Open when…Letters to lift your spirits — A book review

This is an average book for an average person needing an average lift in her life. There is nothing wrong with average, unless you need more. And I guess I’m one of those people who need more. And I would think perhaps you do too, every now and then.

The author says she created these letters for when “you feel confused, overwhelmed, bitter, or alone (or pick any uncomfy emotion) and need a quick booster shot of faith, love, confidence, or inner peace.”Open When

The book contains 12 “envelopes” — really just a sheet of paper about 6″ x 10″ folded and flapped and watercolored with various designs and scenes — to be opened when you’ve had a bad day, or when you need to find your happy place, or when life feels messy, etc. Each “envelope” is labeled with sentiments such as Positivity, Memory, and Patience. Inside is the message designed to cheer you up, inspire you, support you.

Fair enough. However, I have a few issues with the book, so here we go:

  • As I’ve already mentioned, it’s average. There’s nothing new here, and what’s presented comes off as trite. The letter written for Karma actually rubbed me the wrong way. Nothing inside those envelopes would cheer me on or nurture me. Granted, I’ve been dealing with some heavy situations lately, and not much of anything helped me feel better except for a deep, deep dive into oblivion. But maybe these letters are just the thing for you. And that’d be good for you. To each her own.
  • So, moving on to the art. It’s average as well. The colors are appropriately pastel and soothing, but there’s nothing I’d like to tear out and frame or care to look at over and over again. Nothing mind-boggling or electrifying, nothing to get lost in. Maybe that was the intent. I dunno. I do know that I prefer to be immersed in even the most passive illustrations, and nothing here gave me a foothold to that world.
  • The book is pint-sized, which is good for when you’re on the go, but it also means it could have included more than the dozen letters it does. And there’s no way to quickly find the one you’re looking for. Okay, it’s true that there aren’t that many letters to flip through, but still…when you’re offering to help me, make it easy for me to get to that help.
  • And speaking of those letters…have you read The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy by Nick Bantock? Now those are letters! You know what I’m talking about. Well, some are postcards, but the letters! Oh, the letters! You actually flip open the flap on the envelope and take the letter out to read it. It truly gives you the illusion that you’re holding a special message, beautifully handwritten, delivered for your eyes only. For me, a layout like that might have redeemed Open when. Just maybe.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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