Does This Make Sense?

A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey

Non-Fiction - Self Help
78 Pages
Reviewed on 06/09/2021
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Author Biography

Erin Battle grew up in Inglewood, Ca, and graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a Bachelors of Arts in Social Work. She is a Children and Family Social Worker, mental health advocate, a writer, and mother of one; trying to save the world one person at a time. She is here to help you realize that life doesn’t come with directions, so if you take a wrong turn, you can still make it to your destination. She’s really just your homegirl rooting for you from a distance. You got this!

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Does This Make Sense? A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey is a work of non-fiction in the self-help, advice, and guidance sub-genres, and was penned by author Erin Battle. The work is intended for the general reading audience and specifically tailors its advice toward those who are just attempting to begin a healing journey from past traumas and difficult feelings. An incredibly apt volume for the current global situation, the work is split into different chapters which are concise and easy to digest, and it also offers an important opportunity for readers to interact with the text by providing reflective sections and space to write responses.

Author Erin Battle has crafted a helpful, insightful, and very easy-to-read work of advice and guidance, with plenty of uplifting charm and warm affection to offer readers. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was the author’s own writing style, which carefully balances wit, humor, anecdotes, and a sprinkling of very serious talk to deliver life lessons that sink in deep but do so very gently. As a first-timer’s guide to identifying trauma and dissatisfaction in life, it really delivers on being clear and jargon-free, with really helpful and insightful examples and dialogue sections. In terms of organization, the work was well-formatted to convey information in a logical manner and allow easy reference to find essential topics again. Overall, I would highly recommend Does This Make Sense? to readers seeking a nice short guidebook that gets straight to the point and delivers a big impact in a small package.

Jamie Michele

Does This Make Sense? A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey is a self-help memoir written by Erin Battle. The narrative is in the first-person with a casual, chatty style of writing with the book's title tying into this as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the question Battle finds herself always asking after explaining or advising to another. Battle shines a spotlight on her upbringing and family dynamics, and the impact her relationship with her father had on her relationships with men for years to come. The trauma is compounded by abuse, manipulation, unexpected loss and betrayal through multiple channels and periods in her life. There are also triumphs, with every stumbling block creating new opportunities to get back up, and Battle peppers them throughout with reflections to ponder and areas for personal journaling.

Does This Make Sense? is a compact manifesto on the importance of self-care, self-reflection, and self-assuredness. Erin Battle has layers of emotional scarring and her bracing backstories place her and the reader on even ground, made so by the transparency that connects Battle in a very human way. When I say even ground, I mean in relation to Battle effectively communicating in a manner where I didn't feel like I was being told that if she was able to successfully move past X, Y and Z, I should certainly be able to move past Y and Z. There are always going to be differences of opinion and it's going to take some people a lot longer to process the trauma, let alone move to heal from it, and Battle acknowledges the personal nature of these emotional moments with candor. But when a person starts to feel ready, this book is a good starting point.

Asher Syed

Does This Make Sense? A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey by Erin Battle is a non-fiction book in which the author shares her own stories so that we might be able to explore our own, and find a bit of footing on unstable personal ground. Battle begins with an introduction and uses experiences she's had and the lessons learned from them as the foundation of each of the seven chapters. These range from childhood abuse by a neighbor in chapter two's Big T, to a jaw-dropping turn in her motherhood journey in chapter four's Oh Baby!, and on to the fulfillment found in living a life wrapped in principle in chapter six's Purpose. Each chapter ends with a reflective prompt and lined pages for jotting down what tumbles out along the way.

The profound honesty of Erin Battle and the history that brought her to the point of writing Does This Make Sense? is enough to make a reader pause. There are a lot of backstories to unpack in the introduction and chapter one, and I had a fleeting concern that this was yet another memoir wrapped up in self-help book packaging. Hang in there. The connection comes with a swift blow in a revelation Battle places on the table with the courage of a legit warrior. There is an intense O-M-G moment balanced by the comfortable, conversational narrator who has just told you a secret over a cup of herbal tea. This carries through the rest of the book and underscores all of the other obstacles thrown in the path, whether they've been placed there by someone else or we've chucked them in the lane ourselves. Sometimes it is our fault, and sometimes it is not. In either instance, Battle leverages her social work and life experience with specific, structured, and actionable advice to pull ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep moving. It's well written and thoughtful, and will no doubt have a meaningful place in the journey of its readers.

