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Friday, July 19, 2019


I'm finally going to find time to get through the backlog of books and comics I promised to review so, firstly, apologies for the delay and, secondly, let's get on with it, - kicking off with Stand in Your Power, the new book from Rachael Smith. 

Other reviewers have called the book "emotionally brave" and they're not wrong. It's a revealing autobiographical story of a period of Rachael's life where her boyfriend had ended their relationship, and how she dealt with that... as well as her depression. Now, in less talented hands that could be a very dull and downbeat story, but Rachael's own natural sense of humour gives the book a lift in all the right places and engages the reader. 

That's not to mean it's flippant of course. Not at all. Rachael deals with the subject matter realistically and responsibly, and in an appealing way. There are pages where she talks about how she self-harmed, and it's quite upsetting, especially for those who know Rachael but didn't know about these incidents. Thoughtfully, Rachael has colour-coded those pages in green, so if readers feel it may be too harrowing they can skip that chapter. I hope they won't though, because it carries an important message.

Stand in Your Power is a sequel of sorts to Wired Up Wrong, Rachael's previous book that I reviewed here. Both are very accessible books, helped immensely by the format; square pages, with no more than four panels a page. Rachael's art style is very easy on the eye and pleasant to see, showcasing her skills at facial expressions and composition. 

I hate to use the clich√© "emotional rollercoaster" but that's how it felt reading this book, as Rachael shares her highs and lows with us and it's a book of laughter and tears. The book ends on an uplifting note though, with life improving for Rachael, and I came away from it feeling happy for her and also grateful that she'd shared so much that I know will help others cope with their dark days. 

I'll go as far to say that Stand in Your Power is an important book because of how it'll help others relate. Depression is something people are more willing to talk about now than they did a few decades ago, and this book is ideal to encourage that. 

You can buy Stand in Your Power and Rachael Smith's other books from her Etsy store here:

Rachael will also be one of the guests at the London Film and Comic Con at Olympia next weekend (26th to 28th July) and you'll be able to buy the book at her table in the Comics Zone:

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