So Much I Want to Tell You: Letters to My Little Sister by Anna Akana
So Much I Want to Tell You: Letters to My Little Sister: From Internet sensation Anna Akana comes a candid and poignant collection of essays about love, loss, and chasing adulthood.
In 2007, Anna Akana lost her teen sister, Kristina, to suicide. In the months that followed, she realized that the one thing helping her process her grief and begin to heal was comedy. So she began making YouTube videos as a form of creative expression and as a way to connect with others. Ten years later, Anna has more than a million subscribers who watch her smart, honest vlogs on her YouTube channel. Her most popular videos, including “How to Put On Your Face” and “Why Girls Should Ask Guys Out,” are comical and provocative, but they all share a deeper message: Your worth is determined by you and you alone. You must learn to love yourself.
In So Much I Want to Tell You, Anna opens up about her own struggles with poor self-esteem and reveals both the highs and lows of coming-of-age. She offers fresh, funny, hard-won advice for young women on everything from self-care to money to sex, and she is refreshingly straightforward about the realities of dating, female friendship, and the hustle required to make your dreams come true. This is Anna’s story, but, as she says, it belongs just as much to Kristina and to every other girl who must learn that growing up can be hard to do. Witty and real, Anna breaks things down in a way only a big sister can.
Advance praise for So Much I Want to Tell You
“This book is filled with the kind of honesty, vulnerability, and determination that makes Anna such a captivating person. One warning: You’ll want to hug her a lot while reading this.”—Natalie Tran, actress and comedian
“As a woman working in entertainment, Anna Akana is accustomed to feeling vulnerable. Which means that she’s used to being brave. This book is a tribute to the duality of bravery and fear as told through Anna’s experiences to date.”—Hannah Hart, New York Times bestselling author of Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded
“Frank advice on how to live a productive, happy life . . . written in tribute to a ‘fearless, talented, and bold’ sister.”—Kirkus Reviews
Review by Caleb Hall
I wasn’t expecting it to be as much of a self-help book as it was. Whereas about half of the book came from a very genuine voice that felt like Anna coming to terms with certain subjects, the other half felt like it could’ve come out of any generic self-help book. Especially around the middle of the book, much of it starts to come off as gratuitous padding rather than genuine essays about her struggle of her sister’s lingering memory interacting with her life. I’m sure some people NEED to read those parts of this book if they’re in denial that they’re in a similar situation, but I don’t think I fall into that category.
Anna’s written voice shines much better in the beginning and end of the book, where the stories are much more personal and more about forming a narrative rather than “here’s an example of why you should be doing ________”. These sections were a much less arduous read, I just wish there were more of them in the book.
Overall, it was enjoyable enough. Definitely not required reading, but if you enjoy Anna’s content online you’ll probably enjoy this.
About the Author
Anna Akana is an actress, comedian, and filmmaker most known for her online weekly show with 1.6 million subscribers. She’s been in the feature films Ant-Man and Hello, My Name Is Doris, and can be seen on Comedy Central’s Corporate. She lives in Los Angeles.