often, as I see fit.

“Every time you're given a choice between disappointing someone else and disappointing yourself, your duty is to disappoint that someone else. Your job throughout your entire life, is to disappoint as many people as it takes to avoid disappointing yourself.” This one isn’t tacked above my desk like the others, but it is one I remember a lot. I say it to friends a lot, too, when I hear them talk about situations they’re in. I also have to remember this when I say no. When I’m overthinking things and not following my “knowing,” as Glennon calls it, I love to please people. I love to say yes. And when I’m in this place, I’ve said yes to 15 too many things, and I end up having a meltdown.

Something I don’t say a lot

The epilogue of this book was one of my favorite parts. Sometimes, I listen or read this on its own. I think it’s short, simple, and gorgeous. It is one of the most powerful parts of the book for me.

Listen to this

On Brené Brown’s podcast “Unlocking Us,” she invites Glennon Doyle for an episode to talk about the book. It’s gorgeous, and you get to hear some stories you won’t hear in the book (and some, of course, that you will.) This podcast was in promo/about the book, so it definitely covers a lot about it.

If you’re not sure if this book is for you, then I’d recommend listening to this podcast episode first.

Final thoughts

For me, on a scale of 1-5, this book is a 50. Again, it was my favorite nonfiction read of 2020. I think it's a beautifully written book by an honest and vulnerable author.

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Thanks so much for reading this review! If you've read Untamed, please let me know what you thought!

Follow along with me on my Bookstagram on Instagram: @JaciReads.

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About the author

Jaci Schreckengost

Hey there, I'm Jaci Schreckengost.

Here are some pieces of my writing. They're all drafts; some on revision one, some on revision ninety.

You can see more of my work at jacischreckengost.com. I'm also on Instagram @JaciSchreckengost.

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