Book Review: What Would Frida Do? A Guide to Living Boldly by Arianna Davis

PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge Prompt: a book about art or an artist Other PS 2021 reading prompts this would satisfy: a genre hyb...

PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge Prompt: a book about art or an artist

Other PS 2021 reading prompts this would satisfy: a genre hybrid, a book set in multiple countries, 


What Would Frida Do? is such a unique genre-bending mixture of self-help and biography. I’ve known who Frida Kahlo is for as long as I remember, and I’ve known of her trademark unibrow, bright red lips, and flower crowns, but I never really knew much else. So learning about her from an author who is Latina was really powerful.

Back cover synopsis: Revered as much for her fierce spirit as she is for her art, Frida Kahlo stands today as a brazen symbol of daring creativity. She was a woman ahead of her time whose paintings have earned her generations of admirers around the globe. But perhaps her greatest work of art was her own life.
What Would Frida Do? explores the feminist icon's signature style, outspoken politics, and boldness in love and art, even in the face of pain and heartbreak. The book celebrates her larger than life persona as a woman who loved passionately and lived ambitiously, refusing to remain in her husband's shadow. Each chapter shares intimate stories from her life, revealing how she overcame obstacles by embracing her own ideals.

Unlike a typical biography, this book is a guide not only to some major points in Kahlo’s life but also a guide to her best traits and how to use those in your own life too! It was such an incredibly unique twist to a general biography. I would love to read more hybrid biographies like this for other pop culture figures.

What I did find about this book is that it’s incredibly repetitive. I often thought I had somehow slipped back to an earlier chapter because so much of the information from one chapter to the next was virtually the same information. It made for a very confusing experience while reading/listening to the book. It seemed chapters could’ve been combined, or better yet, chapters that seamlessly flowed together, one setting up the next chapter and that one setting up the next. It made the storytelling messy and difficult to grasp at times, unfortunately more often than not. It’s those things that made me not enjoy the book as much as I would’ve liked. As mentioned, I really liked that the book was formatted as sort of life guide, but it almost seemed like the author didn’t have enough Frida info to share this falling back into the same knowledge again and again.

What Would Frida Do? is a wonderfully fun style of book with a totally unique twist on what the biography genre could entail. But unfortunately the writing on this one just missed the mark for me.

Goodreads rating: ★★★☆☆

I received this book free for review from Netgalley. All opinions are entirely my own.

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