We have a special guest today! Steff Deschenes, author of The Ice Cream Theory , is here to give us a “mirror review” of her own book!
A Mirror Review by Steff Deschenes
The Ice Cream Theory is a charming “self-help” book that draws a unique parallel between ice cream flavors and human personalities, a tongue-in-cheek celebration of the variety inherent in a well-lived life.
While I agree with this snapshot summary of what the book’s about, I disagree, and have from the start, with the “self-help” bit of that statement.
But then again, I’m allowed to.
Because I’m the author.
I didn’t have much of a choice, though. When it came time to pick a genre for my self-published book, “Super Cool Almost True, but Somewhat Inaccurate Anecdotes from My Life” was not a viable option. So, the powers that be shuffled me into “Self Help: General.”
Which makes me feel altogether silly – because, really, what the heck does a twenty-something know about life outside of their own little world?
Apparently something more than nothing, considering the book has gone on to win 12 independent book awards and has had had a number of glowing reviews from ice cream companies, bloggers, and newspapers.
The reviews tend to say the same thing. “Her writing style is conversational and down-to-earth,” which I know is true. Friends, and even fans who’ve met me after reading the book, tell me its uncanny how similar reading the book is to talking to me in real life. That’s good. I like that. Every author strives to find their literary voice and if I’ve found mine so strongly at such a young age, then I know I’m doing something right.
Reviews have also said, “It takes a special kind of braveness to put one’s life out there for the entire world to judge.” The line between bravery and stupidity is very small though. Writing about raw, honest thoughts and emotions about ex-boyfriends has resulted in several late-night, overly-drawn-out conversations with said ex’s to discuss what was written about them and us. As a general rule of thumb, I make them take me out for ice cream if they want to talk.
And, across the board, reviewers agree that “by the end of the book, you come away thinking and looking at yourself, the people in you know, and your life experiences wondering what flavors would match up.” Success!, considering that’s kind of the whole point of the book.
There are a couple of things, however, that not a single reviewer, blogger, friend or family member seems to have picked up on. And, if I was asked to write a review about The Ice Cream Theory, I would have made it a point to focus on the fact that:
A) There isn’t a single curse word in the entire book – the language, while sassy and filled with adult references and undertones, is entirely PG; and . . .
B) There isn’t a single social, pop culture, or brand reference made.
Both of which were done intentionally, and are relatively impressive. Especially the latter of the two: to be able to write an entire book about ice cream, and yet not once actually reference or name an individual store or brand is especially remarkable, if you ask me.
We are an impressionable society constantly surrounded and berated by an influential media, multi-billion dollar corporations, and the entertainment business. It’s nice to be able to think for ourselves on occasion; and, I hope that I contributed to that by creating something devoid of such references. I also am under the personal opinion that when we include celebrity or brand names in our art, then we are dating ourselves. In essence, by excluding those things, I feel I’ve written something timeless.
And the no-swear-word rule simply originated as a “can I do it?” concept, because I tend to have a potty mouth. I quickly realized that I could still effectively say what I needed to say sans any colorful language, and create a delightful story that is apparently readable and relatable to regardless if you’re seventeen or seventy-seven.
With its upbeat, conversational tone and broad appeal, The Ice Cream Theory is not a typical “Super Cool Almost True, but Somewhat Inaccurate Anecdotes from My Life” kind of book. It’s a must read for anyone bruised by life’s tough lessons and in need of a cheerful pick me up!
Or so the reviewers say!
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Despite a failed attempt at majoring in ice cream in college, Steff Deschenes is a self-taught ice-cream guru. After publishing the now twelve-time award-winning The Ice Cream Theory, she began exploring food on a more universal level. As a result, she now photo blogs daily herself at dinner and the challenges of being a vegetarian in a predominantly seafood-oriented state. Steff also writes two articles a week entitled “Maybe It’s Me” (personal essays and reflection on life and the living of it) and “Fact Is Better” (real life conversations she couldn’t make up if she tried); all of which can be found at www.steffdeschenes.com. You can also visit her at www.theicecreamtheory.com.