Book Review: All In With Love
Reviewed by Alexandria Ducksworth
Everyone has an inner child. But are you listening?
Many people strive to achieve big things. They remain hopeful. They still want to be a movie star, still want to travel the world, still want to explore space. But others let the voice inside them slip away—they let their lives get in the way of fulfilling their true dreams.
Gardiner reminds us that no matter what happens, we must look within. We must ask, “What does our inner child want?”
Gardiner begins his story in his Rhode Island home watching Star Trek with his dad in front of a Zenith television screen. Watching Captain Kirk ignites little Jimmy to seek the stars.
However, there’s one big problem: his asthma. When Jimmy’s at the hospital, he turns into a notable entertainer. One thing leads to the next and Jimmy is aspiring to be a big movie star.
Readers follow James on his way through middle school, high school, college, and the labyrinth that is adulthood. No matter where he travels, he carries his inner child with him. He knows what he wants, and he isn’t going to let anybody get in the way of it.
But eventually, like many, James almost loses his true purpose. He gets so far into life’s duties that he leaves little Jimmy behind. What keeps him moving makes this book a memorable, motivating read.
The biggest lesson in Gardiner’s book is to be honest with yourself. No matter what happens in life, stick to your goals and don’t stray from your path.
James started off well on his way to stardom. He traveled to New York City to launch his acting career, but there were a few mishaps, like shady travel agents and a murder incident (he didn’t do it). But he still managed to grab a few roles and move on to Los Angeles.
You might expect the city of Angels to be the place that James finds his happy ending. But James stumbled on a crossroads in his path and ended up going to Vancouver as a family man instead, leaving his inner child’s dreams behind.
Despite having a loving family and a well-paying job in Canada, James wasn’t truly happy. He wasn’t living the way his younger self imagined. This is where readers who feel down in the dumps can remember that there’s hope yet.
James Gardiner’s All in With Love is a motivating memoir filled with all sorts of nice moments. We get so caught up with society’s expectations and pressures that we forget our authentic selves and real goals. Gardiner’s book is a friendly self-care reminder.
Sometimes it doesn’t hurt to put your needs first (as long it doesn’t hurt others). Sometimes we have to do things that are exciting to our inner child, and sometimes, we need to become the heroes our younger selves would look up to.
All in With Love is highly recommended for those who need a touching and inspiring life story.
Publisher: Friesen Press
Genre: Nonfiction / Memoir / Inspirational
Print Length: 408 pages
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