Book Review: Note to Self by Connor Franta
[DISCLAIMER: Mentions of LGBT+, depression, anxiety]
In his New York Times bestselling memoir, A Work in Progress, Connor Franta shared his journey from small-town Midwestern boy to full-fledged Internet sensation. Exploring his past with humor and astounding insight, Connor reminded his fans of why they first fell in love with him on YouTube—and revealed to newcomers how he relates to his millions of dedicated followers. Now, two years later, Connor is ready to bring to light a side of himself he’s rarely shown on or off camera. In this diary-like look at his life since A Work In Progress, Connor talks about his battles with clinical depression, social anxiety, self-love, and acceptance; his desire to maintain an authentic self in a world that values shares and likes over true connections; his struggles with love and loss; and his renewed efforts to be in the moment—with others and himself.
Told through short essays, letters to his past and future selves, poetry, and original photography, Note to Self is a raw, in-the-moment look at the fascinating interior life of a young creator turning inward in order to move forward.
At first glance, I was very excited because as you may not know, I adore aesthetics so when I picked up this book, I silently screamed. The mention of short essays, photography and poetry combined is another genre I enjoy greatly reading. Autobiographies and memoirs such as works by Rupi Kaur and Connor Franta’s previous book ‘A Work in Progress’ really intrigued me, as it explained the story of their life through words. As soon as I started reading the first page already got me wanting to continue reading.
“this is an open diary. this gives my insides a voice through visuals and poetry; this is me spilled out on paper”.
This book outlines issues such as depression, anxiety, public’s overwhelming expectations, self-love and acceptance, and how Connor endured through all of it. This book not only explains struggles and strengths, but also elaborates on personal problems and how to solve them. I found this book to be very relatable. I understood what Connor was talking about, and knew what he was going through. This book is very honest, Connor lets out all his emotions in a poetic way. The quotes and poems that were presented were quite simplistic, but it had a powerful impact on the reader’s mind. It left me contemplating and thinking. Additionally, the images complimented and enlightened the short essays with deeper meaning and metaphors. One phrase that I took from this book was, ‘Feelings and emotions are part of you, but don’t define you’. As I continued to read, the aesthetics of not only the images, but the format of the poetry made me captivated in a way that I’ve never been. There were many positive statements and remarks that would be very helpful and beneficial for those who are struggling mentally.
My favourite quote from the book?
“it doesn’t matter where we are,
as long as it’s you
and it’s me
in each other’s arms
closer then the eye can see.”
Overall, I would recommend this book to older teenagers and young adults because it could be quite relatable to some issues and experiences that others are going through. This book was engaging and highly enjoyable to read. I would give this book a 10/10. In conclusion, this book was perfect!