Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Make It Happen Tour: Book Review & Giveaway

About the Book

Title: Make It Happen: A Guide to Happiness for LDS Singles
Author: Kylee Shields
Release Date: October 2012
Publisher: Walnut Springs Press (Facebook | Twitter)
Genre: LDS Self-Help
Do you know what it means to be a kigatsuku person? Are you currently in a “hurricane” relationship or a “bridge” relationship? Do you know what it takes to be “righteous in the dark”? Have you struggled to find your place in the world as an LDS single? Do you feel like a misfit or a menace—like a circle trying to fit into a square?

If so, you’re not alone. It used to be an anomaly to be twenty-one and single in the LDS culture, but now there are entire stakes filled with single adults. In this book, author Kylee Shields explains how you can make the most of your single life, even if your current situation isn’t what you expected.

Make It Happen is a collection of principles, blog entries, stories, and conversations had on couches, floors, kitchen tables, and at many single-adult gatherings. It is filled with practical ways to make changes in your life, find hope, increase faith, strengthen relationships, and build the kingdom.

Make It Happen is an inspirational self-help book designed to help LDS singles find happiness in a marriage-oriented culture. Kylee incorporates quotes, doctrines, action questions, and real life experiences to illustrate the principles and ideas she is trying to convey. Even though I am not single myself, I have a lot of wonderful friends and family members who are and who are struggling to find happiness as an LDS single. However, the great thing about this book is that it is not just meant for singles; it can be applied to any person, in any stage of life.

There were so many topics covered in Make It Happen; everything from being in a healthy relationship all the way to how to make better use of your scripture study time. They are simple concepts that most of us have already heard. However, they are also explained and illustrated in a way that makes them seem "doable".

These are some of my favorite concepts outlined in the book:

  • Make it happen
Of course, as per the title, the entire book revolves around the principle that whatever we want in this life we can obtain by simply "making it happen". (Not to say that this is easy.) However, by making the decision to try we can take charge of our life and make positive changes. 
The Make It Happen concept is nothing new. It simply is what it implies. It’s making things happen in your life, not hoping things will happen or waiting for others to make things happen in your life. It’s figuring out what you want and going after it. (p. 46)
  • Life is meant to be happy
Sometimes we forget that even though this life is supposed to be a trial, we are also supposed to find joy in the journey. Kylee encourages readers to find what makes them happy and to go for it.
In order to be happy in your present circumstances, you must believe. Believe you are meant to be happy in this life and the life to come. Believe God has a perfect plan for you. Believe you matter to those who know you. Believe you have a specific purpose and that you can live up to your potential. Believe you are loved— and act accordingly. Believe, and if for some reason you cannot, then borrow my belief in you for a few moments. (p. 173)
  • Be okay with who you are
Even though this book encourages positive change, it also inspires readers to be happy with who they are. I love how Kylee uses a story to illustrate this principle about how her sister loved herself even after her body changed through pregnancy (I can totally relate!) 
I like how she knew she could be ashamed or hide her post-pregnancy belly but instead she loved herself. That belly represented her labor of love. I wish we could all be a little kinder to ourselves. Sure, most of us could afford to lose a little weight, spend more time at the gym, eat less (or at least eat healthier), but in the end no matter how we look, we should love who we are. (p. 170)
And I could go on and on. While I was reading the book, I copied down passages that I really liked and by the end I had over 3 pages of quotes!

One of the best parts of this book is that the author not only tells you that you can change but she also tell you how to go about doing it using her own real life experiences. She doesn't claim to have all the answers (who does? :) but shares her own stories in the hopes it will be of benefit to someone else.

Make It Happen is an eclectic blend of encouraging and inspriational concepts, told in a friendly, conversational way and highlighted with relatable stories


As part of the tour, Kylee is offering 4 amazing giveaways!! These include a $25 gift card to Amazon, a $25 gift card to Target, and a hard copy and ebook copy of the book.
To enter to win these prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form provided. (Each tour stop will have the same Rafflecopter form).
  • Open from January 8 to January 31.
  • Must be 13+ years of age to enter

Earn entries by doing any/all of the following:

About the Author

“My name is Kylee and I am passionate about life. I am the oldest of 8 children and have the most amazing parents ever. I have one adorable niece and one adorable & squishy nephew. I grew up in Oregon, moved my senior year of high school to Utah, then moved to San Diego, Boston, and currently live in Arizona.

I went to BYU and got my BA in English (creative writing/Editing) and a minor in Linguistics. I love words and writing! There is something very powerful in putting words together and expressing human emotions. I love poetry, reading great novels, blogging, etc. I have an old typewriter I adore and like to type out letters now and again and seal them with wax. I am an author and avid reader. I love learning new words and can trace that back to my mom who has the most amazing vocabulary.

I also attended ASU and got my Masters in Social Work (emphasis in child & family therapy). I have always been drawn to the "punk kids" and absolutely love my job. I work as a Shadow (family therapist) at The Anasazi Foundation. I get to do therapy with amazing adolescents out in the deserts of Arizona. My office is on the trail and I get to throw rocks, hear hearts, and get to know some incredible kids from all over. Not bad for a day job!

When I am not with my family, hanging out with my friends, or working I absolutely love to travel. I have been to Egypt, Ghana, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and almost all 50 of the states. I love music--singing, writing songs, playing the piano, and listening to other musicians. I co founded a Musical Fireside group that is in the process of becoming a non-profit. I have loved watching INSPIRE: music. service.hope grow and touch the hearts of those who hear us sing.

I am a huge Avengers fan (Captain America), I like straws, bridges, swinging on swings, and trains.

I love God and try to recognize His presence in my life. For Him I am indebted for my many blessings and tender mercies. All that I have and am is because of Him.”

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