Review: This is not really a parenting book. It is meant for teenagers and teaches the following 7 lessons (in a nutshell): 1. Take responsibility for your life. 2. Have well-defined goals. 3. Prioritize 4. Help others succeed in order to succeed. 5. Be a good listener. 6. Work together. 7. Take care of yourself.
Overall the message is very positive and empowering and while most of what’s said is common sense, I feel like this book would have been useful when I was a teenager. I think by most standards I would already have been considered successful (good grades, lots of friends, stayed out of trouble, got into a good college), but I feel like this book might have helped me have a more positive relationship with members of my family and maybe even to be more outgoing and willing to step outside my comfort zone. The book is written in a friendly, conversational tone and filled with lots of short personal stories and cute quotes and anecdotes. As an adult, I found it enjoyable.
My kids are nowhere close to teenagers at the moment, so while I think it would be a useful book for them to read at some point down the line, I have no idea if a teenager would even read a book like this if it was given to them by a parent. It does have drug and sex (consensual/abuse/rape) references, but I would still be tempted to give this to my kids when they are in 6th or 7th grade, before they are actual teenagers, but still old enough to understand the message. Hopefully at that age they would be more open to parent-recommended reading. (Personal Rating: 8/10)