Marie-Hélène Fasquel

Does This Make Sense? A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey by Erin Battle is a comprehensive self-help book about how to improve your life one baby step at a time. Erin Battle is clear about this work as, first and foremost, a little guide to steer you in the right direction, that is your direction. She is not a guru with simple and easy-to-follow answers (which would be unrealistic and dishonest).

Indeed, it is quite the contrary. Does This Make Sense? by Erin Battle is an incredibly honest self-help book whose foreword (first chapter actually) hooked me. Erin Battle explains how she came to write this book. I respect and appreciate her approach and adored her concluding words (her biography). It is all a process. Erin allows us to actively read her guide by including reflection questions at the end of each chapter, giving us a voice before even advising us. This is extraordinarily powerful and I couldn't agree more with this method (as a mother and teacher).

I also loved the choice of quotes, especially by writers like James Baldwin. All the explanations are clear, comprehensive, and make sense (like that of Big T, which we all do to some extent). To top it off, there are quite a few links for you to dig deeper into each topic as well as a list of useful resources at the end of the book. In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed this guide which is like no other, and recommend it heartily.

Jon Michael Miller

In Does This Make Sense? A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey, Erin Battle humbly states that as a longtime social worker for families she does not have all the answers for the path to mental health and happiness but that she might be able to help persons who are trying to find their way. She assures us that whatever issue we are experiencing, it has been experienced by someone before. You are not alone. She says that before we look to the future, we must know the past, and thus gives us a quick but unfettered look at her own biography in which she faced many obstacles. She talks about Mr. T (trauma) and how we all meet him eventually, one way or another, and he has a way of clinging to us as we try to move on. We all need a helping hand and should never be afraid to ask.

After she talks about her past and Mr. T, she structures her presentation by discussing the role of relationships—family, friends, co-professionals, and most of all oneself. She goes on to talk about parenthood, how difficult having babies is, and dealing with the change they bring. Then she addresses the difficulty of changing oneself, adjusting to new circumstances. Every plant, she says, needs repotting now and again. I really enjoyed Ms. Battle’s downhome approach; she never uses complicated jargon that many self-help authors do. She’s one of us, not on a pedestal talking down. The key to happiness, she says is to forgive, give love, show gratitude, and inspire others. If you are looking for a beginning to address your problems, Does This Make Sense? by Erin Battle is an excellent place to start.

Edith Wairimu

Does This Make Sense? A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey by Erin Battle is a helpful self-help guide with insight into healing and living out your purpose. For many people wanting to change and to heal, the first step can be the most daunting. The first chapter helps one determine how they got to where they are in their lives; an important step that begins the healing journey. The second discusses different types of trauma. It categorizes trauma into two categories based on whether the trauma happens directly or indirectly to the person involved. The third chapter emphasizes the need for communication in any type of relationship. It includes different types of relationships in its discussions such as family, friendship, romantic, professional, and relationship with self. Each chapter assesses a section on healing and, overall, on life as a whole and provides practical advice.

In Does This Make Sense? A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey, Erin Battle views the process of living a purposeful life as imperfect, which makes the guide realistic and the lessons it offers attainable. She also inserts anecdotes and humorous moments that make the book engaging. The work stands out for its ability to understand real-life issues and struggles and offer accessible solutions. It leaves room for reflection at the end of each chapter. The reflection questions provided are thought-provoking and help put the information contained into action. The advice provided is encouraging and does not feel preachy. Even though Battle is an experienced social worker, she writes like a friend encouraging another, admitting to her own mistakes. She shows an understanding of the challenges people go through. Does This Make Sense? A Jump Start on Your Self-Help Journey by Erin Battle is a succinct and informative resource for healing, growing, and finding purpose.